I am so excited for the Olympics to start.  I don’t know what it is, but I have always loved the Olympics since I was a little girl.  I love the sports and all the back stories on the athletes.  I love cheering for our country and hoping that they place.  I just all around love it. During the 2012 Olyimpcs we were traveling and at 2 years old my kids, weren’t all that interested.  This year they have more of an understanding of sports and athletes and I am hoping to share some of my excitement with them.

We just got back from Park City and now I regret not showing them around the Olympic Park there. We have been watching some clips of the various events on the official Olympics website and on Youtube. Apparently my description of the luge and curling was not descriptive enough and they needed to see it in action.  It has helped to raise their awareness and enthusiasm for this world event.

For the opening ceremony and throughout the games, I like to explore the cuisine of the country that is hosting the games. In this case the games are being held in Sochi, Russia. I have to admit I know very little about traditional Russian cuisine.  We are also going to be traveling down to San Diego the day of the opening ceremonies, and I am not sure if I will have full control over our dinner. So for now I am planning on trying to find a fun bread or desert to bring with us, and then make some other dishes throughout the two weeks. I found this website called Ruscuisine which I have been looking through and trying to figure out what I could make. I also looked up recipes on All Recipes and was thinking about trying Beef Stroganoff, Pierogi, sweet cabbage or Chicken kiev.

In addition to trying new foods, I want to do some activities that will engage the kids and get them excited.  Also it's a bonus if I can get them to write and practice their letters which we are struggling with a bit at our house.

Arts & Crafts

1. Making an Olympic Torch: This seems like a very easy project and one that can be used for pretend play afterwards. I know my kids will enjoy making them and doing some relays with them in the front yard.

2. Olympic ring toilet paper roll stamps: This is an easy project to set up and I already have everything I need. I know the kids will end up stamping circles all over the paper and not make a perfect Olympic ring picture, but I thought it would be a good activity anyways.  We can discuss the rings and how they came to be the symbol that is used today.

3.  Coloring in the flags of some of the participating nations. I simply dd a search for printable flags and found a lot of different sites that have free coloring sheets. I am going to string up the flags we color and make a banner in our living room so we can talk about the different countries represented in the events we might watch on TV.

4. Coloring sheets for winter sports. I don’t know if you can tel,l but my kids love to color. I am probably going to use watercolors for these so that we vary our projects a bit. I am also hoping to help them work on their letters by having them write the names of the different events while we color them in. If I sit down and tell them we are going to work on writing they refuse; if I tell them we are going to learn about skiing and how to spell it, they might pay a little more attention.

Games and activities

1. Toy event competitions. I have seen many websites depicting Olympic sports with various toys. I saw some bobsleds with stuffed animals and little people skiers, but I think my favorite was this Thomas ski jump. I have to admit it might be because the kids love the ski jump so much, or because I am fascinated by the challenge of making this track. Joe has informed me that he is going to be a ski jumper when he grows up. I think that kid has a need for speed.

2. Mini Ice Hockey: I found this activity that is set up for a preschool setting, so I think I need to down scale the size a little bit. I think I am going to freeze a cookie tray for our ice hockey set up and then let the kids play together.

3. Indoor ice skating: This one used wax paper and tape to wrap up the kids feet and let them “skate” around the living room. We have carpet in our living room but I think we could have some fun when we go down to visit with my in laws. I also thought we could put some tissue boxes on their feet and let them slide on the carpet. I am not sure exactly how I am going to execute this one yet, but I know they will have a great time sliding around.

I hope to come up with some more ideas to keep my kids active and involved with the Olympics for the week before and the two weeks they are going on. Now that the boys are in preschool, I find that sometimes I get in a rut of the everyday grind and I think these fun activities are just what we need to liven things up a bit.

Do you do anything special in your house when the Olympics are on?