As the 22nd Winter Olympics kick off in Sochi this weekend, there are entertaining ways you can enjoy the experience with the youngest of children. With 98 events in 15 sports there is surely an event you can find to inspire your future Olympiad!
Take the opportunity over the seventeen days the Olympics will be aired on NBC to reach out to your child about various topics and issues surrounding the events. Now, think like a child, or better yet, ask them what they are thinking as you are viewing. You can also bring up points such as people from different countries having different appearances and languages. Use these observations as teachable moments. You might discuss, depending on your child's age, how some countries do not always get along, but the Olympics have always been a timeless unification of the world. As you watch, have a globe or map handy. When a country is introduced, let your child find it. Talk about characteristics unique to that location. Pull out your phone or tablet and put it to use to find this information together.
And what about the athletes? Many become household names like Mary Lou Retton, Greg Louganis and Michael Phelps. If any certain athletes stir your child's interest, look them up! Find out how the athletes worked their way into the games. Ask your child if there is an event they would participate in if given the chance. How would you get started in that sport? Or be creative, and create an imaginary event and act it out.
Out of the 98 events there really are not any bad ones to watch, but these could definitely be recommended for kids:
-Snowboarding: Shaun White is a famous name that many eyes will want to see. Perhaps children will already have an interest because his name adorns their clothing. No matter the connection, this is always a thrilling spectator event.
-Figure Skating: the always popular event is enhanced this year with team events
-Skiing: there are several varieties including freestyle, downhill and jumps which add the excitement young ones crave.
-Luge: watching humans go flying through a tunnel at speeds up to nearly 90 mph would thrill anyone! And to really get them interested, let them know that Indiana has something similar. Pokagon State Park has a toboggan run that can make them feel like a winter athlete! It has a 30 ft tower with dips and valleys making it about a 90 ft long ride with a recorded speed of 42 mph!
Regardless of the events you choose to watch, make it an experience with your family. You can find the entire schedule of events here. Go Team USA!