2014 Winter Olympics Unit

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I love the start of a new month!  Instead of doing a month long unit, with different parts, we're doing four mini units in February.  I'm super excited about this, just because there will be a lot of variety.  This week we're focusing on the Winter Olympics!  My kiddos have never heard of the Olympics until now.  I'm not sure how much they'll watch. I'm not sure how much they'll enjoy.  This week, my goal is to get them excited to follow the Olympics, and then we'll go from there.  All activities have been designed to help meet this goal.

Winter Olympic 3 Part Cards
The kiddos will match up the 3 part cards, identifying the different Winter Olympic Events.

Source: I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Language Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Winter Olympics Spelling
Dinomite is doing such an amazing job with spelling, since we've introduced fun spelling activities on the shelves. This week the kiddos will spell their words, knocking out pieces of ice, until the rink breaks.  I used a white board marker on each block.

Source:  I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Language Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

 Winter Olympics Sentences
This month we're introducing adverbs.  Dinomite and Princess have done an amazing job diagramming sentences with nouns, verbs, and adjectives. I can't wait to see how they do this week.  The kiddos will put the sentences together and then mark nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs using the Montessori Grammar Symbols.

Source:    I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Language Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.  (The shapes are made from laminated construction paper and not included in the printable.)

Winter Olympics Greater Than/Less Than
 Bulldozer is doing AMAZING with his Greater Than/Less Than activities.  Actually, he's doing fabulous with all math activities right now.  I wanted to make sure this activity was on the shelves this week, just for him.

Source:  I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Adding Up Medals
All of the kiddos are doing amazing adding two numbers. This week I thought I'd challenge them a little bit, by adding a third number to each addition problem.  After all there are three different medals.

Source: The free medal cards for this activity can be found at Activity Village.  I created the addition cards  printable as part of the Winter Olympics Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

What Time Does It Start?
The kiddos are still working at telling time.  It's always fun to know what time each Olympic Event starts.  The kiddos will match the clock cards with the digital time cards.

Source:  I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Meet the Athletes
 I thank my husband for his help with this activity.  The kiddos barely understand what the Olympics are, let alone know who will participate. I thought it would be fun to learn some of the names, faces and countries of athletes participating in different events.  With help from my husband and his most recent Sports Illustrated Magazine, we were able to pinpoint specific athletes who may just win the gold this year.  If nothing else, there's a guarantee that the kiddos will hear their names.  All but one event is represented in the cards. (We were unable to find pictures of any free style ski athletes mentioned.)

Source:   I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Culture & Geography Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Winter Olympic Continent Sort
 It's always amazing to me just how much research I end up doing for each unit we study.  This activity definitely took some time. Not all countries participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics are represented in these cards.  I thought it would be too difficult for the kiddos to learn all of them.  Instead, I researched the top 12 countries with the most athletes.  Then I double checked with my Meet the Athlete Cards, to make sure I had all of their countries represented. Finally, I went through and selected a couple countries from continents I hadn't represented yet, who had the most individuals participating.  I had no idea there were so many athletes from so many different countries.

The kiddos will match up country cards to continent cards.

Source:   I created this printable as part of the Winter Olympics Culture & Geography Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Figure Skating Poses
My favorite part of the Winter Olympics is watching the figure skating.  In my family, we were all on skates by the age of three.  All of us took lessons until we decided to move on to something else.  For me it was dance.  One of my sisters moved on to gymnastics and cheerleading.  For my youngest sister, she decided to continue with figure skating.

As one watches the routines, there's always talk of the different poses, jumps, etc.  I thought it might be fun to teach them what some of these things were, so when they saw them in the routines, they could identify them. I also thought it would be fun to have them try to make the pose in each picture.  The boys have already told me they don't like skating.  (They weren't as excited about their first time on skates.)  Perhaps this will change their minds, and if not, it will lure Princess in.  She's my dancer!

Olympic Event 1
 I wanted to try some really cool Olympic themed science experiments this week.  Bulldozer has these fabulous wooden marble run pieces to go along with his hundreds of marbles.  You can build them any way you want to.
 The kiddos will build their own runs and then test out which marbles are the fastest.  I figure this activity is very similar to the Ski Jumping or Bobsleigh Races, depending on how they build their tracks. It could even be used to represent the Skeleton or Luge.

Preparing for the Winter Olympics
When Dinomite was little, he was obsessed with Bob the Builder.  One of the DVDs we had was about the preparation that goes into the Winter Olympics.  This came back to me this week. I couldn't resist pulling out Dinomite's old Bob the Builder Die Cast Vehicles (some missing) and creating an activity based on the movie.

