My selections educate about past Olympic history through animated movies or factual text, provide links to age appropriate crafts and activities for the preschool and toddler set, and current Olympic coverage for your sports fanatic. Without further ado, here are my picks:
BrainPop has wonderful educational animated movies about the Olympics. Topics include facts about the Olympics, Athens, Greek Gods, Rise of the Roman Empire, and steroids. The image above is from the BrainPop site and you can see how easy it is to navigate using the huge buttons that contain pictures and text. BrainPop is well loved by teachers, home educators, and kids. Kids love it because BrainPop content includes movies about topics like boogers in the science section. Don’t tell your kids and see how long it takes them to find the animated movies on gross content on their own! BrainPop is great for older elementary ages through high school.
Coloring pages from Activity Village are perfect for younger ages excited about the Beijing Olympics. Activity Village has printable pages of the different Beijing Olympic mascots, rings, and sports that are part of the summer games.
Enchanted Learning is a teacher favorite in the school system where I work. Their content is factual, has fabulous diagrams and maps, and great for fluent elementary readers and beyond. The site is free but if you choose to subscribe for $20 a year, you will have access to their ad-free version with printer friendly pages. I highly recommend purchasing a subscription if you have older children that will be browsing the site on their own.
Kaboose is an online place for parents to go for Olympic themed kids’ crafts, kid-friendly activities, games, and printables. With all the crafts and activities on this site, you could easily hold your own Olympics right in your own backyard! This site has a lot of great ideas but is filled with huge ads that children can very easily click on to be taken to other non-Olympic related content. The content is best suited for preschool and elementary ages but the site serves as a parent resource.
Did you know that the first unofficial Olympic Mascot was introduced in 1968? Neither did I! Go back in time and view a timeline of all Olympic Mascots in their plush form with their accompanying country and date. This could be fun for preschoolers to view or for older children to use as a research tool.
The Official US Olympic Team Website is perfect for older kids who are following a particular sport, team, or athlete since the website is loaded with information. This site has can be navigated by using the sport buttons at the top of the page, reading team news in the middle column, or by performing a search. Multimedia features such as videos and picture galleries are sure to be a hit with late elementary ages through high school students.
Scholastic’s History of The Olympic Games is a great article that provides an overview of the Olympics but the other features on the site are fabulous in helping readers comprehend the text they are reading. To assist independent readers, there is a glossary on the left side of the page that features words from the article that children might not know the meaning of. The Scholastic Word Wizard box also pops up at the bottom right of the screen to remind children that they can double click on any word on the page to look it up or type it into the box for the definition. At the bottom of the article there are research topics that provide links to other Scholastic articles related to the Olympics and specific sports. This site is best for upper elementary students and beyond.
The Olympic Express is an online interactive magazine published for kids and teens by the International Olympic Committee. The magazine features a different sport each Wednesday and Saturday and the archives are searchable to read about other sports featured in past versions of The Olympic Express. This site is best for upper elementary students and beyond.
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