Watching the Olympics has been a great way to learn geography with the kids. You don’t need any fancy activities, printables or special games. All you need is a map or a globe.
Don’t you love it when learning with the kids is completely uncomplicated? Tacking a map up on the wall takes no effort at all, but has lots of benefits.
We don’t have a television, but thanks to the in-laws, my kids and I have watched several Olympic events though live streaming. My older son was immediately intrigued by the little country and flag labels by the participants’ names. He wanted to know what country each three letter abbreviation stood for.
He already has a solid grasp on where most countries are located. After all, he has been studying his atlas for years, even going through a flag coloring stage, but even he needs to look up countries like Moldovia and Tonga. (Yup, there was a luge participant from Tonga!)
I got out a large wall map (btw, that’s an affiliate link) that I had purchased for another activity idea I had. (It’s a more complicated activity, which is exactly why I haven’t done it yet with the boys! I tend to avoid complicated projects!) We taped it on the wall above our dining table. That’s where all the action in our home happens. Every time an athlete comes on we note his or her home country on the map. This is especially fun when there is a head to head race, like in speed skating. We take note of how far away the competitors live from each other and how far they had to travel to get to the Olympic Games.
The boys have a world map in their bedroom, too, as well as large atlases. Displaying maps where kids can see them is such a simple way to get them interested in geography and raise children knowledgable about the world.
More to explore:
If you want to do more than just put a map on a wall, check out the following ideas: