Olympic Rings Picture Activity

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Updated on Feb 13, 2014

Prepare for the Olympics by helping your child create a colorful print inspired by the Games' iconic symbol, the Olympic rings. This famous symbol is comprised of five interlocking rings that represent the five continents (with North and South America counted as one continent). Created in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, the Olympic rings are a celebrated symbol of athletic prowess and global community.

This activity encourages your child to explore the history of the Olympic Games in ancient and modern times as well as important art and design concepts such as shape, color, and composition. As she works, your child will gain insight into the printmaking process and learn to think creatively.

What You Need:

  • Circular object such as a round cookie cutter or clean metal can (free of sharp edges) to use for printing
  • Tempera paint in blue, yellow, black, green, and red
  • White construction paper
  • Paint palette or washable tray
  • Picture of the Olympic rings from a book or website (or other source) for reference

What You Do:

  1. Discuss the Olympic Games with your child. Research ancient and modern-day Olympic history in books or online. Talk about what the rings symbolize and why they were created.
  2. Pour small puddles of each paint color on the paint palette or washable tray, making sure not to mix them.
  3. Start with the blue ring. Ask your child to dip her cookie cutter (or other printing object) into the paint, then press onto the white paper to print.
  4. Repeat step 3 for the other colors, allowing your child to figure out how the rings should be placed and interlocked on her own. Keep the picture of the Olympic rings handy for your child to use as a guide.

You can vary this activity by changing the size of your printing object. Use a larger coffee can or smaller cookie cutter to create dozens of prints from large to small.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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