Learning Through The Olympics {Capturing Each Teachable Moment}

The teacher in me can’t stop thinking of how perfect an opportunity the Olympics is to teach my little ones about so many different things: sports etiquette, the world, the rules of different sports, etc. I asked my husband to help me create a list (since he is way more ‘sporty’ than I) of teachable moments families could watch for this Olympic season while we enjoy watching the games together. 

Teachable Moments To Watch For & Discuss:

1. Good Sportsmanship

  • do the opponents greet one another before or after the game
  • how to the fans respond to the opposing team;  is this good sportsmanship
  • what moments during the events show good sportsmanship

2. How Different Sports Are Played 

  • are they individual sports or team sports
  • how many players
  • what positions are played
  • how are points awarded/scored
  • how do you win
  • have you ever played this sport, how did you do
  • what country(ies) do well in this sport
  • what skills are valued in this sport

3. Geography

  • locate participating countries
  • what is their weather like
  • why might that sport be popular or not quite as popular in that specific country
  • what types of goods or activities is a country known for
  • if you were to visit that country what might you do, or where would you go
  • what might be difficult for a visiting country to get used to in London

4. Time Zones

  • what would the players home country be doing while they are playing
  • what time is it in London when we are watching
  • figure out the time difference between where you live and another competing country

5. Being Gracious When Winning or Losing

  • do the other players congratulate the metal winners/teams
  • what does the winning team/individual do to be a gracious winner
  • what might you say to others if you won
  • what might you say to others if you lost and they won

6. Teamwork

  • how might trying to get the most playing time/attention cause your team to do poorly
  • how do good teammates support one another
  • what sports make you rely on teamwork more than others

7. Hard Work/Perserverance

  • what type of training did these athletes have to do
  • how old were they when they began the sport
  • how many hours did they practice a day/week
  • do you think they ever wanted to quit, why didn’t they

8. Being a Role Model

  • how can athletes be good role models for younger children
  • how can athletes be poor role models for younger children
  • who might look to you as a role model
  • who do you look to as a role model
  • what characteristics do most people look for in a role model

9. Math

  • keep a medal count for each country and update (you can even break it down by gold, silver, bronze)
  • calculate the distance to London from each country and place the countries in order of distance (farthest to closest, closest to farthest)
  • figure out the differences in times between 1st, 2nd, 3rd for different races (swimming, track, rowing, etc.)
  • compare the prices of plane tickets from different countries to London


Fun Family Olympic Activities:

Download this FREE e-book full of crafts, games, and activities to do together as a family from I Can Teach My Child!

Fun-O-lympics! 6 Olympics Party Games & Ideas from Family Fun

 Lots of Great Crafts, Activities, and Ideas for Olympic Fun!

Great lesson ideas for Older Children

18 Summer Summer Olympic Activities and Crafts from Tip Junkie

 Kid’s Olympic Indoor Activities


  1. What a fabulous post, so full of great info!
    Thank you for linking up to Kids Bloggers Go Olympics!


  2. This is an excellent list. I will definitely use these ideas with my kids. Thank you so much.

    We recently visited Olympia, Greece. Maybe this will help with your geography lessons?

  3. I love this!! I have a “Homeschooling Through The Olympics” post that links to lots of websites for olympics learning, and I’m going to add a link to your list on the post too!

  4. Hi
    I just came across your blog, and I am delighted I did!
    I am a new (mature aged) christian teacher working in Kindergarten in a christian school (a maternity leave one year appointment ) and I feel blessed to be able to use these wonderful ideas with my class! I also love Jesus! I love the ideas in the Teachable moments section, i am so going to use them this week
    I live in Perth Western Australia so know that you reach far and wide across this world and know that you are a blessing
    Take Care and God Bless

    • Sue- Welcome! Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! We are excited to have you join us and would love for you to join up on our Saturday Show & Tell Linkup and also our NEW Fall Series “Play to Write-Write to Read”! Good luck with your class this year and enjoy all the setup; that was always exhausting but also such an exciting time! :)

  5. Great points to cover with the kids. Sometimes we over look the teachable moments in a game, but there are so many lessons to be learned. I love the hula hoop hurdles. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!


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