On February 4, 2022, all eyes will turn to Beijing, China, as they launch the XXIV Winter Olympic Games. Athletes from around the world will gather to show off their prowess at ice skating, skiing, hockey, and other beloved winter sports. Bring some of the excitement to your classroom with these Winter Olympics activities that span the curriculum. Let the games begin!
1. Light your own torch
Build excitement in the days leading up to the Games by following the torch relay. Kids can build their own light-up torches (get the instructions from OhMy! Creative) and hold their own relay around the school!
2. Hang the Olympic Rings
Decorate your classroom with DIY Olympic rings! All you need is a pack of paper plates, craft paint, scissors, and glue. As kids work, learn about what the rings represent and their history.
Learn more: Meaningful Mama
3. See the first Winter Olympics in action
The first Winter Games took place in 1924 with just five sports. This video has some terrific footage from those early games, showing just how much the sports have evolved over the years.
4. Learn about Beijing and China
The Olympics are the perfect time to learn more about the host country, which in 2022 is China. Kids World Travel Guide has tons of cool facts about China to get you started. Activity Village has a big library of printable activities too.
5. Explore the Olympic FanZone
Create an account on the official Olympics website, and your class can play trivia games, vote on their favorite moments from the games, and even create their own Olympics dream team. As you complete Winter Olympics activities in the FanZone, you can earn points and badges too.
6. Discover a new sport
The Winter Games are the perfect opportunity to learn about a sport that you might not really know. For most Americans, curling is a good example. Ask kids to choose a sport to research, then have them share their findings in a report, poster, or presentation. Find info about all the winter sports here.
7. Host the Reading Olympics
Why not hold your own Reading Olympics alongside the 2022 games? Award homemade medals to kids who meet certain reading goals. You can even have them compete in different “sports” like Non-Fiction Reading, Reading on the Weekend, or Reading Out Loud. Get our list of the best Olympics books to include in your reading list.
8. Master Winter Olympics vocabulary
Grab these free printable pocket chart cards from The Wise Owl Factory and use them to learn new vocabulary words. Some of these are definitely words kids won’t hear every day, like biathlon and luge.
9. Do some Olympics-inspired writing
These writing prompts will get kids thinking about all of the different sports and activities. Get them for free from The Educator’s Spin On It, or come up with more of your own.
10. Keep a daily medal count
All the points, scoring, and measurements means there are plenty of math Winter Olympics activities to try. Update your own medal count each day to practice tally marks or graphing. Learn more about this idea from Living Montessori Now, where you’ll find other fun Olympics math ideas to try.
11. Shoot and score with hockey science
There are so many cool STEM-based Winter Olympics activities you can do! For instance, a hockey puck slides effortlessly across the ice, but what about other objects? Gather up some classroom items and take them out to a frozen puddle to see which slide best, or freeze some sheet pans of water in advance.
Learn more: Creative Family Fun
12. Drop into a snowboard halfpipe
Snowboarding is one of the more modern Olympic sports and definitely a kid favorite. Make your own mini halfpipe to play with using instructions from JDaniel4’s Mom, then perfect some trick moves. Older kids can try this in-depth activity from Sports Engine to learn more about the physics involved.
13. Construct a STEM ski lift
Give your students some basic supplies and challenge them to build their own ski lift. They’ll need to use their logic, creativity, and problem-solving skills for this one. Get the STEM Ski Lift activity from Teachers Pay Teachers.
14. Use magnets to go for a spin
Turn a cardboard box into a skating rink, then add some magnets to let kids control the skaters. This is a fun way to combine magnet science with Winter Olympics activities. Find out how it’s done at The Craft Train.
15. Create the fastest sled
Bobsled, luge, skeleton—there are so many sledding events at the Winter Games. Challenge your STEM students to design and build the fastest sled using basic materials. If you can, go outside to test them in the snow! Learn more about this idea from Feel-Good Teaching.