I have always loved the Olympics. I remember looking forward to them as a kid and imitating the athletes just like my girls are doing now. Not only a sports event, it is an age old, cultural phenomenon, introducing and opening the doors of other cultures to participants and viewers.
Yet faster than Michael Phelps in the pool, they will now be over. If you revel in the pomp, circumstance, and cultural aspects of the games like I do, there are ways in which you can impart lots of lessons about the Olympics. First off, teach them what the Olympic are all about. The book Olympics, by Elizabeth Kennedy explains the Olympic’s origins; discusses both the winter and summer Olympics; goes behind the scenes to look at the preparations that go into the Olympics; examines the athletes’ experiences; and explores the meaning of Olympic symbols, rituals, and competition and winning.
Secondly, help your child get to know more about the host country. Let them google information about England. Short of being there, such websites as ‘Time for Kids’ and the BBC news can give children a first- hand feel for England and the Olympic events. . Not only will they learn about the games, they will learn from an English person’s point of view. Perhaps your child would also enjoy learning about them through the Time for Kids website. Familiar to many kids who receive the print edition in school, its Olympic site delves into all aspect of the Olympics that a young reader might be interested in exploring, from gymnast hopefuls and BMX cycling to information about London and statistics on the games. Another way you can bring home the Olympic feeling is through Olympic inspired arts and crafts. Such websites as activityvillage.co.uk offer fun and user friendly craft, game, and party ideas for young Olympic fans. Lastly, consider having your own Olympic games. From family swimming events to relay races, everyone can get into the spirit of the games, by doing physical activities together. Putting an Olympic spin on it will just make it more fun!