Learning Flags for the Summer Games {Free Printable}

Updated May 2024

12 printed cards laid out on a table, including flags of France, Great Britain, South Korea, United States, Netherlands, Brazil, and Germany. Title overlay: "Learn the Flags of the Summer Games" and "Free Printable"

When I think about the Olympics, one of the things I think about (besides the latest news headlines) is all the flags from countries around the world. I think about the beautiful athletes marching in with their national flags. I imagine the flags on the scoreboards and at the medal ceremonies.

two hands holding up small flags on sticks to celebrate the Olympics

The Olympics seems like the perfect opportunity to teach my kids about flags, and how to identify some of them.

First, though, I have to admit something embarrassing.

I can’t identify international flags very well. I know the biggest ones, but there are plenty of medium-sized ones that I confuse.

Well, it’s time to learn them right along with my kids, and in time for the Summer Games.

I pulled up the top 15 countries in terms of medal count from the last Olympics, and made game cards out of those countries’ flags. (Update: I first wrote this post in 2016, but I have updated the countries included based on which ones had the top medal count in the 2020 Summer Games and will participate under their own flag in 2024.)

12 printed cards laid out on a table, representing some of the top Olympic - medal-winning countries (this is a square version of the same image)

Games for Learning Flags

To play, print the Olympic flags game cards on card stock and cut apart. Notice that one of the pages of flags has the country names printed below the flags, and the other doesn’t. Begin with the labeled flags, and then when the kids are ready, increase the difficulty by switching to the unlabeled flags.

You can play with the cards in several ways:

  • Match country names to the names on the flag cards
  • Match the flags to their countries on a world map
A child's hands holding matched cards with Great Britain flag and the words "Great Britain", with other cards of Olympic competitor's flags shown around it.
This is the old version of the cards. The new one is a little prettier!
  • Turn the cards face down and play concentration – choose 2 types of cards to match.
  • Deal each child 4 cards face up in front of him. Then, kids take turns drawing cards. If the drawn card matches, the player turns the pair face down. Play continues until one player has 4 sets of face down pairs.

I was surprised by how interested all 3 kids were in these flag cards. They’ll be ready to follow along when the summer games begin. So will I.

Flags | Olympics | Kids Geography | This is a fun way to get ready for the summer Olympics! It's a free printable for kids to learn to identify flags.

This post is part of the KCAdventures 50+ Olympic Activities for Kids event. Be sure to check it out for even more Olympic-related ideas for children.

Olympics Activities

7 Comments

  1. Great information as the children will be seeing the flags over and over — repitition is the key to learning. And the engagement with the games will make it so memorable. I might have missed this opportunity, thank you.

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. Yes, I agree the Olympics really will make the flags more interesting and memorable.

  2. Pingback: Olympic Fever – Claires Neighborhood

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