Winter Olympics: Is your Family Ready to Compete?

OlympicsAn event so rare that it only rolls around every four years deserves to be celebrated. Add into that the fact that we have been surrounded by snow and winter weather for an extended (seems like forever!) period now and parents from coast-to-coast are madly trying to come up with new ways to make it fun.

Also, when you are presented with the high drama of sport, complete with plot twists, interesting characters, great suspense and life lessons about winning and losing, the Winter Olympics is an exceptional opportunity to have some winter fun.

Super Fans need Super Banners

Hit the local dollar or craft store, load up on supplies and have each member of the family make their own cheer sign.

Encourage creativity. Draw pictures of favourite sports, athletes, Olympic rings, Sochi or all things Canadian- complete with messages of encouragement. Keep these banners handy couch-side for Olympic viewing over the next couple of weeks.

Do Some Research

Beyond finding out when your favourite events are taking place, do a little research as a family into sports that you may not be as familiar with. Find out about some of the athletes and what it takes to train for these events.  This only feeds the connection when cheering athletes on.

You can also take this opportunity to whip out the globe and give the kids a geography lesson too!

Ceremonies Please!

No Olympics worth their salt has anything less than opening and closing ceremonies with pomp, circumstance and great fanfare.

Get the family together, with their banners, and have an athlete’s parade.  While fireworks and hugely choreographed dance routines are probably not feasible, sparklers and singing national anthems will work.

Also, although you are distinguished members of this Olympic committee, keep speeches at these ceremonies on the short side.

Athletes Need Fuel       

Every athlete will tell you that their diet is the cornerstone of their performance. While these are not necessarily training-worthy, they are fun, and are very suitable for armchair athletes.

Bake cupcakes and frost with vanilla icing. Top cupcakes with your very own Olympic rings made out of sprinkles or M &Ms.

Get Ready to Compete

You’ve trained for this- and now it is time to compete in your events.

Host your own Olympic competitions. While you may not live atop a steep mountain for the Super G, or have access to an Olympic Oval for speed skating, you can improvise.

Have “luge” races with toboggans, or hockey shootouts in the gold medal final at your local outdoor rink. Do obstacle courses through the snow. Have a snowman (mascot) building contest.  Have a “ski jump” off of your back porch into the snow.

The best part? Everyone wins a medal in this competition.

The Medals Please

Make your own medals by cutting out circles of cardboard and covering in metallic paper. Attach a thick ribbon to hang around the neck.

When you are at the dollar or craft store, pick up some fake flowers to tie into bouquets to present to the athletes.  Use your steps for a podium, and celebrate the win!