Can a sporting event be educational? Like most activities, if you refuse to just allow your child to be a passive observer, any event can be educational. Take the time to teach your child the rules of the game, and explain why those rules exist. Discuss the origins of the game, and ask what your child thinks of the players. If you’re out with a younger child, you can do simple math with scoring. “What will the score be if the Bills score a field goal?” “How many more goals do the Sabres need to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning?” This type of math requires your child to have basic sports knowledge (how many points are a field goal worth?), which may engage students who do not typically enjoy math. You can also find books for your child that deal with their favorite sports. Biographies of famous athletes can be a great inspirational reading choice for reluctant readers.
Understanding sports is also cultural capital, which will help your child to bond with other people in society. Even if your child isn’t totally obsessed with sports, having a basic knowledge of the game helps to facilitate conversations. If you don’t want to support the major leagues, a great alternative can be local teams. Tickets are more reasonable, the stadiums are typically smaller, and there tends to be less fan-aticism.
What are other ways you’ve found to make sporting events educational?