It’s that time again – the Olympics are rapidly approaching. The London Olympic Games are expected to be viewed by more than 200 million people over the 17-day telecast.
Will you be watching? If so, there are number of ways you can both educate and inspire yourself and your children by watching the Olympics.
Why watch the Olympics with your kids?
The Olympics are about people who sacrifice their whole lives to compete and represent their country on the world stage. Not only does that make for some fine international drama, watching the Olympics with your kids allows the whole family to enjoy something together.
4 Reasons To Watch The Olympics With Your Kids
1. Learn About Teamwork and Sportsmanship
Watching a team sport is the perfect way to show kids that working hard for a common goal is good for the individual and for the team. While they may compete against each other, they still cheer for each other and for their country. Every now and then there are unfortunate examples of how players treat other teammates and competitors poorly. Either way, teamwork and sportsmanship are important lessons for kids to learn, and the Olympics set a wonderful stage for having conversations about this.
2. Find Out About Geography and Culture
The Olympics present opportunities to discuss geography, weather, transportation, food and cultures that are different from your own. Keeping a globe and map handy can highlight where competing countries are located. Here is a world map of the Olympic Cities. This interactive map lets you follow all the action from London.
Next: More lessons from the Olympic sports
3. Learn New Sports
There are so many varieties of sports to choose from. Kids may get inspired to try one when exposed to the various kinds during the Olympics. Years ago, my family visited Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. My daughter, who was a little figure skater at the time the picture above was taken, wanted to try as many Olympic sports as possible. Here she is cruising the luge run.
Here’s a list of some of the 2012 Summer Olympic sports:
4. Learn About Attitudes and Goal Setting
A can-do attitude is infectious and it’s great for building self-esteem. Listening to the stories of the athletes with their tales about the personal hurdles and shortcomings they went through to get to their given Olympic sport, allows kids to see that we all may not be born jumping out of a ski gate, but with perseverance and a can-do attitude, some reach their goal. Check out the stories of the US Olympic team.
5. Learn History
Sharing the history of the Olympics with kids is both educational and inspiring.
Make Olympic Crafts
Kids will enjoy all of the excitement of the games with this round-up of Olympic crafts.
One more reason to watch the Olympics with your kids:
One day your kid will grow up and have dreams of her own. Here’s me taking my Olympic ski run down Whistler Ski Resort a few years ago:
Who knows, maybe your child will reach her/his Olympic dreams. Will you be watching the Olympics?