Olympic Travel... Right Nearby

For most of us, a family vacation to the Winter Olympics isn’t in the budget. But the sights, sounds, flavors and customs of this world event are still within reach… in your home and in your community. With a bit of insight and planning, you can use the Olympics as a springboard to great conversations and new experiences. World travel is closer than you think.

Tune In & Travel

Opening Ceremonies. Don’t miss the Opening Ceremonies, where you will find a rich display of the host country’s art, dance, music and history. Without boarding a flight, your child will be immersed in Russian culture. Listen for a few words in Russian and try some traditional dance moves around the living room.

The Parade of Nations. Part of the Opening Ceremonies, the Parade of Nations offers another window to the world. As each country is introduced, point out the national flag. Children love these colorful representations of different places. Find the US flag. Find other flags familiar to your family. Try drawing a few flags, like the simple designs of Japan, Denmark, Ukraine or Turkey.

The Games. Is there a budding athlete in your house?  As you watch the events, cheer for the home team while noting great athletes from different countries. With your Sproutlet, learn more about that country. Mark it on your world map. Get out into the community and experience more. You might attend a festival, concert or museum exhibit tied to that country.

Privyet!

The Olympic Games offer a wonderful opportunity to introduce your Sproutlet to new languages. French and English are the official languages. At this year’s games in Sochi, announcements will also be made in Russian.

Learn a few Russian words with your family. Start with a simple hello and thank you—“privyet” and “spasibo.” Then take your new vocabulary on the road. If there is a Russian restaurant or bakery in your area, go there and sample something new. (Don’t forget to say “spasibo.”) Visit your local library and check out a Russian book or songs on CD. Study the different letters used in the Cyrillic alphabet. Find the letter that sounds most like the first letter of your child’s name.