The 2014 Olympic Winter Games are officially open in Sochi, Russia. These Games might be controversial, but the Olympics are also a great way to teach children about the importance of diversity, teamwork and dedication to your passion. (They're also a lot of fun to watch and make for great family viewing.)

Help your kids get in the spirit -- and bring some much-needed cheer to this long and cold winter -- with these 15 Olympic-themed crafts and activities.

15 ways to make the Olympics come alive in your home!

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1. Lego world flags: Do you have a huge bin of Lego lying around? Of course you do! Put it to new use by encouraging your children to learn about the flags of the world by making them out of bricks.

Get the flag instructions here: Teacher Resources for Parents

2. Mogul races: You can have a lot of fun with open space and some masking tape. Here's one example: set up a home mogul race track and let the games begin!

Get the game instructions here: Real Coake

3. Origami Olympic rings: For older children, this activity is a great opportunity to learn about both the meaning of the Olympic rings and the craft of origami.

Get the craft instructions here: Activity Village

4. Flag banner: Here's another craft that celebrates the many nations participating in the Olympic Games. Have your children pick a few favourite flags to recreate, then string them all along a banner to display during the events at Sochi.

Get the craft instructions here: No Time for Flash Cards

5. Score cards: Get the family involved in the scoring! These scorecards will up participation during judged events like slopestyle and figure skating.

Get the craft instructions here: Spoonful

6. Clothespin skiers: These adorable winter athletes are a great craft for older kids to make. Once they're done, they can work on making their own ski slopes to run them down.

Get the craft instructions here: Spoonful

7. Olympic ring stamps: These stamps are easy to make with paper or plastic cups, and a fun activity for even the youngest kids.

Get the craft instructions here: Green Owl Crafts

8. Pipe cleaner boarder: Is there a snowboarding fan in your home? If so, he or she will love making a mini snowboarder out of pipe cleaners and tongue depressors. Encourage them to choose cleaners to make the flag of their favourite boarder's home country.

Get the craft instructions here: Bed Rested Teacher

9. Laurel crowns: Olympic winners in ancient Greece were given laurel crowns. This craft can come along with a fun history lesson about the origins of the modern-day Olympic Games.

Get the craft instructions here: Great Aunt

10. Olympic ring bottle-cap sort: You can use this as a way to teach younger kids their colours, or make it a timed game for older children.

Get the game instructions here: Housing a Forest

11. Tissue paper torch: Teach your children about the symbolism of the Olympic flame while you make these DIY torches together.

Get the craft instructions here: Alpha Mom

12. Rings garland: Decorate your home for the Games with these garlands in the colours of the Olympic rings. This version has a template for printable facts - open a new ring for each day of the Games.

Get the craft instructions here: Housing a Forest

13. Indoor cross-country skiing: Long strips of paper make great substitute skis. Go down to the basement and have a family race!

Get the activity instructions here: Mrs. Bretz Music Room

14. Indoor luge: Take a pool noodle, but it in half, prop the two halves on the stairs or against a chair and you have a luge course! Let your kids run cars or marbles down the track to see who is the fastest!

Get the activity instructions here: My Homespun Threads

15. Paper plate medals: If you're hosting your own Olympic events, you need medals! Make some fun large ones out of paper plates and glitter.

Get the craft instructions here: No Time for Flashcards

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