The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us, and if your kids are like mine, they are excited to watch these events unfold over the next two weeks.
The Olympic Games are a great opportunity to teach kids about what God thinks about sportsmanship, working as a team, and the importance of reaching spiritual goals.
Bible Verses for Discussing The Olympics
Some Bible verses I’ve found so far to start discussions with my children include:
1 Corinthians 9:24:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
1 Timothy 4: 7-8:
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Proverbs 24: 17-18:
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.
2 Timothy 2:5:
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
2014 Winter Olympic Homeschooling Ideas
As a home schooling mom, I want to use the excitement of the Olympics to my advantage and add a bit of Olympic flare to my lesson plans. Here are 4 fun ways to incorporate the Olympics into your lesson plans if you homeschool – or just fun ideas to engage your children during the games!
1. Decorate Your Space
Moms, if you’re crafty, this is a great time to make Team USA themed decorations for the room where your family will be doing their work and watching the Olympics on television. Look up “Olympic Crafts” on Pinterest, and go to town. If time or lack of craftiness is an issue, the party stores are full of everything red, white, and blue!
2. Olympic-Style Games
This is where you can get very creative, and base whatever you do on the learning style of your kids. eHow offers a few different Bible-based games you can play like a Bible Scavenger Hunt or a Bible Verse Race. I’m sure if you think about it, you can come up with great ideas! And then share them with the rest of us in the comments!
What about medals?? I found a pretty fun idea on a kids’ ministry site that will take just a smidgen of craftiness, even I might be able to accomplish this! You take Oreo cookies, cover them in aluminum foil and attach a ribbon to the foil. Again, the party store probably has fancier medals, but I bet the kids would love their Oreo medal even more!
3. Study Olympic History and Geography
How did the Olympics begin? Where did they originate?
You can learn about the classics and mythology by learning the origins of the Olympics. You can study ancient Greek culture, geography, and for older children, you could also take the opportunity to study the architecture of the temples and stadiums.
In addition to sporting events, the ancient Olympic games also featured artistic competitions. From sculpting to poetry, art was celebrated during the games and you can incorporate that into your studies, too!
One of the neatest things that I came across while doing this research is the symbolism we Christians can use when looking at the five Olympic Rings. We can use the meaning of each color of the Olympic Rings to discuss our faith and values with our children. The colors symbolize:
- Black: Sin
- Red: The blood of Jesus, which covers sin
- White: Purity, after being covered by the Blood of Jesus
- Gold: The streets of Gold in Heaven
- Blue: The waters of Baptism
However you develop your Olympic lesson plan, you can personalize it to the way your kids learn. We’d love to hear some of your ideas!
For those of you who don’t home school, the great thing is that weekends are a wonderful opportunity to catch up on what’s happened throughout the week’s events. Perhaps make a medal chart with your kids to keep track of events and winners.
The official site for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia can be accessed to follow event schedules, and to find information about teams and specific athletes!
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributor to the What’s in the Bible and JellyTelly blogs. She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women’s groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville. Her blog, Talking Like A Girl, is currently being restructured.