During the summer Olympics in 2012 our family engaged with the games by each selecting countries other than the U.S.A. to root for and to learn about. (The family collectively roots for the USA, as all good Americans should!) You can see our posts from last games here: Celebrating the Olympics with Kids: 1, Celebrating the Olympics with Kids: 2. We explore countries by looking at maps, reading books about them, and by making ethnic meals to share together as a family. (All this aside from watching the games, of course!)
Again, each of us has chosen our individual countries to root for. Each kid has to make and color their own country's flag and we post them on the wall along with "score cards" to keep track of medals won.
- Bookworm1 chose China.
- Bookworm2 chose Great Britain.
- Bookworm3 chose S. Korea.
- Daddy chose Norway.
Speaking of Norway, here is their men's curling team uniform if you haven't yet seen it:
I chose Canada because I've always chosen Canada for as long as I can remember. (Do you know why?) Here is a picture of me with my flag:
This year we've upped the ante a bit with our personal Olympic competition. We invited 15 family and friends to join in with us in our own games. Each was to chose a country (that we had not already chosen) and make a flag and mail it to us. We have a wall for their flags which is currently being decorated (I'll show a picture of it later).
The family member within our household whose country wins the most medals gets to choose which restaurant we will go and eat at, and the movie we will watch for a family night.
The family/friend whose country wins the most medals will win $10 which we will mail to them. In this way, our kids are feeling a connection with other relatives and friends who are "playing" with us in our own Olympic games. Their pictures are on our walls alongside their flags. Bonus: we are learning about their chosen flags and countries as well! It's a great game for geography!
We've also already begun eating our way around the world in preparation for the games. For example, here are a few meals we've eaten as we've been talking about our countries:
- Bangers and mash (England)
- Fried rice and egg rolls (China)
- Sloppy Joes (America)
It has been a lot of fun to do this together as a family and gives us something to focus on and be excited about during these (sometimes dreary) winter months. (As I'm typing this, I'm looking out the window and watching more snow fall on top of the 7" we already measured!)
Are you and your family watching the games? If you want to choose a country now and start exploring it alongside us, let me know which one you will be rooting for! It would be fun to keep tabs. I'll be posting more of our Olympic-themed activities as the month progresses. In the meantime . . .