As a kid, my mom called us inside from playing to watch Mary Lou Retton and Greg Luganis go for the gold.
The Olympics introduced a magical idea: Maybe I could achieve greatness, too.
I wanted to recreate this excitement and inspiration for my kids.
What better way to fulfill this fantasy than have an Olympic playdate?
Filled with patriotism and determination, I searched the internet for ideas.
My friend Jennifer Laws is a superstar party planner. (With three kids all under four, I'd say she deserves a medal.) Here's a clip of her party plans as shown on the local news:
News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |
Here's her Pinterest page on the topic.
Yeah, well...there's the fantasy.
And then there's my reality.
Construction paper crafts helped fill days that were too hot to play outside.
|We hung Olympic rings from the chandeliers.|
|Relay batons made from paper towel rolls and construction paper|
|found a way to incorporate water guns|
We kicked off our playgroup with a relay of passing the torch. I could show you the video, but it's just embarrassing.
Apparently, my foil roll and tissue paper torch was unimpressive.
The day went pretty much downhill from there.
The children were too hot to run and jump the pool noodle hurtles painstakingly stuck in the drought-dry dirt with chopsticks. (Knocking them over was my son's favorite part. Seriously. He just told me.)
The signs stuck on the fence announcing the events blew off. A new Olympic event was created called Find the Push Pins with Your Hands Instead of Your Bare Feet.
One little boy decided it was too hot for this outside nonsense. Smart kid. He sat on the sofa and waited patiently for the rest of us to come to our senses.
Inside, the boys' eyes sparked with interest when I explained that the javelin toss was really like a warrior's spear. They threw pool noodles through hula hoops with great success.
The kids had a great day playing non-Olympic games and acted happy when they took home medals and toilet paper roll torches.
|I couldn't find Olympic ring stickers, so we colored those circle tabs found in the office supply section.|
|Pretty good for not being able to walk|
|He's a contender!|
Did we inspire the kids? Doubt it. The Olympics really does that all by itself.
They find their own heroes.
Max is almost four. He loves girls' gymnastics and girls' diving. As long as the temperatures don't plummet so that the girls wear more clothes than a bikini, he's a huge beach volleyball fan.
For now, the baby claps for everyone.
The swimmers impress the whole family. They're all incredible, but, I mean...Michael Phelps is...wow. My kids can tell their kids they watched an Olympian earn more medals than anyone ever.
All the Olympians, win or lose, are champions because they do their best.
Even a mom in Oklahoma can identify with that.