Wednesday 16 May 2012

Olympic Crafts - the Olympic Torch and Relay

Following on from my collage Olympic Rings craft, we turned to the Olympic Torch. It was a very exciting moment when the Olympic flame passed through our town, and even though the children were very little, I'm hoping that Harry at least will have some memory of the time that the Olympics were held in London.

As well as making an Olympic Torch, I also wanted to learn and teach Harry a little bit about the significance of the Olympic Flame and its importance in the Olympic Games. Because of course the torch isn't the important bit, it's the actual flame.

Simply Olympic torch craft

For the 2012 Olympics the flame was lit on the 10th May in Olympia Greece, by an actress playing a high priestess, who caught the sun's rays in a parabolic mirror. You can read about the ceremony and see a short video on the BBC News website. On the 18th May the flame will fly to Britain for a 70-day relay around the UK. The flame will actually pass very close by to our house, but unfortunately at this point it will be in a convoy, so we won't be able to see it. We'll have to travel down the road to actually see it being carried.

The final torch bearer will use the torch to ignite the flame in the cauldron at the Olympic Stadium on the 27th July 2012, where it will burn for the 17 day duration of the games before being extinguished in the closing ceremony.

The design of the Olympic Torch changes for each games. The torch for the 2012 games was designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. I have stuck to a very basic design for my torch so it would be suitable for any Olympic role play.

To make this really simple torch, you need two toilet rolls. Pinch the end of one together and hold in place at the bottom with sellotape, then sellotape the other one onto the end to extend the tube. Cover entirely in tin foil.

Simply Olympic torch craft

Cut flames from appropriately coloured tissue paper. You can either glue the flames in permanently, or you can make it so that they are removable. If you want to make them removable, stuff most of the body of the torch with crumpled up paper, and sellotape the ends of the tissue paper to make a bundle.

Simply Olympic torch craft

Why would you want to remove the flames? Well, after watching some of the video that I've linked above for context, we took a small bowl to represent the cauldron, and placed it at the top of the stairs. Then we ran around the house with the torch for a bit, before climbing up the stairs and transferring the tissue paper bundle to the bowl to 'light' the cauldron!

If you are looking for more Olympic themed crafts you might like my collage Olympic rings or my Hama bead medal bunting.

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