The greatest sporting spectacle has arrived! This time, the venue is the sunny Rio de Janeiro known for its sunny beaches, the carnival, music, and dance. It was the dream of Pierre de Coubertin, to revive the Modern Olympics. He truly believed that sports could propagate peace and bring nations together. In these troubled times, when war and terror are in every corner of the world, 120 years since the first modern Olympics, we badly need something to hold onto and believe in. And there is no better ideology and event than the Olympics.
We owe it to our children to keep the torch burning. With 206 countries participating, including first-time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan, there is indeed no event like the Olympics. It's time to give cartoons and cricket a break and get the Olympic spirit on. Ok, easier said than done! Now just how do we go about this? Read on for some ideas to get your kids interested in Rio 2016 and also learn while doing so.
1. Trivia Time:
Always wanted to be a quiz master? There is no better time than this. Get the whole family together and organize a quiz with questions like when was the first Olympics held? What is the significance of the logo? When were women allowed to first participate? etc.
2. Art and Craft:
This sporting season is a wonderful time for some colouring and craft ideas. Get children to colour the Rio mascot, make paper torches, flags, paint t-shirts etc. Sure to keep the kids busy.
3. Bedtime Stories:
Looking for new moral and inspiring stories - look no further than the stories of Olympic champions. Be it Jesse Owens, Nadia Comeneci or closer home Mary Kom - their stories will move you and inspire children to craft their own sporting dreams. Search the internet for videos and stories.
If you feel the need to take the Olympics out of your living room, organize a weekend Olympics in your flat, club or community. Get the kids to pick the games, make the medals and of course have a whale of a time participating and having some good sporting fun.
5. Watch and Cheer:
Keep up the enthusiasm by watching and cheering for your home country and favourite teams and players. The children will learn the value of a second and a minute and that nothing can be more dramatic than life itself. Keep some popcorn handy.
6. Life Lessons:
Use the opportunity to teach subtle life lessons about winning and losing. As the Olympics creed goes - "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." Little children hate losing, but perhaps watching the greatest sportspersons lose too will help them have a more balanced approach.