6 childrens books featuring the Olympics

I’m excited to share some Olympic books that give you an opportunitiy to talk about the events, feelings and emotions surrounding this sporting event with our young children. The first few books focus on   the special olympics and give us an opportunity to look at this lesser talked about event. From friendship and determination to patience and being able to laugh at yourself; each story gives a jumping off point to talk about feelings and emotions as well as talk about the Olympics.

P. K. and T. K. and the Special Olympics
by Richard Hurley

P.K. and T.K. While searching for a family of their own, P.K. and T.K. come across a broken-down school bus filled with children.

The children are sad…they are trying to make it to the Special Olympics on time so they can compete in the games! But with the bus breaking down, they need a small miracle in order to get achieve their dreams of being Olympic athletes.

Determined to help, P.K. and T.K. devise a way to use their magical powers to help the children get to the Special Olympics.






Way to Go, Alex

This story is about the struggle with Carly and her special needs brother, Alex. The ups and downs of brothers and sisters as wells as the relationship between a special needs sibling. This story shares Alex bid to train for the special Olympics with his sister.







The Fairyland Olympics

Imagine putting on a fairytale Olympics with tree tossing and moonbeam sliding. Lots of imagination as the enchanted forest put on an olympics.

The Pickle-Chiffon Pie Olympics

Age old story of the marrying off the Princess to the best suitor in the kingdom. But this one will have to win the Olympics and will it be the one SHE wants to marry?

Elympics: Poems

Learn about the different events through poetry elephant style.


What happens if you don’t win your race not just once but lots of times? The comic adventures of this pig keep you smiling and share a valuable lesson about perseverance and how to lose.

Image credit

Looking for more Olympic books

 What books would you recommend about the Olympics? Share in the comments

Friday Finds {13.07.2012}

When you are fascinated with cars the opportunity to sit in your very own and go round and round is just the best thing ever!

Friday Finds is the place to unwind, grab yourself a comfy chair and reflect on your past week then plan for the upcoming one.

With a little something to make you think, for them to do and for us to listen or watch……. We are putting ideas into action. Challenging ourselves to do a little differently. Be inspired.

Link up your posts  that fit one of these categories.

Enjoy your weekend!


Goodness for the mind: The Need For Verbs :: Little Stories

Activities for the body: Outdoor Line Hunt and Walking on the Line ::  Living Montessori Now

Goodness for the eyes and ears: “Fixing” Autism :: Lou’s Land


This week on Raising Playful Tots podcast::  Unschoolers

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Setting the family dinner table for more than food

Sitting down to dinner is one of the happiest times on our house. The time before the sitting down to dinner is probably the busiest. Yet it is something we work hard at making happen every night. Using the piece of apple strategy each of the boys have assumed various setting the table roles; grown out of that stage and graduated to the next level. They get a little like a union if their brother does ‘their job’. We’ve had full on sit ins, throw downs and work to rules over many issues and taken it to mummy arbitration where everyone yells and gets pretty emotional about who should set the plates and how it is my turn to do the cups because…… It’s all very real. Family dinners, the gathering of everyone and the coming together is a good place to share your family values, manners and show how to use their skills.

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Friday Finds {29.06.2012}

The Olympic torch came through our town and we grabbed a place and waiting for an hour or so.

The weather helped and look how close we were! The LO fought off his afternoon nap as there was far too much going on to sleep.

With Summer officially here what have you been up to?


Goodness for the mind: Why modern girls are ditching dolls ::: Mindful Mum

Activities for the body: Six Shape Activities That Involve Movement ::  Stay at Home Educator

Goodness for the eyes and ears: how to make summer reading FUN for kids ::: Teachmama


This week on Raising Playful Tots podcast::  Storytelling and the magic of 3s

If you enjoyed this article, get the Play Activities Newsletter. ( It’s free!)

If you had a day with your 3 year old what would they do?

What would happen if you handed over the day to your three year old?

No really.

Within reason you would follow their lead.

