Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Playdate

Sign on our front door

I'm excited for the 2012 London Olympics!  I find the Olympics to be inspiring.  I want to share that with my children, so to help them become excited for the Olympics, too, we hosted an Olympic Playdate.

Here is the party plan:

First order of business is "Registration and Preparation."  This was the crafts portion of our playdate.  Each playdate athlete created their own flag to represent herself.  I have a large laminated world map that I hung from a clothesline purchased from the dollar store (with clothespins also purchased there, as well as with a couple binder clips).  The map helped set the scene for the global event that is the Olympics, as well as provided examples of country flags.

Once our athletes created their own flags, we added them to the display.

Next up was to quickly make our mark - writing our names on blocks we would use to mark our spots in our Track and Field events.  Originally we were going to use rocks that we found in our yard, and write our names on those.  But my hubby offered to cut these blocks out for us, and they worked out great.

Our final preparation was to make our ribbon apparatus for the rhythmic gymnastics portion of our games.  These ribbons were inspired by a post on Strings, Keys and Melodies.  For our ribbons we used shower curtain rings (again, from the dollar store), as they did.  But instead of buying ribbon or scarves, I brought out our large stash of crepe paper.

We began our games with the Olympic Torch Relay.  Our torch is a riff on the torch posted by Rainy Day Mum.  I rolled and taped cardstock for the base, to which I then stapled about 20 strands of crepe paper.

We live in a cul-de-sac, so for the relay I stationed our athletes around the circle.  I played the Olympic Theme, specifically Bugler's Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley, as they ran the torch to the next runner.  This was really fun as our athletes cheered each other on around the neighborhood.
Purple started off our relay
From Purple to Pink
Yellow holding the flame

As a quick treat after the torch run, to complete our Opening Ceremonies, we enjoyed a sugary snack.  I came up with an easier way to reproduce the Olympic Torch treat created by  Our torches use regular size ice cream cones, jumbo marshmallows, and fruit roll-ups.  Stuff a marshmallow into the cone, cut a slit in the top of the marshmallow, and stick in a triangular piece of the roll-up.
Our Track and Field events were next: javelin (using a water squirter), discus throw (flying disc), long jump (the jump rope was our starting line), and soccer goal shot.  Yes, I realize soccer is a separate sport from Track and Field, but it fit in for our purposes.
Our Track and Field equipment
At this point we were an hour and forty minutes into our scheduled two hour playdate.  And we were hot in the 90+ degree weather.  So we came inside for our gold medal snacks, and agreed to forgo the rest of our games.  For the food I was once again inspired by a blog post, but tweaked it.  Rather than stringing donuts as winner's medals as they did on Make and Takes, I used bagels.  Although I'm sure no one would have complained about donuts.  I rounded out the snack with strawberry applesauce and chocolate milk.

How do you celebrate the Olympics with your family?

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