The Olympics Grow From PLAY

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?

children's play and OlympicsFor 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?

Wear Red Day and Other Colors for Olympics

Today is Wear Red Day, reminding us to take care of our hearts as part of good health, and it is also the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics. That seems to be quite fitting, underlining many important reasons for including sports in our lives and our children’s–physical, mental and emotional.

benefits of vigorous physical activity for kindergarten readinessWe all know that physical activity is necessary for healthy bodies. It’s also required for brains. Much of children’s learning and development needs movement to build the pathways for language, math, and other skills. Participating in sports is one way to enjoy vigorous physical activities. Some team sports, such as little kickers soccer, are available for preschool children, but there are different opportunities such as swimming, skating, hiking, and others that support kindergarten readiness. We don’t call Going-To-The-Playground a sport, but for young children, it could be.

Sports help with another connection, that of one heart to another. Even in individual sports, there are ways to get together. Part of the Olympics is certainly getting to meet people from around the world. Many sports teams and athletes mention the role of their fans. In practically any activity, children will be interacting with kids and other adults, learning and practicing social skills. Having a social support group is an essential part of good physical, mental, and emotional health for all of us.

Kids and grownups might be wearing red today or blue, yellow, black, or green, or some variation of them. No matter what color clothes are, for healthy bodies, minds, and hearts, can you include some physical activity time for your child, for fun and learning?

Kindergarten Readiness and Olympic Art

Kindergarten readiness is going to the Olympics in this post with some art fun and learning. Did you notice that art is an element of the games too? There is art in the form of mascots, symbols, murals and logos. The facilities also showcase art in sculptures and displays. Many countries have Houses that visitors can tour and see examples of art and culture. Some of the uniforms worn by the athletes sport beautiful and striking designs. The City of London has a special program of Art in the Park. In addition to drama and presentation, the Opening and Closing ceremonies are creations of visual art.

fishies with helmets on skateboards

Using whatever materials you have at home and your child enjoys, encourage some art time. Maybe coloring on the sidewalk, painting on paper or big cardboard boxes, or sculpting with paydough. Glue and sparkles make explosions of color like fireworks. Drawing, coloring, cutting, pasting are also ways to create some art and stimulate imaginations. Display it in your House. Art you and child having fun?

Kindergarten Readiness And Olympic Numbers

Today, kindergarten readiness goes to the Olympics for some number fun and learning. The Olympics may be the sporting event of the world but would it be possible without math? Scores, measurements, time, laps, points – it all needs math. No matter if your child already knows numbers or not, all kids can benefit by … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness And Olympic Numbers

Kindergarten Readiness and Olympic Colors

In many homes, since the tv is on and families are watching the Olympics, parents can take advantage of the fun for some kindergarten readiness learning. Part of appeal is all the bright colors of the athletes, special decorations and each country’s flag. Learning colors is an important skill for young children. Before children can … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness and Olympic Colors

Kindergarten Readiness and Importance of Values

For some reason, academic preparation for kindergarten readiness seems to grab the spotlight and dominate the podium. There are other aspects, such as physical development and social and emotional growth too. Some aspects just don’t seem to get any air time at all. One of these is values. Throughout the Olympics, there have been many … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness and Importance of Values

Kindergarten Readiness – Root Of Olympics is PLAY

The Olympics and kindergarten readiness have something in common. It is true to say that the Olympics showcase and celebrate Sport. But organized sports and competitions have their roots in PLAY. We are currently watching some exciting soccer matches. The journey to being an Olympic soccer PLAYer may have been long and hard, but it … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Root Of Olympics is PLAY

Kindergarten Readiness, Learning from the Olympics #2

Just watching the Olympic competitions on tv indicates ways to support children’s kindergarten readiness learning and fun. Today, after two events there were interviews with fans in the athletes’ home cities. Some of the people who commented were adults and some were young children. The kids said things like “It helps me think I can … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness, Learning from the Olympics #2

Kindergarten Readiness, Learning from the Olympics #1

If you need a good excuse for watching the Olympic coverage on tv, the Olympics can teach us about learning and readiness beyond kindergarten readiness. Not just the competitions, but even the commercials and ads. Have you see the ads where parents are the athletes with the kids cheering at home, or the ones honoring … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness, Learning from the Olympics #1

Kindergarten Readiness Rocks & Goes To Olympics

It’s almost the Opening Ceremonies and time for some kindergarten readiness and Olympic fun. I remember 2 years ago at the Winter Olympics when one of the symbols was the Inukshuk. This figure is made out of rocks and is used to point the way to others. The inukshuk is an ancient form of communication … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Rocks & Goes To Olympics