Ducks 'n a Row: O is for Olympics - Preschool Lesson

09 April 2014

O is for Olympics - Preschool Lesson

By Sinea Pies
O is for Olympics preschool lesson and games

This school year has gone by so fast. Each week's lesson has been fashioned around a letter in the alphabet. When it came to the letter "O" my first thought had been "Owl" or "Octopus" or, more broadly, "Ocean." But then it became very obvious that THIS year it had to be "O is for Olympics" as the Sochi Winter Olympics were taking place.  

Our little 4 year olds were nearly clueless to what the Olympics were.  When I asked them, Caleb thought of running. Anna Grace and Lorenzo said "swimming." All summer sports. No winter sports came to mind at all. We had lots of fun learning about the different winter events, medals and teams.

Our preschool lesson plan included a Fruit Loops craft. Click here to see it: O is for Olympics Preschool Craft. In addition, we played a fun Olympics "bingo" game and had our own Olympics running competition followed by an awards ceremony.

O is for Olympics preschool "bingo" game by Ducks 'n a Row. Includes game board, bingo buttons and calling cards with instructions.

I have found that my students - ages 3 ½ - 4 ½ -are very happy with completing a game board.  At their young age, enjoyment does not require that they beat the crowd. Older children will need to have the rules modified to be like classic Bingo, to make it more exciting.

  • Bingo cards*
  • Picture "calling" cards
  • Buttons 
  • Card-stock (white)
I made all of the items on my computer using clip-art on Microsoft Word and printed on white card-stock for durability.  The buttons were laminated on a page and then cut out (tedious work but worth the effort. I made 12 sets, which I have saved them and reused a few times.)

Part of the challenge of the game is locating the picture on the card.  I made three different styles of cards so that my little learners would not be tempted to look on to their neighbors'. The pictures were all the same but their location on the card was different.

For the Olympics, use images of each kind of competition:  figure skating, pair skate, ski jump, skiing, curling, hockey, Olympic rings, medal ceremony and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 for medals. 

Print an extra card to cut out the pictures. These are your "calling" cards.
Hand out a Bingo card and set of buttons to each child. (Real buttons would work fine, as well.)

HOW TO PLAY: The teacher picks a picture out of the pile and shows it to the students, explaining a little bit about what they are seeing. "Skier.  This man is going down a mountain on skis." Give the children a chance to find the picture and place a button over it.

Game ends when all the page is covered in buttons.
Your little ones will LOVE it. 

Older children can look for a row to be filled to call "BINGO". You will want all of their game boards to have the photos in different places, in this instance.
O is for Olympics preschool lesson with banners and medals from Ducks 'n a Row

The purpose of this fun activity was for our little students to get some exercise while they experience what it is like to be an athlete in the Olympics.

FLAGS: I made Olympic flags for the children to wave as they cheered their friends on to victory. (Flags: colored copy paper triangles with Olympic rings on them glued to large craft sticks.)

MEDALS: We also had three medals for them to wear as they posed to receive their reward: Gold, Silver and Bronze. (Medals: clip-art printed onto card-stock. Cut it out, punch a hole in the top, run a ribbon through it. EASY.)

THE RACE: My assistant, Katie, and I selected three runners to be in each race, the others cheered on. That day we had exactly 9 students present so three races did it. (We re-ran the races because they had so much fun the first time.)

MEDAL CEREMONY: With each race, there were three winners.  Placing a small step-stool in the middle for the gold medal winner, we put their medals on them -- silver, gold and bronze -- and they posed as we applauded and sang the national anthem. 

Do I have to tell you that we had the best day ever?  We had the best day ever! Made many memories for me and, hopefully, my students. Only five more classes with this group and I'm missing them already.

How about you?  Do you have any Letter "O" lessons for little ones? Please feel free to share them in the comments and be sure to go see my guest post with the Olympics Craft we made with it.

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