Welcome to part 2 of our Teddy Bear Olympic Games! We've had our opening ceremony, so now it's time for the games to begin! Here are six activities based on popular Olympic sports, all of which are ideal for preschoolers! My girl was even inspired to create a few new sporting activities of her own!
First up was the DISCUS! To make these we used paper plates & my little designer decorated each one using paint dabbers/bingo markers. (We found using a single plate worked fairly well, but later taped two paper plates together which travelled much further.)
Before Minnie attempted our version of the discus, I showed her how the athletes threw them. She LOVED spinning around & throwing the
plate discus, although initially it flew off in a completely different direction from the one we had planned! We tried again & this time measured the distance the discus travelled using a tape measure. She loved finding the measurements on the tape & shouting each number out, & we began to compare which distances were longer/shorter.
A great activity for exploring gross motor skills, movement, & distance.
Next up was the JAVELIN! To make our version we used a large sheet of newspaper rolled diagonally & taped around the middle. Minnie was keen to throw this across the garden asap so we didn't have time to decorate it, but these could easily be painted, adorned with stickers, or wrapped in coloured paper/kitchen foil.
The javelin was great for exploring another set of movements, & again measuring the distance travelled.
Even the bears had a go!
After the javelin, we had the HURDLES! As you can see these were easy to construct with a few chairs & broom handles! Using children's chairs gave us a perfect height for Minnie to climb/step over, & we still had enough room at the bottom for her to create a new game as she crawled underneath each one! Again we explored new movements, became more aware of space around us, & this time we timed how long it took to complete the activity. Oh, how much fun a stopwatch can bring, especially when your child is timing YOU completing the activity!
No Games would be complete without a RUNNING event. Here our teddy bears are all lined up waiting for the (almost) 100m race to start.
I guessed Minnie would run with the bears, but I never imagined they'd be transported like this! Maybe piggyback races could be added to the Olympics?!
Five bears made it to our finish line... the others got a little lost en route!
This activity offered a whole new set of skills to explore, fine motor moves (as we attempted to tie the starting/finishing line), problem solving (as we created ways of transporting the different sized bears), gross motor moves (as we ran), & literacy (reading signs & recognising familiar words/letters).
Our next sporting event was BASKETBALL! Ok, so it's not quite basketball as we know it, but here's our mini version of the sport, ideal for little arms. We used an old washing basket & a selection of different sized balls which we tried to get into the basket. We moved our starting line around to vary the distance the balls had to travel, which obviously made some attempts easier than others. This offered opportunities to predict & adapt our moves to reach the target which was perfect for encouraging hand-eye co-ordination, estimating, & controlling our motor moves.
My girl got really hooked on this game & soon we had Wellie Basketball! In the UK we have an alternative sport (mostly found at fetes & festivals) called 'Wellie Wanging', where the winner throws their wellies the furthest distance!
And after the wellie boots... it was time for the bears to join in!
Loving this basket full of bears! What a neat way to get children to tidy their toys too!
Our final sport was SAILING!
We made origami sailing boats with different coloured paper which we set sail (blew around) in our old baby bath! (Any large container, or bathtub would be perfect for this.) We coloured the water with a little blue food colouring, & the boats were off!
If you're looking for a simple, easy to follow demo for origami boats try this one, or if you're looking for an alternative sailing activity, check out our upcycled sailing boats. This is a neat way to explore design, floating/sinking, & wind power.
So there you have our six mini Olympic Activities ideal for under 5's, & grown up kiddos too!
To complete our Teddy Bear Olympic theme we made Olympic Torches & Winners Medals, you can check them out here.