Rio 2016 Olympics

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By Judith Harries

In just a couple of months, the 2016 Olympic Games will start in Rio, Brazil. Why not organise a special Brazil Day in your setting to let the children experience some sights and sounds of this wonderful country?

Rio Olympics

The Olympic opening ceremony, full of colour, fun and music, will take place on Friday 5th August at the Maracana stadium in Rio, followed by three weeks of exciting sport events. The Paralympic games will be held in the following month from 7th–18th September, also in Rio. There are lots of activities inspired by the Olympics and by the host country Brazil to try out here.

A day in Brazil

  • Introduce the idea of ‘A Day in Brazil’ by talking to the children about the Olympics being hosted in lots of different cities (last time it was London) and explain that the 2016 Games are to be held in Rio, Brazil.
  • What do they already know about Rio? Have any of them seen the animated films Rio or Rio2?
  • Watch a few clips online and enjoy the samba music that fills the soundtrack.
  • Show the children where Brazil is on a world map or globe.
  • Learn some facts and stories about Brazil.
  • Watch some clips of the famous Rio Carnival on Youtube.
  • Share some tasty Brazilian food.

Invite friends and families to come and share the fun with you. Many of the following activities could be shared on the day.

Tropical fruits

  • A popular choice of food for breakfast in Brazil is tropical fruit.
  • Organise a second breakfast when the children arrive at your setting by making a tropical fruit salad.
  • Provide a selection of tropical fruits such as banana, papaya, mango, passion fruit, pineapple and guava. Let the children handle them and learn their names.
  • Chop and peel as necessary and encourage the children to try the new tastes.
  • Which one do they like the best?
Tropical fruits poster


Try making some of these Brazilian chocolate fudge balls. They are very sweet and popular with children! It’s probably best if you make the mixture beforehand at home and chill it overnight so the children can be involved in shaping and decorating them the next day.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a heavy pan, with a 400g can of sweetened condensed milk, 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring it to the boil, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
  • Lower the heat and and cook for about 10 minutes, still stirring until the mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pan.
  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and then tip the dough onto a well-buttered plate.
  • Leave in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Make sure that the children wash their hands and then let them pinch off some of the dough and roll it quickly into 2cm balls.
  • Provide a choice of decorations to roll the dough balls in, such as chocolate hundreds and thousands or desiccated coconut.
  • Place the finished ‘brigadeiros’ on a tray lined with baking paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before sharing.
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