So as you all know the Olympics are starting this Thursday and we are so excited! My family has always been into watching as much of the Olympics as possible. We are pretty much glued to the TV for those two weeks! Since my kids are starting to get a little bit bigger, we have been talking about ways to get the whole family involved. There are so many amazing lessons you can teach your children that are directly related to the Olympics. This is such a great time to teach in the home! So here are 10 ways to teach, celebrate, and have fun as a family over the next couple of weeks while we all enjoy the great Olympic games!
1. How did the Olympics come about? Research out how the games were started, where they were, and what games were around from the beginning. Talk about amazing moments throughout the history of the Olympics. Here is a link that can help you find some amazing Olympic stories. The top 100 moments in Olympic History.
2. Learn all about the different sports that are played during the winter games. Did you know that the athletes can go up around 80 mph on the luge??? Isn’t that amazing! And do you know what curling is? There are so many fun different games that are played. You can find out about every sport played in the winter Olympics at Olympic.org just click on the sports tab.
3. Read up on Russia where the Olympics will be held as well as other countries that will be competing. One thing we like to do is focus on a different country every day. We look at pictures, learn some fun facts about that country, and look on a map to see where it is. This is such a fun time to teach your children about other cultures around the world and then let them watch those countries compete.
Here are some different places in Sochi, Russia
4. It’s all about the food! If you are really brave, try cooking some traditional foods from the other countries you are talking and learning about. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a traditional Russian dinner on the night of the opening ceremonies?! But if you aren’t that brave (or have picky eaters like me) there are so many fun foods and desserts you can make that are fun for the Olympics. Here are some of my favorites:
5. Play Olympic Bingo! Give everyone in the family a card and as you sit down together to watch the games, you know those kiddo’s will be listening for those words so they can get their bingo! This is just a fun way to watch the games together and make it even more exciting. Here is an example of a bingo card, but you can change or add any words on your own cards.
6. Learn the rules and scoring for your favorite sports. It’s always fun to know what the judges are looking for and scoring on. If you know the process, it is fun to watch for those things and see how you would judge the competitors. click here for a list of different sports and there scoring process.
7. Talk about the gold, silver and bronze medals. Pick the top five countries and keep track of how many medals they have received over the span of the Olympic games. See who comes out with the most of each medals.
8. Design your own family flag! Talk to your children about our countries flag and that every country has a flag. Then talk about the different things that makes your family special and design your own family flag that resembles those things. This is also a great time to talk about unity as a country and a family.
Here are a few ideas on creating a family flag
9. Have your own Olympic party. There are so many fun games you can set up and let the kids play. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t play those games inside! Did you know if you step on a piece of wax paper you can slide around on most hard surface floors and “ice skate”. Or grab some small dust pan brooms at the dollar store and let the kids play a game of curling. Design gold medals and pass them out as the kids compete in the games.
10. This is probably one of my favorite ideas. This is such a great time to talk to your kids about making and setting goals and what happens when we work hard to achieve our goals. Talk about how every athlete that they see has worked very hard for a very long time to get to the Olympics and that it was not easy. Any time there is something in our lives that we really want, we have to work hard to get it. Along with this you can also talk about failing. Even though we work hard on something, doesn’t always mean we will “win the gold” but that doesn’t mean you are a failure. Click here to watch a great video from Studio 5 where Matt Townsend talks about life lessons you can learn from the Olympics.