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Winter Olympics Inspired Play Ideas

With the Opening Ceremony just days away, you can get your children into the Olympic-mood with these Winter Olympic-inspired activities.

1. Edible Olympic Torch These snacks are easy to make and look really effective. You will need waffle cones, some ice cream, and some red, or orange coloured sugar. If you can't find the right colour ice cream decorations, you could add a drop of red food colouring to regular hundreds and thousands and give them a good stir. To make the torches all you need to do it pile ice cream into the waffle cone, then roll it in the coloured sugar.

2. Ice Skating Action Figures If the weather outside is more wet and windy than icy and snowy, you'll need to make your own ice skating rink. Fill a plastic tea tray or baking tray with approximately two inches of water and leave in the freezer over night. The next day your children can use their action figures and dolls to put on their own ice skating tournament.

3. Slide Bob Skeleton Each child (or adult) gathers together their own team of bobsleigh riders from their soft toy or doll collection. Record how long it takes each toy to reach the bottom of the slide. This game has plenty of learning opportunities built in. Firstly the children can make predictions about which toy will go fastest and why. Then there are maths skills in ordering the places from fastest to slowest, and working out the average speed traveled, by dividing the toy's time by the length in metres of the slide.

4. Snowball Shot Put We're combining the Winter and Summer Olympics for this one. Use a big sheet of cardboard to draw out a target, and thrown snowballs to see who can score the highest with three shots. If snow is in short supply, marshmallows make a good substitute.

5. Ski Jump/strong> This is another one for the toys, as it's really not a good idea to try ski jumping in your own back garden. Use cardboard and junk plastic to model a ramp for the end of your garden slide. Then use balls or toy cars, or anything else that will roll down the slide, and see which can jump the furthest.

6. Cross Country Skiing This is an indoor activity, and you will need a goo long stretch of short pile carpet. Make a set of skis from a strip of cardboard. Your children can either go barefoot to help them grip onto the skis, or use a piece of string or ribbon to tie the skis on. They then need to shuffle forwards as fast as they can.

7. Curling Use lawn bowls or a petanque set to play a game of curling. If there's snow on the ground the children could clear a path to the jack, or if the grass has grown long over the winter months, they can trample down the route that ball is travelling.

When the weather is cold and glum, playing outside can be pretty unappealing. For more winter outdoor activity ideas check out the Wicken Toys blog.

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