By Susan Hildreth
This Saturday is the first day of competition in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. First Lady Michele Obama is asking all Americans to not only cheer on the U.S. Olympic athletes but to take inspiration from them. Mrs. Obama is calling on families across the country to take part in an “Olympic Fun Day Meet-up" on Saturday. (See video below.) This is part of the First Lady’s national initiative Let’s Move!. All over America, and throughout the world, communities will come together to take part in a wide variety of physical activities. Go to the website to find a meet-up in your area.
Here are a couple examples of Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens members that are organizing Olympic Fun Day events in their communities:
Smithsonian Gardens will host a scavenger hunt throughout the gardens and across the National Mall. Kids of all ages will search for hidden treasures while learning about gardening, health, and history.
National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian will have several Native games for kids to try, including a Northern Woodlands ring and pin game, an Inuit yo-yo, Amazonian games, and more. Participants can try their skills at a virtual skateboarding game and have their pictures taken in a kayak. Each participant 12 and under will receive a miniature U.S. flag for participating! NMAI is also currently featuring the exhibit, Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics.
Miami Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum has created its own Summer Games exhibit, "an interactive wonderland of athletic competition and cultural diversity," according to MCM. Kids can partake in activities that focus on teamwork, fitness, and healthy lifestyles while spotlighting different nations from around the world. The exhibit will feature fun interactive components such as Leap Across America and Reach for the Gold. Kids will learn geography, distance scales, and conversions and be physically active at the same time.
Marble Kids Museum
The Marble Kids Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina, is hosting an Olympic themed exhibit with events including hockey on a synthetic rink, a scooter kayak course, and long jump. The Marble Olympics is presented by WakeMed Health and Hospitals and is part of Marbles Kids Museum's John Rex Endowment Healthy Active Families initiative. The hockey exhibit, Center Ice, is presented in partnership with the Carolina Hurricanes' Kids 'N Community Foundation.
So wherever you are, I hope you’ll participate in the Olympic Fun Day event nearest you.