Going for Gold
The Olympics are upon us and theres no escaping them, wether your sporty or not (like me!) you have to admit its quite a spectacle. Not only that but its a great excuse to get up and moving and have some fun doing it! We set up a few different events in our house which used every day items and didnt cost us a penny unlike the opening ceremony which was out of this world.
The first event in our Toddler Olympics was the hurdles and for what took very little time to set up provided hours of entertainment. I simply rolled up 4 towels and placed them on the floor a small distance apart and thats really it! We didn't even have to explain to Dylan what to do he just took off running backwards and forwards, giggling and trying his hardest not to step on the 'hurdles', he roared with laughter as we cheered and clapped each length! This one even got mummy and daddy moving and we explored different ways of clearing the 'hurdles' like hopping, jumping, stepping and skipping.
Our next event was the shot put and wasn't quite as successful but fun nonetheless. For the shot put we decided to use splash balls which are absorbent balls designed to be used in swimming pools and water fights to splash eachother. The reasoning behind this was that Dylan would be able to throw the ball on the paper and it would leave a mark so he could see where he had thrown it but in the end the marks left where more fun than throwing the 'shot put'
In the end we just had fun making marks on the paper and exploring how manipulating the ball in different ways made the pattern on the paper look, for example when we squeezed the ball it made a puddle but if we dabbed it we where left with a circle. This lasted a long, long time and required several bowls of water but it was fascinating to be able to sit back and enjoy watching Dylan create his own game out of the materials we had provided. Its a fantastic way to nurture the imagination to allow your child to develop the play session to suit themselves and not be concerned about the final outcome or what you had originally envisaged for the project.
After an exhausting morning of sport and a well deserved nap we headed for the pool, the imagination pool that is! This one was really simple all it took was a duvet cover and we where transported to the Olympic pool and it was time to get wet. We practised our back stroke, front crawl and who could forget the doggy paddle we gently shook the duvet cover as Dylan lay on top and it provided a brilliant sensory experience for him. This was fun but didn't hold his attention in the same way the other events had so we brainstormed and came up with diving! Now this was fun!
This one involved a lot of imaginative play as we climbed the steps to the diving board, walked to the end, bounced a couple of times and then jumped and swooped down into the 'pool'. Dylan thought this was hilarious and the build up created by the imaginary diving board ment that he was anticipating the dive and his giggles built up us he got closer to be being flown down into the 'water'. Again we added another sensory element by gently creating waves with the duvet cover and this caused Dylan to squeel as he got closer to the 'water' and that in turn made us all laugh!
Our final event was rowing and as you can see its a very fine vessel we chose to compete in! I have come to know that all children love washing baskets and Dylan is certainly no exception, every time I try to get the washing done we end up playing in the basket for hours so this activity was right up his street! We used wooden spoons for oars and I couldnt resist adding a little flag to his boat, daddy was on hand to provide a bumpy ride on the open water and I offered words of encouragement at the finish line.
Overall we had a great time recreating some of the Olympic events and I look forward to planning more sporty events for now and long after the Olympic buzz has died down!