I know that Pinterest and blogland are full of Olympic activities, but hey ho, it only comes round every 4 years so here are our Olympic themed adventures!
HappyLand swimming and diving!
One of the first events up was the swimming, and Annabelle loved seeing the swimmers diving in and speeding through the water. She shouted at the TV “Swim, fast, fast, fast! Dive in and go fast!”
I set up a small ‘swimming pool’ for the HappyLand people in the front room (with plenty of towels!!) and she loved lining them up along the edge, and guiding them back and forth through the water. Of course the inevitable soon happened, and before long Annabelle was de-clothed having wedged herself into the plastic box to do some ‘swimming’ while watching the swimmers on TV. Anyone would think that she was deprived of swimming, but we do go to the pool most weeks – honest!!
She was also fascinated by the diving, and how fast the divers were twirling and spinning in the air. Of course the HappyLanders had a go too! We made them a diving board with a ruler and in they went jumping up incredibly high and making the biggest splash possible (Tom Daley would not have been happy with that performance!!)
Inspired by a Happy Hooligans post on water play, we used some silicone cupcake cases as little boats for our sailing regatta! Annabelle most enjoyed sorting out all her people into their own boats, but once in the water she wasn’t really interested in floating them about, just filling the boats with water until they sank!
I know our ‘pool’ was only tiny, but the weather outside was pretty rubbish, and Annabelle enjoyed copying the live action on TV!
After watching some athletics on TV, Annabelle noticed that the runners start the race crouching down. She tried to have a go inside, but I suggested that we would be better off outside to avoid crashing into all the furniture!
She got the hang of bending down and touching the ground, but kept forgetting to stand up again – resulting in a hilarious little crouched-down waddle/crab walk!
There are no pictures of our other activities – just these fun little games that we played!
We saw some of the rowing on TV (yes, there was a lot more TV on in the background than normal over the last few weeks!) and as I explained that the people were ‘rowing’ their boats, Annabelle immediately remembered the song ‘row, row, row your boat’. Cue many rounds of rowing our boats ‘gently down the stream’ as the real rowers put all their strength into rowing, being anything but gentle!!
We like throwing balls at targets in the garden, so we had a little try at throwing from the shoulder like the shot-put throwers! We used some tennis ball sized foam balls; they are nice and light, meaning they go a satisfying distance when thrown with little hands!
Annabelle saw a little bit of the different jumping events in the athletics and no matter whether the athletes were long jumping, high jumping, pole vaulting or triple jumping, she responded with ‘boing, boing boing’ and some very enthusiastic 2-footed jumps!
I decided to try and encourage her to do a little hopping, so I asked her “Can you hop? Hopping is jumping on one foot like this.” I showed her some hopping and asked if she could have a go. Annabelle looked at me, walked over to me and proceeded to jump on top of one of my feet. Well, I did ask her to jump on one foot!
Considering we did watch more TV than normal, we definitely got lots out of the Olympics with so much to talk about, imaginary play, and fine and gross motor skills. But it’s not over yet, bring on the Paralympics!