I say within reason because there will be some interesting suggestions and requests that would cost far too much or just not realistic. But what would really happen?

Our children don’t have a lot of say in what goes on especially if they are a subsequent sibling. Let’s face it we don’t always design our days around our children. We all have things to do and the impromptu sit in at 8:30am on the way out the door is enough to send us over the edge on a tightly scheduled day.

But what if……we had a long session where we did what the three year old wanted…..at their pace.

Instead of us saying, ” Alright let’s do…… ( insert your activity of the day here).” We said, ” What would you like to do now?” and then you did it.

Visualize your home, what do you think your child would do? Where would they want to go? What would they ask to eat?

Activities that happened when we did this

  • We played lining up cars for a long time. However we did sort them by colour, size, group them in twos and threes, balanced them on top of each other to see how many we could stack, made letters and numbers, tried to create the longest ever traffic jam
  • Painting- we reproduced activities we had done recently and listened to music. We also experimented with water seeing how wet we could get the paper. How quickly we could get the water to go dark? ( quickly!)We realised we like poster paints because we can load up our paintbrush Watercolours took too long to do big long lines. Clearing up is fun when you can play in the water while cleaning the brushes and paint pots.
  • Snack of Nutella on toast with milk.  Blueberries roll of the table if you don’t put them down carefully. Some blueberries are squishier than others and mummy must eat those.
  • Lining up cars never gets old
  • We read a pile of books and snuggled.
  • Ignored the phone ring ( that was hard!)
  • Read some more.
  • Phone rang again. This time I took the call.
  • Playing with a balloon- batting it to each other, rubbing it on the wall.
  • Finally the LO brings me the container of flour- I’m not sure if he wants to bake or play with it. He plays with it by himself as I clear up the kitchen.

What I learnt

To let go of being the leader in this moment. The joy of him choosing our activities and the fun he clearly was having. It wasn’t about me. It was all about him.
He has a huge amount of attention when engaged in activities he wants to do.
What about you- if you had a day with your 3 year old what would  be doing? I challenge you to do this with your child, mine happens to be 3. Tell us here or share on the Facebook page.


Make your own: Wolf Footprints

Wolf foot prints play activity for #readforgood

We’re following along with the MeMeTales Summer Readathon. This week the theme is Animals.

We cuddled up and watched the  Donkey and Wolf.

The LO was a little wiggly and jiggly so we decided to do some making activities together.  The other week we had been using flour in a sensory activity. The flour got all over the LO’s top which he  had to shake off in the kitchen. He and his brothers made footprints in the leftover flour. It’s that memory that made us think about footprint making. I also remember seeing on Pinterest the pin of a pair of shoes that you can make animal prints.

We decided to make our own out of cardboard because the wolf was always running it would be fun to spot his tracks.

We worked together using the things we had at home. I know it doesn’t look pretty but the LO walked his paws off.  His make believe paws lasted a session but the story will live on. There’s something fun about connecting a story to a play activity that extends their play.

This post is part of the MeMeTales readathon. We’re reading a story on my phone or online then doing an activity connected with it. Find out Why and how you can get involved by visiting  all the friends. See my disclosure here.

Visit other animal activities

What did you play today?

Can you spot the wolf’s tracks?

Friday Finds {15.06.2012} and Summer Readathon 2012

Next week, we are joining in with MemeTalesSummer Readathon 2012. The LO loves reading physical books and tries to hijack my phone to play Rush hour. I’m happy to be participating in this program so we can have something else to do on the phone that we both love.  I mentioned in the Summer learning and bucket lists my fondness for summer reading programs. I’m excited that not only will we be reading together but also doing some activities to go with them too. Not just us but there are lots of us.

The LO is attracted to media, computers etc. I’m especially looking forward to being able to connect our joint love of technology and reading together. I love the idea of a specific timeframe to ease us both into ebooks together. We’ll continue to use physical books alongside our play.

There will be 6 themes over 6 weeks. For every child joining the Readathon, MeMeTales is donating a meal to a send a hungry child to school via FoodForEducation.org.

