Olympic Fun That Will Win You The Gold
With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio just a few days away our family is gearing up and definitely getting excited for 17 days of non-stop sports. We have already been watching a few of the Olympic qualifying competitions and we have been blown away at the level of competition. Ever since the Olympics was in our own backyard back in 2002 our family has carried on a couple of fun traditions to help make the Olympic Games a little more exciting as we cheer on Team USA from our family room. I’m excited to share with you some Olympic fun that will win you the gold.
At our house we make the Opening Ceremonies a big deal. Our family loves gathering together on the evening of the opening ceremonies and experiencing the culture of where the games are being held and cheering on the teams as they enter the Olympic Stadium for the first time. While we are watching we also love to get a little taste of the country where the games are being held. When I say taste…that’s exactly what we do…we eat food from that country. In order to do this I have had to do a little prep work or know of a good local restaurant. We have done all sorts of fun things like order takeout from a Chinese restaurant for the Beijing games or have made recipes from scratch. (I just google them). A few years ago we invited our sister-in-law (who is from Russia and also a fellow Mama Bird) to help celebrate the opening ceremonies for the Sochi Olympics with some delicious Russian food she helped prepare. Over the past few weeks my kids have been talking about how excited they are to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies once again as a family. I am working on gathering a few recipe ideas from Brazil and can’t wait to cuddle up for the evening with my family with good food and amazing entertainment.
Another one of our traditions my children have absolutely loved is to help track the road to gold for our USA Olympians. Every evening as the Olympics is wrapping up on national television the overall medal count is announced for that particular day. It is always amazing to watch those tallies come up and to think about the effort, hours, and hard work behind each medal (and also for those who came so close). My kids have loved having a way to track how many medals our United States athletes have earned, so few years ago I came up with a fun little poster they could use to track our road to gold, silver, and bronze. I used a standard sized poster board and some scrapbook paper I had sitting in my craft closet. I also went to the craft store and bought silver, gold, and bronze paper and used a small circle paper punch to cut out the medals. Every night my children update the chart before heading off to bed. It’s usually much later than they should but hey, the Olympics only come around every 2 years…right?
A few years ago I was watching a daytime television show where a woman was being interviewed about watching the Olympics as a family and about using the hours and hours of viewing the Olympics as a teaching time for children. I can’t wait to do this with my family during the coming Olympic Games. There are so many life lessons that can be taught while watching/participating in sports. This lady talked about pausing the TV or taking a few minutes during the commercial breaks to talk about the “life lessons” you are seeing as a family. Some of these life lessons might be: never give up… hard work is worth it… just keep swimming… it’s okay to cry… not everyone wins… successful people have a team of people behind them… get back on the beam… teamwork… there will be hurdles in life… be a good winner and a great loser… it’s better to be kind than to win… and get up every time you fall. This list could go on and on. Take a few minutes to write these lessons down that your family comes up with and place them in an area of your home where people can see them and remember them. It will turn “just watching” the Olympics into a great family experience.
Whether you plan a fun Opening Ceremonies dinner with authentic Brazilian food, find a way to track the medals for your team, or look for “life lessons” while watching the games, I hope you take a night or two (or 17) to watch these amazing athletes from all around the word compete. Adding one or two of these ideas will help you win you the gold in your families eyes!
Check out Mandy’s post on fun ways to get ready for the Olympics here.