Creative Play Quick Tip: Make a Medal Chart

The Olympics inspire us to get up and get our bodies moving—but there are lots of opportunities to exercise the mind, too. Try one of these graphing ideas for a medal-worthy learning activity:

MAKE A BAR GRAPH:

Draw a grid on a large piece of construction paper or poster board. Along the bottom, write the names (or paste the flags) of a few different countries you plan to follow. When the Olympics begin, mark each medal won by filling in the first open box above the winning country’s name. (Handle Stamps or Mini Stamps work well for this. You can also have the child simply color in the square with a marker.)

MAKE A LINE GRAPH:

Create the grid by marking one axis with dates (July 27 to August 12) and the other with numbers. On the first day of competition, mark the medals won by the country you are tracking with a dot at the intersection of the date and medal count. Plot a new point each day as the medal count increases, and connect the points with a line. (Follow multiple teams by using a separate color for each.)

MAKE A VEN DIAGRAM:

Draw two large, intersecting circles on a piece of paper. Then assign a value to each circle—for instance, “outdoor sports” and “team sports.” For each Olympic event you watch, have the child make an X in one of the circles or the overlapping section. (For instance, the pole vault goes in the outdoors section; a swimming relay goes in team sports; soccer goes in the overlapping section, since it is both outdoors and a team sport.) Increase the challenge by adding a circle!