What Children Can Learn From Watching the Olympics

2 Aug

We’ve had the Olympics on at our house every single morning and evening. Sure I get Hannah whinging for cartoons (not that we have those on all the time anyway), but it’s the Olympics. As in once every 4 years. Yes, those Olympics. I’m not about to miss them. And now I feel better about having them on every day even while the kids are awake.

This guest post is written by Brianna Kelly and sponsored by www.giraffe.ie.

What Children Can Learn From Watching the Olympics

Children learn best when they are actively engaged in real-life experiences that appeal to their
interests. For this reason, the Olympic games offers an excellent opportunity to teach children
about the many benefits that can be gained from participating in organized sports. Because
the Olympics also include competitors from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, the games
also provide a chance to provide children with exposure to concepts such as geography and
international relations. As the games begin this season, parents are encouraged to watch
alongside their children so that they can draw their attention to the many lessons that can be
learned from watching the Olympics together.

London’s Olympic Park (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Importance of Long Term Goals

Each competitor in the Olympics has trained for many years in order to qualify for the chance
to compete alongside some of the top professionals in their chosen sport. During the Olympics,
there are often segments that are designated for showing a particular competitor’s rise to fame.
Focus on these moments with children, and explain the importance of setting goals that will help
them to achieve their highest potential. Point out that every Olympic competitor once started
out as a beginner and set small goals that eventually led to their success. Children will especially
identify with knowing that many of these participants started training as young children in a sport
that they currently participate in themselves.

Power of Teamwork

The majority of the sporting events in the Olympics are centered upon team sports. Even when
participants are competing in individual competitions, they still represent their home country’s
team. During the Olympics, teammates are often shown high-fiving each other, giving a hug
and pats on the back. Their unified stance towards a common goal is easily recognizable and
inspiring. Children can learn about the power of teamwork as they watch team members pass
each other a ball or offer encouragement when facing a difficulty. Encourage children to notice
these types of moments and explain how when people work together they can achieve any goal.

Cultural Diversity

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Olympics games is how many nations can gather in
one location and put aside their differences while participating in sporting competitions. A great
way to introduce children to cultural diversity is to locate the different countries that competitors
represent on a map. Then, parents can research and discuss with their children some of the
different customs and beliefs of people from that area while comparing and contrasting with the
customs of their own home country. This activity can give children a unique perspective into the
complexities that arise when working with people from other cultures. The unity that is shown
during the Olympics games can also provide a great lesson regarding the similarities that exist
between all people.

Watching the Olympics is an amazing opportunity that only comes once every four years. The
achievements of the individuals that participate in the games can offer many lessons from
which children can learn. Children are naturally attracted to sports and games. Therefore, the
Olympics offer a wonderful chance to explore concepts such as cultural diversity, teamwork and
setting goals. After watching the Olympics together and discussing these ideas, hold a backyard
Olympics celebration and practice putting some of these concepts into action.

About the Author: Brianna Kelly has over 5 years experience publishing articles on childcare
education and parenting. She writes on a regular basis for http://www.giraffe.ie, who have 18 locations based in
Dublin, Ireland.
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