In our current society, where-in person social interactions are decreasing, and digital, technologically advanced forms of communication are increasing; the need for true social development skills in our children has never been higher. Computers, cellphones, and tablets, no matter how advanced, simply cannot and should not replace real human interactions. Social skills like: speaking, body language, listening, teamwork, and empathy are not abilities that a human can derive from a book or an online resource, they must be taught through repetition and real world connections with others.
If you are worried about your child spending too much time online or in front of his or her phone, arguably one of the best ways to get your child out of the home and interacting with other children is through his or her enrollment in a sport. The common saying “there is no ‘I’ in team” exists for a reason – teamwork is about more than just one child, as it forces individuals to problem solve and work together towards a common goal. Sports and games are an incredibly fun and engaging way to bring children from all walks of life together in a safe, and healthy environment.
It is for this reason that sports-themed school outingsmake for the best field trips, no matter the age of your child. One of the best ways to ease kids into a sports themed trip, especially if they would rather sit on a couch at home than play with a soccer ball, is to combine their innate love of technology with the true inspiration and joy that sports can incite. Those of us living within the Vancouver area are lucky because we hosted the 2010 Olympic Games, and as such, there are a plethora of Olympic-themed field trips at our finger tips.
Probably the easiest, and most child-friendly option of the bunch is a visit to the ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval, which is an exciting Olympic themed attraction based out of Richmond, British Columbia. Here, kids can really immerse themselves in all things Olympic – learn the history, see a real live gold medal, use the broadcasters booth to practice their on-screen skills, and even test their athletic abilities in virtual sport simulators. As far as Vancouver things to do go, the virtual sport simulators at the ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval will leave any child enthralled – and will have the added bonus of being a video game that actually forces your child to use their body and be active!
Other Olympic or athletic themed field trips could include: a trip to a Vancouver Canucks game and a behind the scenes meet and greet (if you can swing it); a ski trip to Cypress on the same mountains Olympic athletes competed on; a skating trip to the Pacific Coliseum where the figure skating and speed skating events were held; or perhaps a talk from a professional athlete. Whatever trip or activity your school decides on, if it is sports-related, know that you will have chosen a healthy, smart activity that should stick with your children for many years to come.