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Learning about the Olympics in a child care setting

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Australia is a sports mad nation, so many kids may start hearing more about the Olympics at home or in social settings as the Rio games approach. Here are some fun ways to introduce the Olympics as a learning topic as the games approach. 

Get the kids to compete as teams

To show the kids how athletes compete as teams you can split them into groups, either as in room groups or split to encourage the kids to have some interaction with the rooms. You can have some nonathletic games for the younger babies—such as peek a boo championships, with some more active running or catching games for the older kids. You can also have some random 'medals' awarded during the time for the kids who don't win races such as best cheering, or kindest helper. This not only shows how the Olympics runs but also introduce mathematical concepts such as displaying tallies for each team in a table. It also reinforces social skills.

Colour some flags

The Olympics is a great example of how people from all countries can come together to play sports. A fun arts and craft activity is to colour in flags from all around the world. You can ask the parent of the kids to give you some ideas of flags of countries that they have lived in so that you can get the kids to start recognising flags of countries that are important to them culturally. 

You can also get the kids to have a go at making a flag that represents your child care centre or their family. This is a good way to get the creative juices flowing and get everyone thinking about what is important to them. 

Have a closing ceremony

One of the most joyful parts of the Olympics is when the event winds down with a big party.  This can be a good excuse to have a whole centre party and involve the kids in a shared meal with the older kids doing some singing and dancing. You can show them some clips from Olympics closing ceremonies in years gone by and help them to choreograph a simple routine to an upbeat song. This is a great way to introduce some more physical activities and practise coordination skills. 

The Olympics is a fun learning topic for children and can be used to introduce a range of topics and learning outcomes.