5 Points to Help Explain The #Olympics To Your Kids

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The above photo was taken in 2009. It’s a photo of me and my girls holding a real Olympic torch at playgroup.

With the London 2012 Olympics in full swing, you may have already been watching it with your children, or perhaps not. Maybe you thought your children were too young to care or understand, or you weren’t sure how to explain it to them.

I think a child as young as 3 can understand the very basics and should be told about the Olympics. They probably won’t remember what you said when the next Olympics come around so you’ll have to explain some things over and over again as they get older, that is how children learn (repetition.)

Depending on your child’s age, more explanation may be needed in each section. My girls are six and five and I added explanations for athlete (someone who does a sport) and compete (go against each other to see who is better at the sport,) etc…

There are lots of children’s books about olympics that may help too.

5 Points About the Olympics

1. The Olympics is when athletes from around the world compete against each other to see who is the best at each sport.

I pointed out the country each person was from while we watched and explained things. I pointed out that although each athlete does different sports than other people in the same country, they are all considered a team. e.g. Team Canada, Team USA and that they want to see others from their country do well.


 2.  The Olympics is for the absolute best athletes.

I made sure they understood that these people have been training for years and that they must practice their sport many time a week at least to get this good. Since we were watching Gymnastics at the time, I pointed out that if they took a class in Gymnastics, they would go once a week and learn the very basics but if they really liked the sport and were good at it and wanted to one day be on the Olympics, they would have to take classes more often and practice all the time for years.

3. The Olympics is held every 4 years in a different country but there is two types of Olympics (Summer and Winter) and they alternate so there is an Olympics every 2 years

I had a little trouble explaining this one but eventually hit it on the head when I said that this is the Summer Olympics, in two years will be a Winter Olympics, then two years another Summer Olympics, then two more years a Winter Olympics, etc. Also explain that there are different sports in the Summer and Winter.

4. The Olympics have been around for many, many years.

The Olympics games were around back in Ancient Greece and in the last 1700s they were emulated and they eventually morphed into the ones we have today.

5. There are rules and judges and awards for the top three places.

Your children may ask things such as why do the swimmers wear swim caps and why are the runners all wearing the same shoes or why do they have numbers on their shirts. I explained that each sport has it’s own rules and the judges are watching the athletes and making sure they follow the rules and do what they are supposed to be. Especially for sports where you are given a score (Gymnastics.) I explained that if they fall or their feet touch the ground in some cases, points are taken off.  I explained that the top three athletes receive medals in this order: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

So tell me, are your children watching the games? Did you have to explain anything to them about it? Did you cover the top five above? What would you add as #6?

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