Home Preschool: The Olympics

In August we have definitely had Olympic fever! Carl and I both love watching The Olympics and it’s funny because not only do we just really enjoy the sport and the stories that come out of the games, but we also kind of feel like each games is a little personal milestone for us every four years. Before I met Carl I wasn’t really interested in watching sport and had never really paid much attention to The Olympics and it’s not something that I remember being a big thing in my childhood at all. The year after Carl and I got together , just before we moved in together in the September was the Beijing Olympics, and they were the first games that I really watched and paid any attention to. Then four years later, by the time the games came to London we had gotten married and had our first baby. We took four month old little Mabel to watch the handball in the Olympic Park and chatted with disbelief about how she would be four years old by the time the next games rolled around. Then this year, we were watching the action in Rio with three little sidekicks in tow. It almost seems unbelievable how much your life can change in only four years. Maybe it’s because I’m so hormonal from having all these babies, but The Olympics are always a reminder of how quickly time passes and how far we’ve come in a short time.

Mabel and me at London 2012

Mabel and me at London 2012

But anyway… The Olympics were BIG in this house this month, so it goes without saying that that’s what we focussed most of our learning around.

Before the games started, we talked about the Olympic Symbols like the rings and also about how the whole thing works. We covered a bit of Geography, introducing the concept of long distance travel (Mabel has never been on a plane yet) by talking about all the athletes making their way to Brazil. And we talked a tiny bit about Great Britain and why we were supporting Team GB and what that meant.

We had a couple of goes at producing our own versions of the Olympic rings. Firstly by sorting toys by colour and arranging them into the right pattern…

 

The video misses off the first half but Mabel actually wanted to make sure the blue and red rings (she made them more of a square shape) were the same size so she asked for a ‘measurer’. I got her a ruler and she worked out that each side was 2 duplo bricks longer than a ruler. She could have just counted the bricks, but she asked to measure them so I thought we’d go with it. We copied a picture and I thought it was a great exercise in spatial awareness and well and size and shape.

We also did a creative activity, printing circles in the Olympic ring colours. Mabel actually started off trying to recreate the pattern of the Olympic rings from memory, which I thought was pretty impressive. It did of course quickly descend into body painting, which is the usual course of events whenever we get the paint out.

As the Olympics started, we watched as much of it as we possibly could. Mabel and Greta weren’t always giving it their full attention, and sometimes it was just on in the background while they played, but I tried to bring their attention to it when something was happening that I thought they might find interesting… and of course they stopped to see what was going on when Mummy started jumping up and down and shouting at the TV in excitement! I made sure to emphasise how hard the athletes had worked to be able to be so good at what they do and we also talked about emotions, which are always on show at the games. How did the Gold medallists feel? What about the person who came in fourth?
Mabel began to really get interested when she saw people winning medals (‘why do they bite them Mummy?’) and started trying to emulate the different sports and events that she was watching. We had beach volleyball in the front room, gymnastics on Mummy and Daddy’s bed, and athletics in Nanny and Grandad’s garden. It was great watching her having a go at all different things and copying some of the mannerisms of the athletes she had been watching on TV.
I thought that Mabel and Greta would both enjoy exploring some small world play around the Olympics, so I made a swimming pool and some gymnastic equipment for the HappyLand people.

 

Mabel especially got really into this and enjoyed role-playing the different swimming races and gymnastic events that she had seen… with her own imaginative twist! Having numbers on the starting blocks in the swimming pool meant that we could also practice some number recognition, but to be honest both girls are pretty good at their numbers up to 10 now so it looks like it’s time to move onto double figures!

I also printed off some Rio 2016 themed worksheets from Twinkl, including some pencil control ones. I used these ones with Greta and these ones with Mabel. They both enjoyed doing them and we talked a little bit about the Brazilian flag and the landmarks of Rio as there were pictures of them on the worksheets. This lead us on to watching a YouTube video of a tourism guide to Rio, which was great because it featured a little fact file about the city and the country of Brazil. We obviously had already spotted the Statue of Christ the Redeemer while watching the BBC coverage of the games, so we started looking out for other landmarks that we had learnt about too, while we were watching.

 

Rio 2016 pencil control worksheet

 

So that’s pretty much it for our Olympic activities. Next time I update on what we have been up to, Mabel will have passed the time that she would have started school, if we had continued down that path. Even so, she would still have been under the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum, and ultimately I am home educating a two year old and a four year old, so I think I will still be calling it home preschool for now at least. We are in no rush to start any formal learning arrangements and we’re happy with most of the girls’ education coming ‘through life’ at the moment, with a loose topic and a few planned activities thrown on top to make me feel better and give us all something to focus on when we need to. We are thinking at the moment that our next topic will be minibeasts, so keep an eye on our Facebook page to see how it’s going along as I’m sure we’ll be popping up with updates on there when we get started.

 

Louise xx (2)

Learning activities to do at home with your preschooler with an Olympics theme. This is how we homeschool our 4 year old and 2 year old.

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1 Comment

  1. August 27, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Lovely post, i love the Happyland swimming! We covered minibeasts a bit earlier this year, it is really fun to cover and there is SO much you can do with it x
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