Children's Books & Activities for Winter Olympic Fun

WELL, IT’S THAT TIME. Every two years, families worldwide gather around their television sets to the watch the physical feats of athletes participating in the Olympic Games.

Children's Books & Activities for Winter Olympic FunThis winter, the Games are hosted in Sochi, Russia. It’s cold there this time of year. So, there’s plenty of snow to keep the winter games sliding along.

As your family decides which Winter Olympics events it might watch together in the coming weeks, we’ve pulled together some recommendations for fun — and family reading!

Watching the Olympics on TV can be captivating fun, but being active and hands-on is especially fulfilling. With the winter weather, however, sometimes activities have to remain tame and inside-oriented. For that, here are a few Olympic-themed craft ideas appropriate for children:

Families can explore themes associated with the Winter Olympics by reading some of these PJ Library book selections. Their stories can be a springboard for meaningful Jewish conversations in the home.

Jumping Jenny Jumping Jenny
Author: Ellen Bari
Illustrator: Raquel Garcia Macia
Jenny loves to jump, but when her energetic jumping gets her into trouble, she decides to retire her pogo stick. Then her school decides to hold a fundraising fair, and she discovers that her skill can be used for a good cause.
Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim
Author: Deborah Bodin Cohen
Illustrator: Jago
As the Israelites rush to leave Egypt after being freed from slavery, young Nachshon is the first to brave the water that must be crossed, even though he is afraid to take the plunge.
Noah's Swim-a-Thon Noah's Swim-a-Thon
Author: Ann D. Koffsky
Illustrator: Ann D. Koffsky
Noah loves everything about summer camp -- except swimming. Nothing can get Noah into the pool until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon that will help give other children a chance to attend the camp he loves.
Zishe the Strongman Zishe the Strongman
Author: Robert Rubinstein
Illustrator: Woody Miller
In this story based on the life of Polish strongman Siegmund Breitbart, children are introduced to various kinds of strength, including the gentle strength that comes from kindness.

Looking for Olympic-style sporting events a bit closer to home? Each year, the JCC Maccabi Games are held in North America, representing the second-largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. This year, JCC Maccabi Games will take place in Cherry Hill, NJ, Boca Raton, FL, and Detroit.


If you believe your child some day aspire to be a JCC Maccabi Games athlete, you can learn about the requirements and qualifications. If your family would like to participate in a volunteer capacity, learn about becoming a host family. You may be able to provide room and board for two JCC Maccabi athletes.

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