Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Olympics

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love the Olympics and try to catch as much as I can when they are on.  Joy is found in little known facts about previously obscure athletes, a montage of slow motion Olympic moments set to inspirational music, and of course seeing our athletes perform their best.

I have found that watching the Olympics also provides some fun learning tools for kids.  Our excitement for the Games has carried over to E and he has been very interested in watching "our Canadians" (that is a direct quote from him; he was watching and we came back into the room and he says "Guys, our Canadians are doing well!").

There are some good practical lessons to learn while watching the Games:

Geography - We have a globe that we look at to identify which countries are participating.  We can talk about what they do in those countries and what it would be like to travel there.  (And despite Zika, crime, etc., I still really want to visit Rio, it is so beautiful!!)

Flags - Of course the Canadian flag is easy to spot, but E is becoming familiar with some other flags.

Math - Identifying the score and who is leading at any particular time.

Winning and Losing - Not everyone gets to finish first and not everyone gets a medal.  There are disappointments when someone finishes off the podium, while at the same time a 4th place victory is an unexpected amazing finish for someone else. 

Those are the obvious ones, but we also talk about participating in sports and doing your best.  E sees the swimmers putting their faces in the water (something E has been having trouble with lately), how the soccer players dribble and pass the ball, and how in every sport it is vital to pay attention to what you're doing and keep your eye on the ball or finish line. It is easier to show him how these things should be done rather than just telling him.  We want him to be inspired by what he sees on TV and then we hope it translates to the pool, the field or court. 

This Olympics have also been a great time to promote women in sport.  Our Canadian team is about 60% women and our team sports have been dominant - rugby 7s, basketball, soccer, etc.  I want E to grow up taking for granted that women have the same opportunities as men.  It does make for interesting conversations when he sees the women's gymnastics floor routine as more of a dance with music rather than the men's floor routine which is pure power and strength moves.  

No rhythmic gymnastics for men!


  1. We are huge watchers here too! My seven year old is asking if she can start to compete in something with medals foo!

  2. Great lessons! I hadn't really thought of it that way. Enjoy the games.