Millions of people around the world are watching the Olympics and likely, in many countries, their athletes are featured in stories. While the encyclopedia says the roots of the Olympics are from ancient Greece, could it be that the Games begin in PLAY?
For athletes, getting to the Olympics has been a journey of hard work and incredible determination, but for each of them, it began as a child playing. The hockey matches start as kids playing with a ball and stick. Perhaps the ski jumpers first jumped up and down on a mat on the floor, then practiced jumping off the door steps to the ground. Skaters probably twirled and spun in kitchens. Not all of the competitors have grown up sliding down hills on pieces of cardboard, sleds, and toboggans, but for many of them, winter has meant all kinds of fun and play in the snow.
As children play, we see them moving their bodies and exploring the different things they can do, like rolling, hopping, jumping, sliding, twirling, pushing, pulling and more. Bodies not only move, they can stay still in a variety of ways and balance on different parts. Bodies can be right side up, or upside down and anywhere in between. Does your child balance on the edges of curbs, jump around the house or yard, and hang upside down off the sofa and chairs?
One of the ancient Greeks, Plato said: Life must be lived as PLAY. (Or is that Playto?) Not just Olympics and sports, the achievements of the world start with play. Bridges? Playing with blocks. Museum paintings? Playing with colors. As you watch and listen to the Olympic coverage today, observe your child too. What might be starting to grow now and over the years as your child plays?