Let the excitement of the 2018 Winter Games in distant Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25, I know that it’s made me really want to hit the slopes and plan a lovely winter holiday for next year. I’m sure the kids will love it and my partner will want to look for new mens snowboard boots because his current ones haven’t been used in years! With all the planning needed for a holiday, it’s not realistic that we’ll be holidaying this year so you’ll need some activities to keep your kids engaged with the Olympics.
The weeks of daily television coverage that follow the pageantry of the opening ceremony bring opportunities for your family to learn and have fun together watching the competition. Here are some teachable and inspirational moments the games can provide as you and your kids cheer for your favorite athletes.
WATCH AND LEARN
Devote a family bulletin board (or use a large piece of poster board) to the Olympic Games. Hang it in your kitchen or in a place where you come and go. Help your children find, cut out and display newspaper, magazine or printed online articles of athletes they are rooting for and admire. They might even be your hometown favorites.
To add to the spirit of the games, make a chart with their favorite athlete’s names, nationalities and sports. Note achievements as the games progress.
The Olympics are also a great tool for teaching kids global geography. You might hang a world map near your television or computer to locate continents, countries and cities.
NEVER GIVE UP
The skills and stories of hard work, courage and persistence of thousands of athletes worldwide are inspiring. When they tumble and fall, they get back up and keep on going, teaching those of us at home to strive to do our best. And remember, despite their talent, even the best trained athletes still make mistakes and only a small percentage actually win a medal.
Ask your children what personal characteristics they think led to the success of the athletes you watch. Then talk about the sports they enjoy in their lives and the challenges and feelings of accomplishment they experience on the ice, in a gym or snowboarding down a hill.
BRING HOME THE SPIRIT OF THE GAMES
Encourage a spirit of cooperation when engaging in your own family projects, sports and games. Winning certainly is fun, but encouraging and supporting others can be even more enjoyable. If you’re playing board games, tackling a household chore or if you’re inspired to try an Olympic sport like ice skating or skiing, aim toward challenging one another in a cooperative spirit.