We’re in between Olympics years right now, but we can still do our part to raise globally aware children. Need something new in your family exercise routine? Try out one of these sports or activities from other countries around the world:
Sports and Exercises from Around the World
Canada – Curling
Curling likely originated in medieval Scotland, but it is widely associated with Canada. Sometimes nicknamed “chess on ice,” curling involves precision and teamwork as team members work together to lead a curling stone down ice with momentum and brooms. (Yes, brooms. It’s actually fascinating to witness the physics involved.) Read more about the history and rules of curling here.
Mexico – Folkloric Dance
Upbeat, stunning dances share history and cultural significance in Mexico. The music and instruments accompanying these dances are a large part of tradition, as well. Different regions feature similar styles, but unique regional and cultural characteristics. See some examples of traditional Mexican and Latin American dances here.
Kenya – Netball
Though not played primarily in Kenya, netball is a popular sport, especially among women’s teams there. The game is derived from early versions of basketball, but played with more players, restrictions on player movements, and several formats, including children’s versions.
Korea – Tae-Kwon-Do
Translated as “the way of foot and fist,” Tae-Kwon-Do is a martial art featuring sequences of controlled movements used for self-defense and sport. Discipline and responsibility feature largely in Tae-Kwon-Do. (I used to take authentic Tae-Kwon-Do classes as a child, and I’ve often thought if I returned, I’d advance to a higher level of fitness! It’s an astounding workout.)
Find out more about Tae-Kwon-Do here.
Australia – Cricket
While cricket didn’t originate in Australia, it remains one of the most popular sports of the country. Australia.com has more information on the history and importance of cricket here.
See more about Australian sports and activities here.
Ireland – Traditional Irish Dance
Featuring high steps and usually a rigid upper body, traditional Irish dancing gives any dancer a cardiovascular workout!
Ecuador – Ecuavoli (or Ecua-volley)
Most of these activities are not localized only to these countries listed, but they hold an important place in that country’s history or current culture.
For non-sport related activities, check out these resources:
- PBS recommends this list of sports-related books for children.
- This page from Scholastic has both active games and educational games from around the world.
- Check out this article from Parents magazine with children’s games from around the world.
What country do you want to learn more about? I’m planning on a Part 2 post in the future. Let me know your suggestions in the comments! What international sports and fitness activities have you studied?