Sometimes the best ideas for are the simplest. A few days ago, my nephew C., who is two, noticed an advertisement featuring the Olympic Rings. He is beginning to recognize letters of the alphabet, and he commented that there were letter "O's" in the picture.
As I began to explain that the picture was of the Olympic Rings, and not of the letter "O", I realized that he was right as well. The circles in the Olympics Rings do look like letter "O's". Moreover, many words associated with the Olympic Games begin with the letter "O", including "Olympics", "Opening Ceremonies", "Outdoor" events, "Outstanding" performances, "Ore" used to the make the medals, "Overseas", where many Olympic Games take place, and the "Oceans" that divide the five continents represented by the Rings.
blue, yellow, black, green and red construction paper
First, we traced circles onto blue, yellow, black, green, and red construction paper. While we were working, we talked about other objects that were circles, and worked on identifying each of the colours. C. is a little young to cut out the circles himself, but it would be an excellent scissor skills activity for older kids. Once I had cut all of the "O"s out, C. practised counting them to make sure there were five.
Next, it was time to arrange the "O's" on our paper. This turned out to be a great lesson on patterns. After a few experiments, we got it right. I cut a slit in each "O", and C. and I worked together to link the rings and glue them down. The linking activity was alot like threading beads: great fine motor practice for little fingers:
Once we were finished, we picked our five favourite "O" words relateted to the Olympics – one for each ring – and wrote them out underneath the rings:
Once again, the Olympics provided a wonderful teachable moment. We worked on colours, shapes, letters, counting, and fine motor skills, all while having fun. I am looking forward to many more Olympic opportunities to learn over the next few weeks.