With tomorrow’s opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, kids and adults alike seem to be suffering from a serious case of Olympic fever! I know I can hardly wait to cheer on the U.S. athletes. But until then, why not use the momentum of the media craze to motivate your young sports enthusiasts for energetic learning? Here are some great ideas and links to help your family get ready for the games and learn about jolly old England, too!
- Learn how the Olympics got started in ancient Greece. The games and the awards were a lot different back then. Maybe your kids would enjoy staging their own “chariot race” with wheelbarrows, or making “laurel wreaths” from construction paper or craft foam.
- Find out about your favorite Olympic athletes, past and present! You’ll learn how many medals they’ve won, see videos of champions in action, and more! There’s a cool fact sheet about this year’s U.S. Olympic team, too.
- Take a virtual trip around the world! Use this list of locations where the Olympics have been held, and brush up on geography by finding these places on a globe or map. You can also hunt for fun facts about each Olympic celebration. Did you know that some cities create Olympic mascots? Which one is your favorite?
- After brushing up on Olympics knowledge, have your kids test their wits by trying Connections Academy’s Olympic-themed Quiz Bowl, part of our Summer Connections program designed to keep students involved in learning over the summer. Will they learn enough to “win” a gold medal in brain power?
- Explore highlights of the British Museum by visiting the History of the World in 100 Objects exhibit online! If you have a young history buff at home, you may also want to listen to the podcasts about each of the artifacts.
- With the upcoming elections in the news, your kids may be curious about politics. Find out how the United Kingdom’s government works, then help your kids understand how it differs from ours. Be sure to visit the British Parliament’s website for fun and educational games for kids, too.
- Tour the online collection at the Tate Museum and see precious works of international art. There’s also a fun-filled children’s site with clever craft ideas and games.
- Fuel your family’s imagination with a virtual trip to the Tower of London and its extensive collection of suits of armor! Encourage your young knights to construct and decorate their own helmets, lances, and shields from cardboard, papier-mâché, or found objects!
And, naturally, you’ll want to finish up your Olympics countdown by making posters to wave or by designing red, white, and blue outfits to wear while watching your favorite U.S. athletes compete! Enjoy the games!
How has your family been preparing for the games? If you have any fun and creative ideas for celebrating your family’s Olympic pride, please share them in the comments below.