Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Olympics

As we wrap up our Ancient Greece studies, it was time to have a little fun with our own mini-Olympics.

To start, I made a couple of "laurel" wreaths out of pipe cleaners, construction paper and tacky glue. This would be an okay kid project if you have children that are patient enough to leave their wreaths while the glue dries. I just made these myself during naptime as a surprise.

First, bend a pipe cleaner into a "c" shape
Cut out a bunch of tear-drop shapes out of construction paper (I used 3 pieces of paper to make two wreaths). Also, put a small puddle of tacky glue on a piece of scrap paper.
Dip the end of one "leaf" in the glue and fold it around one end of the pipe cleaner. Hold it until it pretty much holds itself. Repeat for the other end of the pipe cleaner
Dip the left edge of one leaf in the glue. I kind of slid the leaf along the top of the glue...like you were spreading butter on bread.
With the pipe cleaner laying on the scrap paper, gently press this leaf onto one end.
Now dip the right edge of a leaf in glue
And stick this one onto the same end of the pipe cleaner, opposite the other leaf
Continue alternating in this manner until you get half way around the pipe cleaner
Then start over again at the other end
And work your way to the middle again
Gently turn the wreath over
And add a thin bead of glue against the pipe cleaner all the way around to be sure the leaves stick to the pipe cleaner and not just themselves. Then let the whole thing dry (overnight would be best, but they were pretty much okay after a few hours)
In the original Olympics, the only actual prize were laurel wreaths, so these were kind of important for historical accuracy, and fun too.

We also wanted to stick to historically accurate events. There would be no wrestling (and especially no pankration...a mix of wrestling and boxing where you weren't allowed to gouge eyes, but just about anything else was allowed and it wasn't unusual for participants to be seriously injured or die), but we did the other pentathlon events.

First up: running. I set out a course, which the girls did not understand at all, they just ran willy nilly

We learned about discus (which I did a little of in school, but do you know how hard it is for a right handed person to teach a left handed kid how to throw discus?)


Then we moved on to long jump. Only a 6 year old could land like this....

....and then stand up without her hands or bottom touching the ground

Sedona had a little more difficulty grasping the concept of jumping for distance rather than height

And then we found a stick, cleared everyone out of the way and explained javelin
It went a lot better than I was expecting



At the end, they were both crowned with "laurel" wreaths (the baby's not neglected, she's asleep and always cranes her neck back like that during naps)


All in all, a good end to Ancient Greece. I haven't been able to come up with too many activities for Rome, but I will be getting what I have up soon since we will be starting that this week.

1 comment:

Karen said...

You're so creative. I think this was a great idea for Greece!

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