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Olympics offer the opportunity for family time fun along with learning life lessons

Updated on August 1, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Story-telling with Olympic adventures

The summer Olympic games kick off in four days, but all Olympic seasons can be enjoyed when children have the opportunity to create their own adventures by telling stories. National Geographic Kids "Funny Fill-In: My Gold Medal Adventure" is an innovative fill-in-the-blank storybook that provides kids with topics, words and phrases, and grammar lessons for writing their own story as a winner in sports that Olympic athletes compete in. Each page features a topic for a sport, blanks with the type of word that should be used (example: Noun, verb, adjective, or descriptive phrase), and other ideas for choosing a word to complete the sentence. Colorful cartoon-like illustrations add to the stories that children write. Each story page also features a Fun Fact about the Olympic games. Did you know that in the ancient gymnastics competitions, gymnasts were required to jump over live bulls? Tennis, swimming, and equestrian events are just a few of the events that are featured for children to create their own gold medal story. "Funny Fill-In: My Gold Medal Adventure" is part of the National Geographic Kids collection and has an ISBN of 978-1-4263-2404-8.

A fun companion book that is also part of the National Geographic Kids sports collection is the "Weird but True! Sports: 300 Wacky Facts About Awesome Athletics". Gymnastics, football, and rock climbing are just a few of the sports that are part of this entertaining sports book for kids. Real-life illustrations are features on each page. Did you know that pigs once participated in the games in Moscow? This fun and informative collection has an ISBN of 978-1-4263-2467-3. Both books can be found at

Story-telling and fun facts collections that feature Olympic event

Story-telling creates children's own gold medal adventures
Story-telling creates children's own gold medal adventures | Source
Fun facts about Olympic events
Fun facts about Olympic events | Source

Life lessons learned from the Olympic games

The Olympic games offer the opportunity for parents to teach valuable life lessons. Family discussions can be sparked while watching the games and children can easily relate the concepts to both winning and losing in the games. Teamwork is a part of most events. Athletes compete together in events that require cooperation with fellow athletes in order to go for the gold. The meaning of teamwork can be carried over to other life events. The concept of good sportsmanship is also a part of teamwork.

Children also learn the meaning of having goals and pursuing a special interest by watching the Olympic games. Parents have the opportunity to learn about their children's goals for their day-to-day-activities and also for future goals by asking open-ended questions about the athletes and what their goals might be. The concept of hard work is also a part of the games. Children can relate to the concept of how hard work produces positive results by seeing that the athletes are rewarded with medals. The concept that one may not always be a winner can also be part of the games.

Diversity in our world is also a life lesson that can be learned by watching the Olympics. Athletes with a diversity of skin color, native dress for opening and closing parades and ceremonies, and each country's flag offer the opportunity for children to see diversity.

Diversity in sports activities for children

Sports skills begin early
Sports skills begin early | Source

Family time comes with watching the Olympics

What are your family's favorite Olympic events?

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Fun facts to learn about the Olympics

Children enjoy learning fun facts about any event that they have the opportunity to watch. Family time while watching the game presents the opportunity to learn these fun facts that can be a part of a quiz game later. Here are just a few for family fun.

1. The first Olympic games were held over 2,7oo years ago to honor the Greek god Zeus.

2. Brazil has won 5 soccer championships, which is more than any other country.

3. The five Olympic rings are representative of the countries of the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe.

4. During the days of the games, more than 10,000 athletes compete for medals.

5. The U.S. has won more medals than any other country.


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