February 10, 2014

Five Ways to Celebrate the Winter Olympics with Kids

Alice was born just before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver.

And late, late at night, when it seemed like everyone else in the whole world was sleeping, she and I watched re-broadcasts of ice dancing and ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating. Foggy as my head was at the time, those are some my clearest (and tenderest) memories of her newborn days.

It's hard to believe that was four years ago. It's hard to believe she's 4!

We've been watching some of this year's competitions together - she's old enough now to take a more active interest. (The athletes in women's snowboarding look like they're flying, she says. I agree).

Has your family been tuning in? Here are a few more ways you can enjoy the games with little ones:

1. Lace up your skates
Stockton's Oak Park Ice Arena has public skate sessions as well as various classes and clinics throughout the week, including beginners programs for ice skating and hockey.

2. Take a picture book tour of Russia
The Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library's collection includes quite a few children's books that are set in Russia or based on Russian folktales. I have my eye on "The Blessing Cup" by Patricia Polacco, "The Wind that Wanted to Rest" by Sheldon Oberman, and "Sasha's Matrioshka Dolls" by Jana Dillon.

3. Follow a local Olympian
It's fun to root for a local hero. News10 makes it easy with a handy roundup of Northern California Olympic athletes.

4. Look for snow
A nice place to try to find some is Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

5. Watch a hockey game in person
Stockton Thunder is hosting Star Wars Night on Feb. 15. No kidding.
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