27 Jan
Posted in: projects
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2014 Winter Olympics Family Fun

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia open on Feb. 7. We are an Olympics-watching family. We will watch whatever sport is on the television, whether or not we understand what’s happening or not. Our knowledge of winter athletics will triple during those two weeks of February. The Olympics is a wonderful motivator for me to teach our children about other countries. We research the host country as a family to find out several items:

  • population
  • leaders
  • type of government
  • famous citizens
  • famous books/fairytales
  • economic facts
  • language
  • geographic information
  • currency
  • food
  • national anthem
  • flag

We’ll figure out how far Sochi is from Wyoming, how we could get there and how much it would cost to travel. I’ve been researching Russian food recipes and one evening we’ll have a Russian-influenced meal. We’ll watch the opening ceremony together as if it were a family movie night. Inevitably, the kids find their favorite athletes and want to learn more about them. We also will find ourselves researching different sports to understand the rules of what we’re watching.

full look Olympic medal chart

As a fun activity for our family, we put the names of eight top medal-winning countries from past Winter Olympics, not including the United States, into a hat. Everyone drew out one piece of paper. That country becomes your country for the duration of the Olympics. We have a medal count chart hanging in the dining room listing our six selected countries. Each night, we’ll update the medal count with tally marks. At the end of the Winter Olympics, the country (person) with the most total medals earns the privilege of picking where our family should eat out for dinner. We did this activity for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and everyone enjoyed “competing” with each other. We also take time to discover basic information on our picked countries.

Olympic medal chart

The official website for the 2014 Winter Olympics has a ridiculous amount of information on it. Included is a countdown, videos on loads of different sports, a look at the medals, mascots and articles on athletes. My favorite article (so far) is about a couple of Russian cosmonauts who took the Olympic torch on a spacewalk as part of the torch relay. My adventure-seeking boys will love that article.

I look forward to the Olympics (winter or summer) because of the competition as well as the stories behind the athletes. The Jamaican bobsled team trains in Evanston, WY, which makes them a favorite for us, next to the USA team, of course. The Olympic games are the perfect opportunity to make the world smaller for my children. It’s a fantastic reason to explore other nations and teach children about the people of this world.

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  • Wahoo! I was hoping you would do a post about your Olympics fun:) Consider February’s curriculum built:) Love you!

    • Glad to have helped 🙂