Want to know why your kids SHOULD watch the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019? Ok, first, full disclosure, I am a soccer mom. A full-fledged soccer mom. I am so soccer mom, I have soccer balls roll out of my trunk when I load my groceries. I have to move my soccer chairs to make room for one of my kids' friends in my car. I once washed and disinfected kids' stinky soccer pinnies for my soccer coach husband. When we aren't traveling as a family, skiing, or at school, we are usually on a soccer field.
So, there is no question that our family will be glued to the TV from June 7 through July 7, 2019 to watch the FIFA Women's World Cup. And, we will even see one match in person on our upcoming trip to France.
But no matter if your kids play soccer or not, ALL kids should watch the FIFA Women's World Cup this year. Here are five excellent reasons why.
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1. It's the WOMEN'S World Cup this year.
Both my two sons and my daughter play soccer. But I love that all three of my kids can watch these strong, powerful, talented women show the world what they are capable of accomplishing. They serve as a role model to my daughter for how she can play any sport or do any activity she chooses. And it shows my sons that women are capable of anything, just like men.
The USA women's team is excellent and is predicted to do quite well, going for their fourth World Cup title and second consecutive win. This is an inspiration for young American girls to see our team compete competitively at this level. But no matter which team you root for, the Women's World Cup shows kids that through hard work, collaboration, and determination, girls and boys can accomplish amazing feats. Just getting to the Women's World Cup is an extraordinary achievement!
Get them excited: Read For Soccer-Crazy Girls Only: Everything Great About Soccer by Erin Downing.
2. The Women's World Cup teaches kids about other cultures.
One of my favorite things about any World Cup is how it teaches kids about cultures around the world. They learn about other flags, other countries, and other cultures who all come together and play one sport – soccer. It is the one sport that is wildly popular in the vast majority of countries around the world.
They also learn that even if teams may speak different languages, they all know the game and can play just the same. I have often seen this in our own community – kids coming together who may speak different languages, but they all know the language of play. It is a wonderful way to connect with kids both similar and different than themselves.
Watching the World Cup is a fantastic way for kids to develop an interest in the world. As this year's World Cup is based in France, kids will undoubtedly have the opportunity to see images of France and hear French language, as well as other countries, while watching the Women's World Cup. They will also hear national anthems of other countries and see their flags. Watching an International sport like the World Cup really sparks a child's curiosity by opening their eyes to the world.
Get them excited: Get the Women's World Cup 2019 Official Flag Stickers or Women's World Cup 2019 Flag Bunting for their rooms. You can also get them a subscription to Little Passports World Edition to continue learning after the Women's World Cup ends.
3. The Women's World Cup is educational.
Every World Cup, Panini comes out with FIFA World Cup collector books and trading stickers. My kids love to collect and trade them with friends. Because they have to match the flags, countries, and numbers, it is a great teaching tool. Little ones learn to match numbers. Older ones learn about players. All kids learn about flags.
My 10-year-old son is walking encyclopedia of flag knowledge – more than most adults. He can see a collection of country flags and name them off one by one, and this fascination started with his first Panini book at age four. By learning country names, their corresponding flags, and where some of his favorite players are from, his curiosity about other cultures and interest in seeing more of the world has blossomed.
Get them excited: Get them the 2019 Panini Women's World Cup Album and Sticker Starter Pack.
4. The Women's World Cup teaches sportsmanship.
The Women's World Cup teaches kids about healthy competition and sportsmanship. Players show respect for one another regardless of which country they play for or where they are from. Watching the game, you can point out numerous positive examples of sportsmanship when they occur.
Whether teams and players shake hands before or after competitions, celebrate another teammate's goal, help out or help up a hurt player on the opposing team, or say congratulations after a heart-breaking loss, sportsmanship can be found watching the World Cup. In 2018, after their loss, the Japanese men's team cleaned their locker room and left a thank you note. This is just one classy and stellar example of excellent sportsmanship.
True, there are moments when fans or players aren't at their best. And those are teaching moments too. But for the most part, it is a fantastic way for kids to watch their heroes exemplify what it means to work together and how to treat others with respect and kindness, even if they aren't on the same team.
Get them excited: Read Mia Hamm's Winner's Never Quit for little ones and Champion's of Women's Soccer for older ones.
5. The Women's World Cup is exciting.
Couple this with the fans – particularly those during a World Cup match, with their colorful ensembles, patriotism, and commitments to their teams – makes it anything but boring. Kids will love to see the wigs, face paint, crazy headwear, and hear fans' chants. They will enjoy seeing the wave going around the stadium.
Kids can get caught up in the excitement by picking a team to follow and keep track on their very own Fifa World Cup Wall Chart. It is a great way to join the fandom of the 2019 Women's World Cup. Here is a schedule to help you know who is playing when.
Get them excited: Get the FIFA Women's World Cup Kids' Handbook.
The last thing you need to know about the Women's World Cup:
Whether or not soccer balls fly out of your trunk at the grocery store, all kids can learn a lot from watching the Women's World Cup. Which team will you be following? Comment below!