The 2006 soccer World Cup is being held in Germany, and all around the world people old and young, male and female will be looking forward to a feast of football. Whether you love or loathe the ‘beautiful game’ you can make the World Cup both a fun and educational experience for your kids! There are 32 countries competing in the World Cup 2006, so take the opportunity to find out more about some of the countries which are competing.
1) Geography: Get out an atlas or globe and find out the capital cities of all the competing nations (you can check the full list of teams at FIFA’s website) and which continent each country is in.
2) Art: Try and make drawings of the national flags of the countries taking part. Some will be easier than others! Many, such as France, Italy and Holland, are simple and so are good choices for younger children. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Angola or Ecuador will be more of a challenge!
3) Cookery: Try out some national dishes from competing nations. You may know you like Mexican food or Pasta from Italy, but how about trying some Sushi from Japan or Couscous from Tunisia? And you could always have some good old Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding from England.
4) Costume: Dress up in the national and ethnic costumes of competing nations – how about a Spanish flamenco outfit, a grass skirt from the Ivory Coast or a Japanese Kimono?
5) Sport: Get a football out and have a kick around – especially if you’ve been sitting in front of the TV all week!
Of course a big part of the fun of a major sporting event such as the World Cup is following a team, so persuade your children to randomly choose a team (not your own national team if they have reached the finals!). Then help them to become a mini expert on that country so as they can then cheer on ‘their’ team with a little bit of background knowledge of that nation. They could find out about the customs of the country, the language, the teams top players and whether soccer is a major sport in that country.