Friday, February 12, 2010

Go for the Gold! Winter Olympics Crafts, Recipes and Printables.

Set the stage for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. 
Celebrate the opening ceremonies tonight!  
This is a great opportunity to teach your children about different countries, cultures and sports.  
Go for the gold with these simple crafts and activities. 

My son proudly displaying his torch and Olympic coloring pages.

Olympic Torch Craft
The Olympic flame was first used over 2700 years ago in Greece.  Every four years, a flame was lit for the Olympics, and it burned throughout the games. It symbolized the death and rebirth of Greek heroes.  The first torch relay took place at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany.  For each Olympics, a new flame is started in the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Elis, Greece.  This flame begins its Olympic Torch Relay by touring Greece. Then, it is taken to the country where the games will be held. The last runner lights the large Olympic torch which burns throughout the games. The flame is extinguished during the closing ceremony.

You will need:
1 paper towel roll
Paint or crayons to decorate paper towel roll
Red, orange or yellow tissue paper

Decorate the paper towel roll with crayons or paint... depending on how creative and messy you want to be!  Then, cut jagged "flames" at the top of the tissue paper.  Lay each piece of tissue paper down on top of each other. Loosely roll the tissue at the base.  Gather in together at the bottom, stuff into the top of the paper towel roll, and let the flames come out of top. 

Printable Links:

The official web site of the 2010 Winter Olympics is

Here are other links for activities and coloring pages:

Nanaimo Bars
Recipe courtesy of

Cozy up tonight with hot chocolate and a Canadian recipe favorite, Nanaimo Bars.

Stir the following ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside:
One box of crumbled graham crackers
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped nuts (Walnuts, almonds or pecans)

Melt the following ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water:

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa
Add: 2 large eggs, beaten

Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until mixture reaches 160 degrees.
Immediately pour over graham cracker mixture and blend thoroughly.
(Once the mixture has cooled, you may use your hands.)
Sprinkle evenly into a 12 by 18-inch jellyroll or half-sheet pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and, using the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup, press firmly into an even layer.

Beat the following ingredients with an electric mixer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Whisk the following ingredients together until dissolved:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vanilla instant pudding powder

Add to butter mixture and beat 1 to 2 minutes.
Spread in an even layer over graham cracker mixture and refrigerate.

In the top of a double boiler over medium heat, stir the following ingredients until melted and smooth:
12 ounces (about 2 cups) finely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cool until just barely warm but still liquid, and pour over vanilla buttercream mixture.
Spread evenly and smooth the surface.
Refrigerate until chocolate topping is firm, then cut.

Cut into the shape of Olympic rings or purchase cookie cutters at Ann Clark Ltd. ($3.99)

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