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Sochi Olympics: 3 kid-friendly activities to celebrate the winter games

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This year Sochi, Russia is hosting the Olympics from February 7th through February 23rd.

Parents can not only watch the winter Olympics on TV with their children, but they can also bring the winter sports to their homes through the following fun activities for kids.

  • Go to your local library and check out books on winter sports and the winter Olympics.

For young children (preschool through grade 2), Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester features tacky the penguin; he reminds readers of the underlying joy and enthusiasm that propels athletes to greatness.

Kids can also look up flags specific to the competing countries to learn more about the origins of the Olympic athletes.

Reading and learning about the winter Olympics and the history of the competing countries will bring the winter games alive for kids.

  • Practice some simple yoga poses to not only have kids use their imagination to act out some of the winter sports, but also to gain appreciation for the training athletes do in preparation for the Olympics.

Focus on having fun with the movements when trying to recreate with kids some of the winter sports through yoga poses.

For example, kids can start in mountain pose (tadasana). Simply have children stand tall, with their hands by their sides and begin to have them focus on their breath.

Mountain pose is the foundation for all standing yoga poses, and kids can learn a lot from breathing quietly in this posture.

Many athletes use deep breathing to ease pre-race jitters and kids can breathe in and out through their nose as they ground themselves in mountain pose. Have children imagine themselves as an Olympic athlete about to start a race.

Another fun Olympic pose for kids to try is the chair posture (utkatasana). Have kids pretend to be skiing down the mountain as they hold this pose. This yoga posture also strengthens children's thighs, which is great for skiing as well.

Yoga helps to boost focus, concentration, balance, strength, coordination and discipline. All of these qualities are essential for Olympic athletes for peak performance.

For more winter Olympics yoga ideas, go to kids yoga stories.

  • Print out coloring book pages with ski and ice-skating themes to spark interest in kids to learn more about these winter Olympic sports.

Cross country skiing and ski jumping are part of the winter Olympics. Click here for a coloring page of these two activities.

Kids know that ice skating is fun. They can not only have fun coloring this page but also go to the library to learn more about the history of this sport, which dates back to Finland.

In sum, learning more about the Olympics can inspire our youth to be the best they can be.

These 3 fun activities give kids a chance to experience the Olympic Games and discover the stamina and courage it takes to become an Olympic athlete.

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