Prepare for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games just like an Olympic athlete. Create your travel passport, pick your events, and practice for the big day. You’ve only got a few weeks! Winning an Olympic Gold Metal is within reach.
Ask students to fill in their information under the ‘World Traveler’ heading and either paste or draw a personal picture in the ‘If I Were an Olympic Athlete’ section. Invite students to decorate their passport to reflect their culture, nationality or personal interests.
Encourage students to participate in at least one of the events below. After completing an event, have students update their passport by writing in the appropriate event title, describing or drawing a picture of the event, and identifying which skills they tried during the activity. Teachers can give a stamp or sticker in the “completed” star or invite students to color the star.
Each of the following Olympic-inspired events could be completed in a small but open space such as a classroom, hallway, or multi-use room. All could be integrated into an indoor recess program (for cold weather!) or into a more in-depth Olympic Games unit. Be creative and have fun!
Event 1: Cross Country Skiing
Consider partnering with the art teacher to create skis, or ask students to complete them at home if classroom time is limited.
Create homemade skis:
Cut out cardboard or heavy paper into the shape of cross country skis.
Consider using tape on the bottom of the skis to allow them to slide more easily on a softer surface. Allow students to decorate their skis with Olympic-inspired words or pictures!
Invite students to wear ski clothes such as hats, scarfs and gloves.
Option 1: Create and mark a ski route around the room. Mark the start and finish line using floor tape. Consider creating and marking off various types of terrain and scenery.
Option 2: Organize students into teams lined up at a starting line. Create a relay race where students must “ski” to the other side of the room and perform a short activity burst (e.g. 10 jumping jacks) or integrate spelling or math tasks before “skiing” back to their team.
Event 2: Bobsleigh Team Building Activity
Divide students into groups of 4 and ask teams to line up so that each is facing the same direction.
Share with students a brief description of the bobsleighing Olympic event and discuss how teams make timed runs down narrow and twisting iced tracks in a sled. Highlight how teamwork is the most important component to a successful bobsleighing run.
Ask each bobsleigh team to mimic how they might look going down a narrow and twisting track in a sled.
Tell students when they hear the word ‘change’ the 1st and 4th person in the team should switch places. Practice a few times.
Tell students when they hear the word ‘switch’ the 2nd and 3rd person in the team should switch places. Practice a few times.
Tell students when they hear the word ‘rotate’ all team members should turn around to face the other direction. Practice a few times.
Tell students when they hear the word ‘loose caboose’ the last person in each team must run and join another team. Practice a few times.
Once teams have adequate practice, the leader will call out the 4 directives in random order and each bobsleigh team must respond accordingly!
Event 3: Biathlon
The biathlon is an Olympic race that combines cross-country skiing with precise aim.
With cones or floor markers, create a defined track or space in which students can run or walk a few laps. Close to the defined track, set up another space with soft balls or beanbags and hang targets on a wall.
Ask students to run 2-3 laps around the track and then throw the balls or beanbags at the pre-hung targets. Invite students to participate in at least 2-3 rounds before the race concludes.
Event 4: Floor Hockey
Ice hockey is a contact sport played with two teams of six. The players use sticks to shoot a puck into their opponents’ net to score points. To make hockey a safe activity for indoor recess or classroom-based physical activity, invite students to play a similar version – floor hockey!
Using floor tape, create “hockey rinks” on the classroom floor. Divide students into teams of 3 or 4. Create goals or nets with cardboard boxes or use tape to create a goal line. Instead of a traditional hockey puck, use a stress ball or tennis ball. Rulers or paper towel rolls work great for hockey sticks. Drop the ‘puck” in the center of the rink; the first team to five goals wins! Other rules? Players must stay on their knees and must use their “hockey” stick to move the puck.
Invite parents or family members to join as celebrity guest hosts. They can:
Serve as emcees and present the teams during an Opening Ceremony
Act as announcers for each event and interview students afterward
Help score events as Olympics Judges
Give your Olympic Day a more international feel by bringing in a healthy snack traditional to their country of heritage
Has someone in your school or wider community competed in the Olympics or Paralympics? Reach out and ask if they can come to your Olympic Day as a volunteer to share their story and lead an event aligned with their sport.
May The Fitness Be With You
Grab your lightsaber, begin the rigorous and fun training to become a Jedi Master, and dedicate yourself to acts of citizenship and volunteerism.