Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Olympic Resources

I love, love, love the Olympics. Every two years our normal routine stops so that we can watch all of the very talented athletes make their countries proud. I love rooting for Team USA or the underdog if we aren't competing in a particular event. I love watching the reaction of proud moms and dads as they cheer on their sons and daughters. And I love that for two weeks, the whole world comes together in one giant melting pot of athletic awesomeness.

We have fun learning about the country in which the games are being held. We love learning about the little details of the games like the torch, the medals and the mascots. We follow the medal count and even the weather at the venue. And we watch a lot of sports for two whole weeks.

We started talking about the Olympics last week during our Coffee Time. We talked about the places that the past Winter Olympic games have been held and marked the locations on a map. This was a lot of fun. I found a printable map online that had the longitude and latitude guides. Then using the info on this site, and an atlas, I gave the kids the coordinates of each location and they found it on their map marking it with the year. Talk about a fun way to practice map skills and learn a bit of geography. With help even the little ones learning to write their numbers can do this activity.

Below are links to several resources I will be using this year during our study. I have been researching and deciding what we will focus on this year. We will be compiling what we learn into a lapbook so we have a written record of all the learning we do. The most fun about doing the Olympic unit is the opportunity to learn about history, and culture that you would probably not get a chance to otherwise. And to remember that learning is supposed to be fun and inspire curiosity which leads to more learning.

The Games

Sochi 2014 - This is the official site for the 2014 games. is the official Olympic page. Here you can find out about past and future Olympics along with of course this year's Olympics.

NBC Olympics - If you live in the USA this site is a must. It has the television schedule for all the events. A must if you want to know when curling will be on. This is also where you can find out more about the athletes of Team USA.

Sochi Venues -  This video shows a quick look around where the games are being held.

The Mascots

Mascot Page -This is the official Mascot site. Here you can find out more about the The Polar Bear, The Hare, and The Leopard. You can also find out about the Paralympic Mascots The Ray of Light and The Snowflake. Clicking around you can also find the history of the mascots and past mascots.

Coloring Pages - This site has coloring pages of the Mascots.

The Medals

2014 Medals - Here you can find out about the key features of the medals... what they are made of... how big they are, and more.

Medal Unveiling - This link takes you to when the medals were unveiled. The close up pictures of the medals are well worth the click.

The Torch

The Torch specifics and designs.

Torch Relay firsts and fun trivia. From the depths of a lake to to outer-space this torch relay has had it's moments of glory.

Watch the videos of the torch going to the North Pole, blasting off into outer-space, plunging into the depths of the World's deepest lake.


Science and Engineering - This site by NBC Learn has several very cool videos about the science behind snow, ice, bobsleds and even half pipes.

Science of Winter Olympics -  The National Science Foundation has videos about friction, air lift, and drag just to name a few. We watched these during the 2010 Olympics and loved them.


So far this time for history we have been reading books about Russia that I picked up from the library. We have also read the Magic Tree House book Hour of the Olympics and used the Study Guide.

For some quick reference material I have used this site in the past.
Time for Kids has some pictures, quick facts and a few other fun things.

Activity Packs and Other Stuff

DLTK - A site full of  Olympic crafts and activities for Pre K to Early Elementary

Homeschool Helper Olympic Lapbook - I used this lapbook as a starting point when we started lapbooking years ago.

Printables for Kinder thru third these are some fun Olympic themed activities.

KidZone has some fun math pages with the Olympic theme.

Winter Olympics Pack this pack is huge and has something from preK through about third

Here is just a small sampling of what I have found so far. I will be adding more to this list throughout the games so feel free to check back often.

What resources have you found? I could always use more fun ideas.

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