TODAY   |  June 13, 2012

Keep kids active this summer with Olympics fun

For kids, the Olympics are a great way to learn about the world and get motivated to exercise, too. Stephanie Oppenheim of ToyPortfolio.com shares fun, Olympic-themed family activities.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> on today's moms, olympics . when the games get under way parents will have a unique opportunity to reenforce school skills, stop the summer slide and have fun watching with kids. some mental worthy activities. good to see you.

>> good to see you.

>> it's a great idea. it never dawned on me to use the olympics as a teachable moment.

>> this is the opportunity to make those skills come to life. fractions make a difference when you're swimming. you can win by a fraction of a second. reading about athletes or learning what team sports are every night. and geography. we were talking about geography before. it's something we both liked as kids. our suggestion is to throw a map up on your family kitchen wall for the olympics , so when your kids are learning about where their athletes are from, this is united states , where is china, where are those athletes from. it really starts to make geography come alive. this is one of the first opportunities kids have to think about themselves as part of a larger global community in a positive way. chris and dante both told me geography isn't their favorite but they have been enjoying the leap frog map, a puzzle they put together. then use the pen. it becomes like a talking interactive atlas they look at.

>> you don't have to go digital but analog with a fun ball.

>> this ball. how can geography not be fun when it's a beachball. you can do this every time you hear about a country watching together, color it in. older kids keep the mental count. at the end of the day this becomes your family memento of the 2012 london games.

>> really fun. using reading skills.

>> we know kids stop reading a lot during the summer. they usually slide about a month. olympics another great opportunity. this is a classic series , magic tree house series . here they travel back in time to original olympic games . we have a whole reading list on our site of olympic tie-in books to do. look at this. going to london. now look at the pop-up book. things they can look at the landmark as well. sports magazines. we love " sports illustrated " for kids. our recommendation working on reading comprehension , read an article today and discuss it at the dinner table. a great way to check in where your kids are in terms of comprehending. this is not just fun for kids, you'll enjoy this as well. usain bolt , the fasters man in the world, a whole article how he compares to other runners like carl lewis .

>> the internet.

>> dante here looking at the internet site . one thing we found you can look up your own hometown heroes . dante is from the new york, new jersey area. how many olympians have you found?

>> eight.

>> eight and counting, more people qualifying. can you find twitter feeds. go on the internet with the kids and look up scores every day.

>> activities.

>> banana grams, they did a 2012 version with olympic wild card tie-in.

>> american girl .

>> this is american girl mikena, not quite ready but practice, practice, practice. she has books. bringing kids back to reading and gig them a wonderful prop for building language.

>> some crafty stuff.

>> this is loopty do, brand-new friendship making they are working on. thumbs-up but does require parental involvement once you get started. make your own team usa bracelets. we made a couple for you.

>> that's awfully nice.

>> your own bracelets.

>> your own sports, family olympics , franklin sports products, badminton, bocce.

>> ribbons.

>> from target. university games. girls practice with me as well. rhythmic olympics . first time there. there we go, tamron.

>> the girls are good.

>> the u.s. will be represented