Citius, Altius, Fortius, is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger" the original moto of the Olympic Games.
Are we enabling children to aspire to be winners, to go faster, to strive higher, and to be strong in mind and body? If not, why not? Early childhood education lays the foundation for later learning and is important in the development of attitudes and dispositions. Attitudes toward competition form during the early years of a child's life.
The word 'competition' is fleetingly mentioned in the early childhood curriculum Te Whariki' under the goal of 'contribution' - it is stated that an outcome of early childhood education is that it should help children to "develop positive and constructive attitudes to competition".
Becoming and being excited by competition and learning about the importance of practice, perseverance, planning, and always aiming to do one's best are things that a young child can pick up on. The Games excite us as no other sports event really can and for children who can't attend the Games, the best way to pick up on the excitement and emotion is to watch the performances of athletes on screen e.g. TV or via the Internet.
It may be contentious to suggest early childhood teachers let children watch the Games on TV - but talking about it and looking at static pictures and printed reports only is not as emotionally inspiring and educational as seeing the action and following our athletes achievements and disappointments.
There are many other ways to introduce children to the Olympic Games. Go to ChildForum's website for lots of different activities and ideas for celebrating the Olympics at home and at your early childhood centre or preschool.