Thursday 16 July 2020

British Museum - Family activities from the Museum | Olympics

Ancient Greek cup with wrestlers on the side
This week the Schools and Young Audiences team at the Museum will be bringing you ideas to play, design and more for so you can #MuseumFromHome.

This week we are exploring the Olympics! 


Silver Olympic prize medal, 1948

Create your own Olympic medal


Materials: paper, pens/pencils, foil, scissors, string or thread

The ancient Greeks would give winners crowns of wild olives, but now we give out medals.

Create and design your own medal to be given at the end of your games. On a piece of paper draw a circle around a cup. In the circle draw out your design. Colour it in or stick foil on to it to give it a shine. Carefully cut your medal out and put a hole in the top and tread it through with string. Tie the piece of string together and you have your medal for the winner of your Olympic Games.  

Explore the collection for more examples of medals!
Explore now


Four runners on ancient Greek pottery

Create your own Olympic games


Materials: household objects

The Museum has many examples of Greek vases showing the ancient Olympic Games. The ancient Greek city states would come together at Olympia and host a series of events such as running, discus throwing and wrestling. The Games at Olympia were the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games, first staged in Athens in 1896.

Can you create your own series of challenges and games? Why not have a star jump competition, or a running race? If you have a hula hoop how long can you keep it spinning? Can you create your own hurdles out of soft toys to jump over?

Explore our resource for more information on the ancient Olympics!
Explore now


Bronze figure of a running girl, Greece 500BC

The Marathon's ancient origins


Although never part of the ancient Olympic games, it's now a major part of the modern sporting event.

Read our blog post as former curator Judith Swaddling uncovers the ancient origins of the long-distance endurance race, revealing the original 'marathon runner'.
Read now