Friday, August 03, 2012

Celebrating the Olympics with Kids : 1

Hopefully Friday will be our day around here to discuss the Olympics. At least, for the next few weeks.

We've been having a lot of fun following along with the games. Of course, being three and five years old doesn't leave you with an everlasting attention span, but I leave the games up and running on our computer screen and the boys will pop over and see which country is being represented and who is winning.

As I mentioned the other day, we've been using the Barefoot Book World Atlas to learn some geography while watching. (Speaking of which, the winner for the giveaway of the Book and iPad app at Reading to Know is #3 - Sherry at Semicolon! The rest of you have a second chance to win the same set over at 5 Minutes for Mom, where I posted an identical contest.)

One thing we have done specifically, as part of our game experience, is to choose our own teams - aside from the good ol' U.S. of A. of course! - to root for. We looked up the flags for said countries and drew/colored them appropriately and have a running tally to see which country will win the most medals. (My mother used to do this with our family growing up and I always thought it made the games more interesting. Time to pass along the tradition!)

(You can check the medal count for all of the countries by clicking HERE. And go, USA, if I do say so myself!)

Here is a list of the countries we chose to follow apart from the USA and the reasons why:

  • Daddy chose China because he likes watching table tennis and the Chinese perform well in this sport.
  • Mommy chose Canada. Can you guess why!?
  • Bookworm1 choose South Korea, as that is where his brother is from.
  • Bookworm2 choose the Russian Federation because, as we discovered in using the World Atlas iPad App, it is the point of origin for the Trans-Siberian Railroad - the longest railroad in the world.

In drawing and coloring our flags, we also looked up the meaning behind them. (South Korea is the most interesting, in my opinion. Or, perhaps it's just the most difficult to draw.)

I tried to find suitable picture books which would discuss the Olympics in a manner easy to comprehend if you are a little person, but I failed. (If you have a suggestion to make, please do!) Instead I found the Country Explorers series of books on Amazon that looked appealing and have been a huge hit with my boys! I purchased South Korea and Russia in light of the boys' chosen countries, but the series includes a vast number of other countries, of course. Bookworm1 loves to sit and look through the one on South Korea.

This past week has been all about learning the country flags, where various countries are on the map, and familiarizing ourselves with the various sports. So far, Booworm2 favors "diving into the water" and Bookworm1 says he likes fencing. In fact, I had a fencing match playing on screen and Bookworm1 raced into the room where I was to find me. "Mommy!! Korea is playing the US!!!!" Sure enough, he was right! He has been paying close attention to teams and their flags.

Mommy still loves gymnastics best! Thankfully we caught the tail end of the the women's gymnastics competition in which Team USA won and therefore we also got to see a medal ceremony which was way cool.

Basically we're just having fun but we're learning as we go! Can't beat that, right?

I'll share more about what we're doing next week. Are you and yours enjoying the games?


Diary of an Autodidact said...

The whole concept sounds like fun!

*carrie* said...

Great ideas, Carrie.

We've been watching a lot, but not really doing anything beyond that. =)

Barbara H. said...

Sounds like a great way to participate in them!

My youngest (18) hasn't been much interested in them. I don't know if the older two are watching where they are. We've just caught the evening coverage. Gymnastics is my favorite, too.

Annette W. said...

I love how they (and you, Anne lover) chose the countries. We had the chance to watch a good bit this weekend and really enjoyed!

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