IT'S YELLOW DAY! What are the Paralympics (also Special Olympics)? The Paralympic Games are the Olympics for people with disabilities. In fact the name Paralympics means “alongside" the Olympics. Hold on - what is a disability? Do we know anyone with a disability? A disability means that something in a person's body doesn't quite work. Maybe their legs don't work, or their eyes don't work. Sometime you can see that a person has a disability, sometimes you can't. Some things that are harder for people with disabilities to do, so they and we find ways to support and help them. Maybe a wheelchair for someone who can't walk or listening patiently when it takes a longer time for someone to learn or say something. Sometimes you can see a disability, sometimes you can’t. The 3 most important things to remember about people with disabilities are:
- Some things are harder for them to do (eg walking or seeing), but there a lots of things they CAN do. Don't just focus on the 'disability', also focus on 'ability'.
- We can help each other, be friends and play together. And today we are going to be extra aware and good at making sure everyone is included in our games, and can make any adjustments or adaptations to the games.
- We are all different, but we can also find what is 'the same', what we have in common (for eg both liking sport or unicorns or cake!)
So the Paralympics are about overcoming extra challenges with our bodies and finding extra strength and different ways to do sport. It isn’t just about what you can’t do – it’s about what you CAN do. Here is a clip about different sports and people in the Paralympics. Most of the sports we will do today are also done in the Summer Olympics (side note: it is unnecessary to say 'main' or 'regular' Olympics) - that is, people with disabilities AND people without disabilities can also play the same sports. People with disabilities play or do them with some adaptations. AND to emphasise that, really recommend watching this story of 9 yr old Ezra Frech
Choose 2-3 20-30 minute activities from the options below:
We can learn from people with disabilities that we don't just need to look at what we 'can't do' but also what we 'can do'. Use this printable to think about our strengths and write/draw them.
- Intro Video Clip: This is a great video to see how disability can look different in different people
- Set up homemade table tennis:
> Clear a table
> String up a net in the middle: this can be a few sheets of paper or cardboard or a stocking or books.
> Get a pingpong ball or make your own foil ball)
> Use a bat: can use a plate, or make one out of cardboard, or use a dustpan: use this as a chance for kid to go around the house and identify something – get creative. If you can't find a bat, just play without
- GAME TIME: Play as you are, with one arm behind your back, switch to have one arm on your head, sitting, bat in your mouth to simulate different types of abilities needed when you have different types of disabilities.
#ICYMI: set up your kid’s bike indoors as a standing exercise bike. Just put the training wheels on top of shoes and let them have fun. As seen here. One kid can clean wheel while other rides. You can pretend with them that they have to ride to get away from a monster or have to ride quickly towards something or someone they love. You can time them that they need to ride on-stop for 20 seconds - and they choose the timer tune on your phone. You can put a peleton scene (video) in front of them, either an example of wheelchair racing, cycling, spinning class or google 'cycling scenery'.
- Starter Clips: See how paralympic archers compete and then hear directly from them about how sport impacts their lives.
- Nerf-phonics: ABC/colour archery with nerf guns, like here for younger kids or here for older kids. Start as you are, then try with one arm, with other arm, sitting, eyes closed. If you do not have a nerf gun, you can do the same concept but with just throwing balls to try hit the targets (wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball are also sports at the Paralympics).
- Intro Video Clip: What is Boccia? And how do people play it when they have very limited use of their arms or legs?
- Blind 'ten pin' bowling: set up 4-10 plastic bottles/paper towel rolls/anything that can stand well and knock down easily. You can first decorate them as a craft activity, then line them up. First bowl as you are. Then you have to bowl them blindfolded, as though you were blind and can’t see. Kids can try re-set the bottles blindfolded.