The London 2012 Olympics begin on the 27th July 2012. I'm not the most sporty of people, but we do have tickets to some of the events, and even though they will be childfree occasions for us I still want to involve Harry in all the excitement.
He's still only little so I don't expect him to take in very much, but I thought that we could come up with some fun toddler crafts and activities which would teach him (and me!) a little bit more about the Olympic games, the different sports and the countries involved.
I thought that we'd start with a craft based around the symbol of the Olympic Games - the five interlocking rings. As well as working with the different colours, it can be an introduction to talking about the different countries involved in the games and their flags. The five rings are coloured blue, yellow, black, green and red and they sit on a white background. The colours were chosen because every national flag in the world includes at least one of these six colours. The five rings represent the five inhabited continents (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania), although each ring does not represent a specific continent.
I used thin cardboard for the rings and drew and cut out the templates in advance, using a bowl and a cup for the circles. They measure about 15cm in diameter. We painted them first, and then collaged them with whatever we could find in the appropriate colours. To display them in the correct formation, lay out the blue, black and red rings. Then make a cut across the green and yellow rings, and position them so that the cuts are hidden behind one of the other rings. You can find a picture of the Olympic rings here to use as a reference. They are then glued down on a white background to make a poster which we can hang in Harry's room.
This was a really good colour matching activity and craft for toddlers, and it was also really interesting to learn about the significance of the rings. I will be looking out for the symbol now, and pointing it out to him so that he learns to recognise it!