Daily activity 80: The Ancient Greek Olympics

July 10, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious Places – Ancient Greece

Fact of the day:

The first Greek Olympics were held in the city of Olympia in 776 BC (2,795 years ago)

Resources list:

Green card or paper, glue, scissors; drinking straws, kitchen roll tubes, measuring tape, bowls or buckets; paper plates; toilet roll tube, yellow, orange and red coloured paper; light weights (bean tin, apples, etc); Youtube.

Activity 1:

The Ancient Greeks held many festivals in honour of their gods. To celebrate the god Zeus the first Greek Olympics were held in the city of Olympia in 776 BC and are thought to have inspired our own Olympic Games! The winners of each event were given a wreath of leaves, and when they returned home, they would be given free meals and the best seats in the theatre!

Make a Greek ‘Olive’ Leaf Crown for yourself , it could look like this.

Activity 2:

Events at the Greek’s Olympics included wrestling, boxing, long jump, javelin, discus and chariot racing. But those taking part in the wrestling event had to be the toughest, as there were hardly any rules – and they had to compete naked. Eek!

Try out your javelin skills by seeing how far you can throw a javelin made of a kitchen roll tube or a drinking straw through the air. Get some bowls to use as targets and set up a point system. The closest bowl is worth 5 points, next one was worth 10, then 15, and on until 25. The goal is to see how many points you can collect based on how far you can who could throw the your javelin.

If you join tubes/straws together to make your javelin longer, does it affect the distance the javelin travels? (To secure straws together squeeze the end of one and insert it into the open end of the other. Repeat until all straws are attached. Tape if necessary).

Activity 3:

Try out your discus skills by seeing how far you can throw a paper plate flat through the air. Using a tape measure, measure the distances you can throw your discus from a marked starting line. Make a score board to note your measurements and find out what your gold medal winning distance will be!

Activity 4:

The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games; it commemorates the Greek Myth about the theft of fire from Zeus, a Greek god. Every four years, when Zeus was honoured at the original Ancient Greek Olympic Games, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera. The modern Olympic flame today is ignited at the site where the temple of Hera (in Olympia) used to stand. The flame is carried in torches. Make your own Olympic torch, it could look like this or this this.

Activity 5:

One of the original Olympic events was jumping, a bit like long jump, but from a standing position, without a run up, and while holding weights in the hands. Jumping was always accompanied by flute music!!

Try it out, jump forwards while holding weights such as tins of beans, or apples, in your hands. Swing your arms back and jump forwards as you swing your arms forward. Try and measure your distances as you perfect your technique! What is your gold medal winning best distance? You could find some flute music to listen to online to accompany your activity, or just listen to these great jumping songs. instead!!