I have always loved the Summer Games and have probably watched them more than the Winter Games. The opening ceremonies are my favorite part of any games because they are big, full of fun, and highlight the hosting country.
Growing up watching the Games was never a big deal; but now as an adult, I find myself drawn to it more each year because I understand them more. Yes, they are designed to give athletes a chance to compete on the world’s stage after years of training and preparation. But honestly, they are much more than that, and I want our family to experience that together. The Games are a time every two years where the world stops what it is doing and watches. Televisions worldwide are tuned into one place, watching athletes march under their country’s flags, side by side with other countries, and it is amazing.
Experiencing the Summer Games now through my son’s eyes is amazing, especially now that he knows which country his ancestors are from. I want him to love traveling as much as I do and I want him to know the excitement of experiencing other cultures, so the Summer Games are a great way to introduce that to him.
How to Enjoy the Summer Games as a Family
There are many ways to enjoy the Games this summer that involve more than just watching in front of a screen. This is a great time to experience new activities, try new foods, and learn about new and exciting places worldwide.
Get A Map
I love to watch the Games’ opening ceremonies and see all the countries come in with their teams and their flags. Each time I watch one of the ceremonies, I see new countries and see their flags. I am always amazed at how many countries there are in this world.
One way to get your whole family engaged at this moment is to get a large wall map, and when each country comes through, mark their country off on that map. You can put a check by it or print off each country’s flag and pin them on the map. When that country enters the ceremonies, you can pin it to the map. Here is a great resource to get clipart of the world’s flags.
Experience a New Activity
The Summer Games are a great time to introduce new activities and sports to your children or teens. Maybe you can turn your backyard into your own Summer Games and activities like the balance bean and track and field events. Hoosier Homemade has great ideas, including making a javelin toss out of pool noodles.
While swimming, soccer, volleyball, and track events are familiar to kids and teens, this is a great time to try something new. Try stick horse races to experience the equestrian world. Get ribbon sticks and have your family create a dance to experience rhythmic gymnastics. Also, ping pong is great family tennis, while sack races are a great way to experience a relay race. Whatever event is happening, find a way for your family to do it together, using what you have around your house. The idea is to try new activities that are happening on the world stage.
Crafts and More
There is no shortage of ways to involve crafts when it comes to the Games. Two of the coolest and more interactive that I have seen are the Lego Game Rings, Salt Dough Medals and Torch. These are pretty easy and will get your kids involved in 3 specific things central to the games, which all countries know.
Try New Foods
One of the coolest things that the Summer Games does is bring countries from around the world together, which is a great time to introduce new foods to the group. You can go to a restaurant that serves Japanese food since the games are being hosted in Tokyo. You can try food from any of the other countries involved or try new recipes at home.
I love to try new recipes at home with my son. Cooking gives us a great break from the heat of theTexas summer and is a screen-free activity. If you have multiple children, let each child pick a country they are interested in learning about and let them pick the recipes to try from there. This exposes them to new foods and helps instill a love of learning about other cultures.
Here is an excellent resource from Bon Voyage with Kids with great recipes and fun ways to engage and learn about other cultures from your house.
Whatever you do to celebrate the Summer Games, have fun seeing the world come together and being a part of that!