For most of us, the Olympics are a positive introduction to the world. Sure, as a kid you may hear about places in the news–but it’s rarely a happy story. In contrast, the Olympics are generally a feel good event that celebrates our global community. For the days of the games, we hear human interest stories from all over the world. To me this is the best of reality tv– watching dedicated young men and women compete. For many, qualifying for the games is their prize.
Growing up, geography was always made fun in our family. We played the game of geography to make car rides go by faster. A definite rite of passage was getting your own atlas so that you could mark your “travel” lines. My Dad remains big on gathering those lines! I slept under a world map. I had pen pals in India and Sri Lanka. Even in a pre-internet world, my parents made an effort to pull us in to a bigger world view.
Like most families, we watched the games together. And while we were enjoying the events, we were also asked questions that prompted some “look it up” time. For example, when Nadia took the world by storm with her perfect 10, the question was: can you find Romania on the map?
Each Olympics has its own story and flavor. Please take a look at our article on how to engage your kids at www.toyportfolio.com. I’ll be on the Today Show on June 13th.