Surprise Students with an Olympic Birthday Party!

Name a sport that will be part of the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Name a sport that will be part of the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Is there anything more attention-getting than an invitation to a birthday party?

Maybe, but when you surprise your class with a party for the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, they’ll be all eyes and ears on you!

Plan your party basics:

DATE: A day between Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 23, the final day of the 2014 Olympics.

TIME: Convenient to you

PLACE: In class


  • An opportunity to help students express their love of sports and show patriotic pride.
  • A special occasion for students to learn more about the world.
  • A time to celebrate athletes from different cultures and countries.

PARTY THEME: Happy Birthday, Olympics! Hello Leopard, Sochi’s Olympic Mascot!

Get the Party Started…

On party day, post a giant invitation on your classroom door or on an easel near the door: YOU’RE INVITED to an OLYMPIC BIRTHDAY PARTY!

Tie your country's flag colors onto pretend gold medals to give as Olympic Party favors.

Tie your country’s flag colors onto pretend gold medals to give as Olympic Party favors.

Set a sports-themed balloon on a designated “party table.”

Add pretend gold medals for decoration. If possible, buy enough to give each student a medal as a favor at the close of the Olympic Birthday Party. When you distribute the medals, tell the class that they are also rewards for good work!

Buy a few sports toys at a dollar store and place them on your main party table.

Set out paper with decorative sports-themed borders for later use with sports-related writing activities.

Hang up posters of popular sports stars from your country, especially athletes at this year’s Sochi games, on a bulletin board in your classroom. Post a bulletin board header: Happy Birthday Olympic Games! We Love Sports!

Learning and Fun 

Turn your Olympic Birthday Party into an exciting learning experience.

Run with as many instructional options as you want. For example,

Invite your class to guess when the first modern Olympic Games were held and in what country.

The answers: 1859 in Athens, Greece. That’s 155 years ago!

Get more information at:

Find a poster online or in print of the Olympic Rings to show the class, and explain that:

  • the five Olympic rings stand for the five continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceana, all participating in the games.
  • the colors of the rings – blue, yellow, black, green, red, on a white field, represent the flags of countries with athletes at the games.
  • every country’s flag includes at  least one of the Olympic ring colors.

Find the Olympic Rings at:

Find and print an online poster of the 2014 Olympic Mascots. One is the Leopard. Share a description of the Leopard as a cheerful character; an experienced snowboarder who enjoys others and loves to go dancing. Visit:

Invite young students to “act like leopards” and create a spontaneous “leopard dance.”

Allow time for students to draw their own illustrations of the Sochi Mascot. Older students may also enjoy writing a poem to celebrate the Olympics.

Go around the room and invite kids to say aloud their favorite sports. At a later writing time, ask students to write about their favorite sports. Post students’ work on your Olympic Birthday Party Bulletin Board.

Cookies, Please! – Serve round-shaped cookies as part of your Olympic Birthday Party. Note that the round shape symbolizes the Olympic rings

While students are enjoying refreshments, sing Happy Birthday to the Olympic Games.

If you sing in English, note that the English language Happy Birthday song dates back to the mid-nineteenth century, not too long before the first modern Olympic games were held.

Starting early, you have to aim high to win!

Starting early, you have to aim high to win!

If you work with younger kids, like the aspiring Olympian here, you can turn the English Happy Birthday song into a tool to remind children about the importance of staying on task in class. Teach these new lyrics. I wrote them to the old familiar tune…

Happy listening to you, (hands on ears)

Happy looking to you, (hands like eye goggles)

When you focus on your lesson (clap on focus)

You learn more to help you! (point to kids)

Hope that your Olympic Birthday Party is a smash hit. Bet your kids will love it, and you for hosting it.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Since the winter Olympic Games are opening in Sochi on Friday, let’s keep this post through this week and meet back here again on Monday for another Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers. Enjoy the games!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet


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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are acting sluggish in class.

Solution: Show "The BIG E," for ENERGY, an enlarged letter E (or other first letter for the word energy in your alphabet), available in craft stores. Remind the class that energy is a must-have item to get good work done. Tell the class to show you "The BIG E!"

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