Why a hockey pool makes for a great study tool

Today's Parent online editor, Jenny Charlesworth, discovers that a hockey pool can be a fun educational tool for kids.

By Jenny Charlesworth
Why a hockey pool makes for a great study tool The U.S. National Archives

Before making my playoff hockey pool picks earlier this week, I decided I need some pro advice. So who did I turn to? My seven-year-old nephew Taylor.

Like most second-graders, Taylor knows what 10 X 10 is and can sound out some pretty serious syllables. He can also perfectly pronounce AND spell the tricky names of hockey stars like Henrik Lundqvist and Daniel Sedin. Now, that's not to say Taylor is some sort of spelling bee super kid,  but he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the NHL (so much so he's currently ranked 18 out of 46 in our pool).

Most of us think of sports pools as a pastime for jocks and armchair athletes, but they're also a great way for kids to tune up their spelling and mathematics skills. With stats and surnames galore, there's plenty of opportunity for children to learn — while having fun!

In our pool, Taylor is one of a handful of pint-sized hockey fans keeping tabs on players and game scores as eagerly as the hockey-loving moms and dads. So for families who watch games together, sports pools can make for a fun study tool — without labouring the point to your little ones that they're actually learning.

If your kids are tech-savvy they can chart their progress online. Or, better yet, get the whole family involved with a wall chart to track team stats. By helping your kids to join a sports pool, you'll be firing them up on the game AND boosting their brain power too!

Check out the fantasy pools in our Rogers family of sites: Sportsnet Radio's Fantasy Hockey Pool and Sportsnet's Playoff Hockey Pick 'Em game. (Please read all rules and regulations for age requirements.)

This article was originally published on Apr 20, 2012

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