Watching the Summer Games with your daughter can be a fun bonding activity with many teachable moments. Here are some of our favorite ideas for enjoying the Games with your daughter.
Bonding over the Summer Games
Talk about training
Before the Summer Games begin, learn more about Team USA on the official website and their Facebook page. Show your daughter how the athletes are preparing for the Games. Talk about the benefits of hard work and dedication, the importance of good sportsmanship, teamwork and other attributes of our top athletes.
Throughout the two weeks that you are watching the Summer Games, celebrate different countries and cultures. Research online and check out books from the library about the different countries as well. Learn about what it's like to be a girl in those counries. What's a school day like? What foods are popular? What music do they listen to there? It will be fun to find out! Use the free Olympics printables below to record the facts about each country you research.
Create a dream team
Let your daughter pick her own dream team of female athletes. Print out their pictures from the internet and then glue each to a piece of poster board. Throughout the Games, you can keep track of their events, statistics, medal count with our free printable medal tracker and more. It's a fun way to teach your daughter about researching online and she can update the medal count and other information on the poster board each day.
Stage "Games" of your own
Host a mini version of the Summer Games in your own backyard. Invite a few of your daughter's friends over and have them compete in different activities. You can hold swimming events and track and field races. Create fun obstacle courses and other outdoor games. This is a great way to instill a sense of competition in your daughter, while also teaching her how to be a gracious winner and loser. Each girl can use our free printable create-a-country coloring sheet to invent her own country to represent in the Games.
Learn how to make your own medals out of paper and check out our favorite Pinterest crafts to celebrate the summer games.
Carve out TV time together
Rent a movie
Get excited about the Summer Games by watching Games-themed movies on DVD. There are a lot of great movies with similar themes of overcoming hardships through sports, such as An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars.This family-friendly flick follows American Girl McKenna as she tries out for her local gymnastics team and encounters some pitfalls along the way.
Another DVD to check out is Discover the Summer Olympics with Cecile & Pepo. This movie is great for little ones to begin learning about the Summer Games. It mixes animation with real action footage of some of the best athletes in the world. Also don't miss Nadia. This film recounts the story of gymnast Nadia Comaneci from her childhood in Romania to her rise to become one of the best gymanasts in the world. Nadia was the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in a gymnastic event at the Games. Every young girl needs to watch National Velvet at least once. This classic 1944 film stars Mickey Roone, a young Elizabeth Taylor as 12-year-old Velvet Brown, and of course, the horse Mr. Pie.
Watch the opening ceremonies
The grandeur of the opening ceremonies is a fabulous way to capture your daughter's interest. Sit down together and watch the show. Talk about her favorite sports, the different athletes, the numerous events and the various countries.
Encourage and teach
Quick tip: Review your cable guide and find out when to watch. Plan out a viewing strategy with your daughter so that she can see her favorite sports and athletes perform. Because the Summer Games are in London, be sure to record all her favorites so you can watch them together when it's a convenient time for your family.
The Summer Games aren't all about winning and glory. Talk to your daughter about how training and competing takes a lot of dedication and perseverance -- no matter if you win or lose. Encourage your daughter during the Games when one of her dream team athletes fails. Talk about losing with grace and how the athletes can continue to strive for their goals, and come back to compete in another four years.
Watching the Summer Games with your daughter can be very fun and beneficial for both of you. Plan ahead and talk about the Games in the weeks leading up to the competitions, then sit down in front of the TV and enjoy the events together.
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