Included in the activity are two sets of cards.  One shows different types of snow formations needed to be made for the Olympic Events.  The other shows different types of vehicles used to make the snow formations.  Not all formations and vehicles are included, but enough for the kiddos to understand the concept.  White play dough and vehicles are provided for them to create their own snow formations for Olympic Events.  And yes, I am pulling out the old Bob the Builder DVD, just for kicks.

Source: I created the cards for this activity. For your free copy, click HERE.

Visual Art:
Olympic Torch Craft
I'm super excited about this activity this week. Although I worry none of the kiddos will touch it. We'll see. The kiddos will cut out the torch, glue it on the white paper provided, and then glue the red and yellow tissue paper, using a paint brush, overlapping to create the color orange.

Source: This activity was inspired by an activity at Trillium Montessori.

The kiddos continue to draw in their journals daily.

The kiddos continue to practice the piano daily. They also enjoy singing at the beginning of learning time each day.

Physical Education:
Olympic Event 2
Bulldozer received this game as a gift at Christmas. We haven't had a chance to pull it out yet.  I figured this week would be a fun time to do that.  I'm sure he'll love it, as will the rest of the kiddos. Who doesn't like Horse Shoes?

The kiddos continue participate in family fitness activities.  Daddy also took them bowling this week, which they really enjoyed!

Practical Life/Sensorial:
Creating the Olympics Symbol
 This may not appear to be a practical life activity, but as I made my own, I assure you it is.  It involves coordination, motor planning, spacial reasoning, and so much more. The kiddos will use the wooden inset and markers to create the Olympic Symbol.  (I used markers after realizing dull ended crayons weren't going to work for the tracing.)

Next week we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day with some super fun activities.  My kiddos aren't fans of Valentine's Day, so I'm trying to put an original spin on the holiday for them.

For those interested in the free printable packs, click on the links below:

Next week will mark one year of using the Montessori Method to teach my kiddos.  It has been the best year ever!  It's amazing how time flies!  We're starting to enhance the blog in celebration. Check out our new widget!


  1. I love you. Seriously. You just completely came up with my entire plan for the week. We even have the same Bob vehicles and video. These are amazing printables. Thank so very, very, much!!!

  2. Can we do it! Yes we can! Enjoy the printables Lisa! :)

  3. Wow! You are amazing, Renae! What an awesome resource! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday and sharing your free printables. (They all downloaded perfectly for me except the Snow Formations and Vehicles Cards, which showed up as a code.) I featured your post as the Free Printables(s) of the Day at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and on Pinterest. :)

  4. Thank you Deb! I've fixed the download for the Snow Formations and Vehicles Cards. I had forgotten to change the link to a PDF file. All is working well now!

  5. Very cool ideas, and unique! Thanks for posting :)

  6. Oh thanks for fixing the snow formations. I downloaded it last night and figured it was just me and I'd figure it out today when I was more awake :).

  7. Thank you so much for the GREAT ideas and printables!!! I'm trying to slowly transition to more Montessori types of activities for my home schooled kindergarten son (our current "curriculums" are causing me tons of stress and he is really not benefiting from them either) so I have been using LOTS of your stuff to bring back the "spark" for both of us! Thank you again for all of your hard work!
    Amy DeFoy

    1. Thank you for such kind words Amy! I remember exactly what you're describing very well. We transitioned to Montessori just one year ago, because of the same problems you're describing. I'm so glad I can help!

  8. Dear Renae I'm an italian mom and I've read this nice post, and I would translate the printable pack for Italy and write a post where tell Montessori game to learn about Olimpic Winter. I talk also about your blog, are you agree?

    1. I'm so glad you enjoy the post Giochiamo. Unfortunately, I'm not able to go along with your request to translate the printables due to copyrights. Please accept my apology.

  9. Fantastic ideas for learning in many areas. Thanks for linking up with Mom's Library, I'll be featuring you this week on Crystal's Tiny Treasures. Enjoy the Olympics!

    1. Thank you so much Crystal! I love Mom's Library!

  10. I wanted to stop back by and tell you how much we are enjoying the athlete cards. Every time we have turned on the games, my oldest gets out the cards to see if any of them are competing. It's been wonderful!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Lisa! My kiddos are loving the cards too. Dinomite can spend an hour or more working with them during learning time, picking his favorite athletes etc. All of the kiddos have their favorite athletes, because of the cards. Oh, and when they see them or they win a medal... The cheers! It's been fabulous. I do believe this will be tradition for the Olympics in our house.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing, will be printing and using this week in our preschool Olympic Fun! So glad to have discovered your blog!

  12. This is such a fabulous resource...you have so many great ideas!! I'm pinning it and sharing on Facebook at PreschoolPowolPackets!

  13. I have been in love with Montessori when my kid was young. How the time has flown away fast. You have worked hard in the Olympics. Children should be happy to have one. Thank you for sharing.


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