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Using the World Cup as a learning aid

Everywhere you look there is news from the World Cup.  It is unavoidable whether you love or loathe football.

I am somewhere in the middle of those two groups.  I enjoy watching football, and usually a major football tournament would be of great interest to me.  But my interest this time has only really been ignited by ways in which my son is engaging with it.

The stubbornness within my son’s personality means that it is a much more joyous thing to let him choose a topic to aid his learning and development, than force him down a road he is reluctant to travel.

It seems this is true of a lot of children, especially boys, as they start their formal learning lives.

I did not expect it to, but at the moment the World Cup really has my son’s attention, and I have been looking at ways of making the most of that.  I haven’t had to look too hard, as my son has found ways of doing that himself.

He was given a Panini World Cup sticker book.  And he has enjoyed looking for the numbers that correspond with the stickers he has got, and has been slowly populating his new treasured sticker book.  Regardless of who the player actually is the number is all important to him, which is great.

Older children at his school have been collecting Match Attax cards, some of which have been kind enough to give their duplicates to my son.  He thinks the few he has got are great, and has been using them to learn how to spell names of countries, and also as guides for when he is drawing footballers from the respective teams.

His drawings have been brilliant, using different colours for the different teams.  Replicating national badges and flags, and coming up with scorelines for most of the scenes we have both drawn.  England always seem to score 10, he still has a lot to learn obviously.

During England’s first appearance in the tournament he and a couple of his friends made flags and footballers on sticks.  They had great fun, barely paying any real attention to the game – not that they missed anything, unlike England’s goalkeeper.

Then last night, with a little help from CITV’s Share-a-Story contest, using their template, he started his own World Cup cartoon.  Which included drawing and writing in speech bubbles.

Yesterday really was a ‘football’ day as he wanted to conclude it with a football story at bedtime.  I had to think quickly (no mean feat) if we had one, then I remembered that Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Cool, from the Mr Men series, includes a footballer and he was more than happy with my choice.

I am delighted that my son is engaging with the World Cup in such positive ways, and not just kicking a ball about, which he is enjoying doing too.

Has it been the same in your house, and do you have any more ideas for me?

2 thoughts on “Using the World Cup as a learning aid”

  • Ruth

    The World Cup and Match Attax cards are also an obsession in our house. We use the BBC sport website to write in the scores on the wallchart and watch clips of the goals. And found Colin McNaughton's book 'Football Crazy' and Usborne's Young History of Football has grabbed attention.

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