Nadia: the Girl who couldn’t sit still by Karlin Gray is a picture book biography of Nadia Comaneci published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nadia Comaneci, who is 55 years old today, is a legendary Romanian gymnast, who will always live in history as the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10. Perhaps as famous is the resulting dramatic confusion as the Olympic scoreboard was not programmed to display such a high score. As if it wasn’t enough, she went on to earn five Olympic gold medals, three silver and one bronze. This lively and beautifully illustrated book takes little readers on a journey from a small village in Romania through defeats and years of dedicated training to Nadia’s triumphant raise to become the most celebrated gymnast in the history of gymnastics.
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you buy a product through my links, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog. For full disclosure policy, click here.
The following activity pack is ten pages long and it was made to go along with Nadia: the girl who couldn’t sit still book. The activities are best suited for kids 6 and up, but the following home Olympics exercises are great from toddlerhood and up (so younger siblings can join in on the fun).
Included in the pack:
- Comprehension Questions
- Discussion Questions
- Venn Diagram – How does Nadia’s childhood compare to your childhood?
- 7 Fun Facts about Me
- “Perfect 10” Math Practice
- Create a postcard to Nadia (She now lives in Oklahoma, USA).
Click HERE to download the pack.
After filling Venn Diagrams and making postcards my kids were in dire need of physical activities. Since it was wet and slippery outside, we couldn’t use the monkey bars at the park and had to devise home Olympics exercises. (Many of these exercises come useful during long Chicago winters too).
Gymnastic Activities for Children
Gymnastics is great not only for physical fitness, balance and flexibility, but it’s also fantastic for teaching attention and following directions. Many of the gymnastic moves involve movement patterns. For example, you can ask kids to walk on a beam, make a forward roll, jump up, and say “Ta-Da!”
Here are some of our ideas:
- Use scotch tape to make a line on a floor. Practice beam walk. First walk forward carefully putting one foot in front of the other on the tape. Then move sideways along ‘the beam,” and finally backwards.
- Jump to each side of “a beam” in quick succession.
- Practice kicks: as they walk, they can bring one foot up to the knee and kick out. Switch.
- At the end of the beam, they can hop off and throw their hands up in the “ta-da” position.
- Animal walks
For example, in hopping like a frog make sure hands touch the ground and they jump far forward (traveling jumps). Some other ideas: slithering like a snake on a pillow or on a floor, crabwalk sideways, donkey kicks with hands on the floor and feet kicking the air behind them.
- Hopping on one foot and then another
- Jumping up from a squat position
- Jump on and off a first step on the stairs or a sturdy aerobic step box
- Jump over a pillow
- Cover the floor with pillows. Have children jump from pillow to pillow. When they get bored, add “tag” element. Now they have to jump the pillow and tag each other at the same time.
- Combo jumps (memory practice): jump up three times, turn around, squat, bounce up and throw arms overhead saying “ta-da.”
- Forward rolls
- Backward rolls
- Head stands against the wall
This post is part of the Olympics series by the best kid bloggers from around the world. Go to the landing page for the links to all the posts.