We’ve waited four years, and it’s finally here … the 2018 FIFA World Cup!
Quarterfinals are in full swing and the final match on July 15th is right around the corner! This is when the excitement truly builds, when people who aren’t die hard soccer fans begin to take notice. It is also a great time to explore new countries with your kids!
This year Russia is hosting 32 teams (Russia included) in over 11 different cities, with the final match being played in Moscow. With only 16 teams left in the quarterfinals, there are still plenty of countries to explore for the last two weeks of the World Cup.
Ways to explore different countries
- Feeling ambitious? “Eat your way through the World Cup” with these 32 recipes to try from the Washington Post!
- Bonus (easy recipe) is Australia’s “Fairy Bread,” which is simply buttered bread with round sprinkles on top. It’s simple and yet so delicious!
- Check out World Market for international foods, especially chocolate and candy!
- Make a quick soccer ball by gluing black construction paper cut into pentagons onto a paper plate or a piece of white construction paper cut into a circle.
- Another fun craft with a game twist is to fashion a mini soccer field out of a pizza box (or similar card board box).
- Make the soccer field by gluing green paper to the bottom of the box and then draw or paint lines onto the soccer field.
- Make two goal posts on either side out of pipe cleaners.
- Then, using two straws, blow a cotton ball or pom-pom back and forth, trying to score a goal.
- Here is a link to the blog I found with the idea for “Pom-pom Soccer.”
- Choose a team and have your child find a book on that team’s country at your local library. The children’s section has great geography books with lots of pictures and easy to read information!
- For older kids, have them research things like the history of the World Cup, which countries hosted the previous tournaments, and which teams have won.
- Have your kids research the official language for each country and then translate “Go, team, go!” so they can cheer for their favorite team in their own language!
- Look up the official flag for each country and recreate it using construction paper (or for a delicious twist, decorate your own flag cookies!)
- Create a flag banner to decorate with during the semifinals or use it for a World Cup party for the final match!
- World Cup Game
- (Requires 4+ players, a soccer ball, and something that can be used as the “soccer net”) Have kids split into teams of 2 and choose a country as their team name. Designate a goal and a goal keeper. Objective is to score the most goals. However, each team needs to shout their country’s name before they take their shot on the goal.
- Four Goal Game
- Shape pool noodles into arches and secure into ground using stakes. Place the arches equal distance from each other in a compass style. Either split kids into four teams or have a free for all, with two balls being played at the same time. Goalies are not required unless you have a large enough group. (It may get a little chaotic, but I played this game for middle school PE and it was a blast!)
- Alternatively, you can play a croquet style game with pool noodles and soccer balls. (This version may be less chaotic, but still fun!)
Ready to go all out? Host a World Cup party for the final match! Combine some of the above for a low-key (and fun!) party for your kids and their friends, or amp it up with soccer inspired decorations and international cuisine!