Olympic Art Project

3

60

Min

Designing art projects that kids love is one of my favorite things to do. And it just so happens that the Olympics are my favorite thing to watch. I’m a BIG figure skating fan and will admit to being completely neurotic while watching the coverage. Olympic art projects filled my mind immediately.

When the 1976 Olympics were hosted in Montreal, it was my first experience with the glory of the games. My fifth grade class worked all year long on a binder filled with Olympic projects. I loved the variety of projects we did to celebrate the sports, motto and countries of the game. So when one of the Sparkers in The Sparklers Club asked about an Olympic-themed project, I jumped into the conversation and promised to come up with something.

Garnering inspiration from the Olympic pins from the 2014 Sochi games,  I went to work devising a plan on how teachers of children in grades 3-7 could breakdown the project. The result is an opportunity to combine geometric shapes and painted paper into a colorful sports icon.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 12″ x 9″ white paper

– Painted paper scraps (approx 5″ x 5″) divided into colors

– Small plastic condiment cup for tracing head shape

– Pencil

– Scissors

– Colored markers

– Glue stick


Here is a video I did on my regular Thursday afternoon Facebook Live’s over at the Deep Space Sparkle Facebook page.

To download the Olympic art PDF that includes graphics for the Winter Olympic Sports, scroll down below and just click on the image, add your name and email and we’ll email it to you.


WHAT TO DO:

STEP ONE:

Ask students to choose ONE color family and ONE sports icon. Set trays of various colors of painted paper, colored paper and craft paper on a table. Students should select 4-5 papers in various colors in the same color family.

Use the Salsa cup to trace a circle for the head. This step is very important as it sets the size for the rest of the project.

STEP TWO:

Place head shape on white paper. Set a larger sheet of paper beside it. Look at the icon you have chosen (downhill skiing, skating, etc) and observe where the body lies in relationship to the head. Cut a rectangle about 1 ½ ” wide by 4″ long. This is not an exact measurement only a guide.

Place body rectangle on the appropriate angle next to the head.

Select another piece of paper. This time lay the paper down near the body. Look at the icon and observe the direction of the legs. Observe how one part of the leg is parallel to at least one side of the white background paper edge.

STEP THREE:

Cut out two legs and two arms. It’s important to look at the icon graphics to observe how long the legs or arms are compared to the body. This is the valuable part of the project. Instead of guessing, have children consider the length and how the lengths relate to each other.

Are the arms straight or bent?

Do the legs move past the head?

Arrange body parts until the right angle is achieved. It’s okay to cut new body parts if needed.

STEP FOUR:

Round the sharp corners of the body parts with scissors. Make any adjustment to the length.

Glue legs first, then body, arms and finally the head.

STEP FIVE:

With a colored marker, draw ski poles, skate blades or any line that is too small to cut with a shape.

Add decorative patterns over the painted or colored paper.

OLYMPIC SPORTS ICONS!


To download the Olympic art PDF that includes graphics for the Winter Olympic Sports, just click on the image below, add your name and email and we’ll email it to you.

What do you think?

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  • Abbie

    Wonderful supplement to the olympics. I also loved the math tie in ❤️

  • Cecilia Balderas

    Loved this activity. Me as Psychologist and Art Teacher, can use this action for the evaluation of the upper brain functions in kids, such as perception, memory and cognition, so I can check how their five senses are being developed as well. Thank you very much.

    Best regards from México

  • Denise Autin

    Thanks for another wonderful lesson!

  • Patti

    Love this idea!
    Excited to encourage kids to think in color families

  • Sarah Fullerton

    wanted to download olympic templete

    • Patty

      Please do! Just click the box in the post.:)

  • Carol

    Fantastic!!!

  • Uyen Nguyen

    Loved this activity! I’m an art Teacher in Viet Nam (Ho Chi Minh City), i’m very glade when I have just received your file free download. I think my kids will like this lesson. Thankyou so much!

    • Patty

      You are so welcome!

  • Kristin Bolster

    I’ve been doing this for several years – teaching the kids both how to draw in action and reinforce shadows. http://thisoldartroom.blogspot.com/2017/02/snow-shadows.html

    • Kristine

      Such an amazing freebie! Thank you so much! My kids are going to lose their minds doing this! I’ve got some reading passages and other activities and this will be such a brilliant addition to our display in the hall!

      • Patty

        So glad you like it. I had so much fun pitting this together. Enjoy!

  • Kimberly R Jones

    Yes, please send me information about the Winter Olympics Sports Icon project! Great idea for an art lesson!

  • Cristina

    This looks great. Challenging, though. Can’t wait to try it with my kiddos. Thank you!

  • Wenche Solbakken

    I would like to try this with my pupils.

  • Phebe

    Considering the arm/leg lengths and how they relate to each other seems a bit above 1st grade observations skills, yes?

    • Patty

      Yes. I would do this lesson with 3rd grade and above 🙂

  • Tamara Thomas Evans

    Great, fun lesson. Love the math component. Looks like it will be one to easily entertain my middle school students, too. Our Read-a-thon kicks off on Opening Ceremony day so this will be double the fun to do!

  • Julie

    Looks like a fun project that will help students with movement and proportions Patty! I think students will enjoy this- thank you!!

  • Shanna

    This is fantastic! Thanks for the idea!

  • Linda Baum

    I love this idea. I want to do this with my 4th grade class. I just need to know if I’m supposed to paint paper, and with what kind of paint, or is this something I can buy?
    Thank you.