Winter Olympic Craft for Kids: Ice Skate Cheer Sign
The Winter Olympics aren’t known for their diversity in sports. In researching ways to celebrate Black History Month alongside the Winter Olympics with crafts for kids, it became very obvious that my kids don’t have many minority athletes to look up to. Chalk it up to the demographics in cold weather countries, the economics of cold weather sports or the various theories out there on oppression, but the Winter Olympics aren’t very reflective of my multiracial family.
I’ll admit, my kids probably won’t grow up skiing or snow boarding – the one and only time I made my way down a mountain, I got stuck and had to have the dog sled rescue me – but I’m all about supporting our country as our athletes compete in global sports. Add Black History Month to the mix, and I was hell bent on finding that one Olympian sized story that honors Black history and our family legacy.
Honoring Winter Olympics and Black History Month
Meet Shani Davis: the first African American to win winter gold in an individual event only 8 years ago! Can you believe that? This 31 year old speed skater is now heading to Sochi – proudly representing the United States – to compete in the 500, 1000 and 1,500 meter races. Growing up in Chicago’s South Side, this will be Davis’s third Winter Olympics…. and I think that is SO cool and a beautiful example of history being made – Black history, but also AMERICAN history – in real-time.
D and I aren’t crazy winter sports fanatics. We just aren’t. But we will watch the Olympics and cheer for Shani Davis as he pursues the gold medal! I decided to make this simple kids craft of Ice Skate Cheer Signs that we could all wave around as the races start. I think they turned out cute and were so fun to make (although I’ll be sweeping glitter for days)!
We got all our supplies from our local Walmart in their craft section. I was delighted to find such a huge variety. That place seriously has everything. For this kid craft, you’ll need: foam sheets, star glitter stickers, silver glitter, yarn, glue, a dowel or stick and whatever else you may want to decorate your ice skate cheer sign. You’ll also want to print the free ice skate printable below. The tools you’ll need are: sharp scissors, hole puncher and makers or paints.
To make the Ice Skate Cheer Sign:
Trace the printable onto the foam sheet. Using sharp scissors, cut out the ice skate. Don’t worry about cutting out the small holes for the laces, simply use your hole puncher. Lace the yarn through each hole. Decorate the ice skate as desired. Cover the blade area with glue and apply plenty of silver glitter! We printed out extra copies of the ice skates to color, too.
While it works on fine motor skills, I wanted this craft to give us the opportunity to talk about Shani Davis. Yes, because he is African American, but also to stand in awe of the amount of dedication it takes to be the best in your country and, if you win a medal, the best in the world. I wanted Alina to see Shani Davis’s picture, learn his life story and internalize the fact that Black people win gold medals at the Winter Olympics too. As we chatted, her eyes widened when I said “the best in the world”. She holds her sign, happily singing “Go Shani Davis! Go Shani Davis!” and I hope she never lets cultural or societal barriers stand in her way of greatness.
Raising multiracial children and celebrating Black History Month means many things. For Daddy D and I, two people who love sports and healthy competition, it means finding the shining example in this year’s Winter Olympics to showcase how no amount of barriers can oppress a man’s ability to take home the gold. Shani Davis is a stunning example, and I’m proud to cheer for him – and our country- during the 22nd annual winter games.
Will you be watching?
*Photo Credit of Shani Davis goes to Onno Kluyt.