Friday 27 July 2012

Olympic playdate

(Goblin is 33 months)
Today is the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. I thought we would celebrate by having an Olympic themed play date with Bubble and Squeak. I made some Olympic rings from Hula hoops. I wanted to buy some in Olympic colours but in true Monko style I left it too late and ended up having to buy candy striped generic hula hoops and cover them in crepe paper. 
Inspired by JDaniel4'sMom blog's olympic breakfast post I also made some Olympic snacks, strawberries, cheese, cucumber, raisins and ricecakes dipped in blue food colouring (a bit of a cheat!). Unfortunately I put them out too early and Goblin decided to make himself cheese and cucumber sandwiches using every last slice of cucumber and every last babybelle.
I made some gymnastic ribbon sticks thinking the boys could twirl them. I often let Goblin play with these sticks in the garden but as I made them I did contemplated in the back of my mind whether giving all three small boys these pointed sticks to play with was a good idea. But Monty Python overruled my concerns and I concluded at least I wasn't giving them each a piece of fruit.
I should have listened to my concerns because within seconds of the boys discovering the sticks Goblin had accidentally whacked Bubble on the arm while vigorously twirling his stick. And the horror of seeing my son belt another child meant I did't respond well at all. Positive Parenting went out the window as I bellowed at him for hitting despite knowing that he hadn't done it on purpose - he just didn't realise how long the stick was and how close Bubble was. Bubble was very brave and didn't even cry. I surreptitiously removed the sticks from the equation.
My plan had been to introduce a series of games including jumping through the hulahoops; throwing balloons through the hoops; having a race etc. We did do a small amount of this type of play but mainly the boys were happy to play with all the vehicles, the toy lawnmower, and the paddling pool. One of the nice things about Goblin, Bubble and Squeak is that they all have very different toys at their houses, so visiting each other is an opportunity to play with different stuff and often play in a different way. 
Playdates with Bubble and Squeak have another very positive aspect. Although all three of us mummies have different parenting styles we all seem to be happy to let the boys work out their problems themselves. I often find when Goblin is playing with kids of parents I don't know so well, I will feel I have to step in and referee. But with Bubble and Squeak I am confident that the boys will be able to find their own solutions (even if a few toddler punches are thrown in the process) and I am not 'expected' by their parents to protect them from my son or my son from them. 
As a result of our ability to sit back and watch, I think Goblin gets some invaluable lessons in social interaction from Bubble and Squeak. He is slowly learning how to share (or more accurately how to take turns) with his toys. He is learning what the social etiquette is when another child is upset (even if it is your turn). And he is learning conflict resolution - which is something that I think children are often prohibited from learning because their parents step in too early (me included).
While most of the day was spent pushing trolleys, prams and a lawn mower around; playing with diggers and cars; squirting each other with water; and having a tea party, there was finally a bit of athletic zeal when Squeak's mum broke out the bubbles.
Look at them go!

I'm linking this post to the Olympic blog hop where you can find a whole host of Olympic ideas over the 18 days of the Olympics. And keep your eyes peeled back here for a special Paralympic post on 29th August (the opening ceremony of the Paralympic games). 

I'm also sharing this with 
For the Kids FridayCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallI Can Teach My Child


  1. This looks so sportive, fun and lovely at the same time!

    Thank you fro this great post and making part of our 'Kids Bloggers Go Olympics' Event,

    With Love,

  2. How cute is he with his little sandwiches!! And that is great that you all step back and let them work things out ~ you are right, as parents we don't always allow this to happen!

  3. I love your Olympic play day - what a FUN idea! Thanks for linking up to TGIF and sharing it with all of us =-)

  4. Look at those chubby legs! Love the snack - will do next week. My girls have decided that they want to swim in the Olympics!

  5. Some great social skills to be learned from leaving children to sort things out within safe parameters. I always had you down as the model parent and feel reassured that even you forget positive parenting on occasions! Sounds like you have some great friends and the children are all benefiting as a result. Thanks for sharing your Olympic garden fun on Country Kids.

    1. Model parent! Ha ha it's amazing how deceptive snippets on a blog can be. I'm always struggling with Positive parenting, it seems to be getting harder as goblin gets older and has his own opinions

  6. Some lovely ideas there. Looks like great fun.

  7. What a fun way to join in the Olympic fun!

  8. What a fun playdate! How nice it is that you all are able to step back and let the kiddos work things out for themselves. I really need to start putting together some playdates for my little seems like Goblin is learning some imporant lessons just by having fun with the group. :)

    1. Yeah he has become so much more sociable in the last 6 months so I'm making more of an effort to ensure he sees other kids so he can learn from them as we ll as just us.

  9. Aww their little faces look so happy :) Great fun x

  10. This is so clever. I love your ideas. I found you on MBC and I am so excited that I did. Thanks for the sweet comment on mine too. Can't wait to read more.

  11. So cute! I love the pics and the ideas are great! Thanks for linking up on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back again this week with some more of you great ideas.


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