All the details are over on MeMeTales.
Join Readathon 2012

Will you join us?

Disclaimer: I will be receiving the featured books and in exchange I’ll be sharing activities and ideas related to the theme of the week as well as promoting this program.


Goodness for the mind:  Why Saying ‘Let me know if I can help’ Doesn’t Really Help ::  Her Baby Steps

Activities for the body:  Pendulum Play is Amazing !::  Creative Connections for kids

Goodness for the eyes and ears: Catch Your Child Being Good :: Parenting Simply


This week on Raising Playful Tots podcast:: Summer learning and bucket lists

If you enjoyed this article, get the Play Activities Newsletter. ( It’s free!)

5 things we should do this summer

How are your summer plans shaping up?

It’s really easy to see lots of ideas for the children and soon your fun summer holiday has turned into a long list of to dos.


I have this struggle every year. There are all these things I want to do and all these things that would be great to do. Everything centres around the kids. But we need a break too. We need a chance to recharge and reflect on what our year has delivered. We need to plan or point ourselves into the right direction again.

I’ve talked about summer learning and bucket list ideas in a recent podcast. Today I want to talk about us.

5 things we should do this summer


I see you groaning already. I can’t tell you how bad my desk was looking.  There’s just no time. But after some tidying, not by me, it looks and feels so much better to work in this area. It’s those high trafficked areas I never get to like that pile of papers to sort including kid’s art.

Links: what to do with your child’s artwork :: Teachmama

Think outside the {toy} Box – Over 50 Organizational Tips for Kids’ Spaces :: Attempting Aloha

Storing the kids’ artwork in plain view :: Cool Mom Picks


Honestly, we all have too many things. Donate, throw away, recycle but slim down areas. We’ll be weeding through the puzzles and reducing the amount of toys out on show this summer. It’s not going to be easy.

Migrating to a Simpler Life by Trailerchix on YouTube

Want to Simplify? Start Here :: Small notebook

Simplicity at Home- Simplifying Children’s Things; Part 2 :: Natural Kids


Be inspired

It’s easy to have bold hopes but putting them into reality is harder. It’s why I love Pinterest so much. There’s a chance to find a another way to play with playdough, which we love; better ways to organize, which I need. Knowing that someone has been there before me, survivied and conquered helps me continue to strive onwards. Parenting is often a lonely, thankless task. When we’re stuck we’re stuck and it’s hard to know where to turn.

Outdoor fun

Goodness for the ears

Catch breath…..stop

For many of us this will mean a break from our usual schedules. No more clubs, week or two off blogging, less online time, more family time and projects. I love this time during the summer as it gives me a chance to climb off the treadmill of our life and really see if this is a direction we want. I’d really recommend having large amounts of time where there’s nothing planned and you can just do things on a whim.

Projects for those lazy days of summer


All those things you were planning to do all year. Find them. Try them. That book you were recommended or that parenting class you want to look into. That play method you wanted to hear more about or that college class you were thinking of. When was the last time you ran,  sewed or did something creative for just you? Reconnect with your passions.

Good ideas for the home

Take your family into a new direction

Photo credit

So now it is over to you……what are you planning to do for you this summer?

Friday Finds {08.06.2012}


This week has been full of celebrations.

With the Jubilee celebrations over the weekend; being with family and the 100th episode of the Raising Playful Tots , we’ve had a lot to celebrate. We have made a lot of cake and eaten a lot too. This week I have some links for you to check out. As usual, they are there to make you pause, reflect and decide on how this will work in your family.

Enjoy your weekend!


Goodness for the mind:  boys and weapon play: what are the ground rules for toy guns and swords? :: Rage against the minivan

Activities for the body: 30 Moves for Excess Energy! ::  Hands on :: as we grow

Goodness for the eyes and ears: what to do with your child’s artwork :: Teachmama


This week on Raising Playful Tots podcast:: Summer learning and bucket lists

If you enjoyed this article, get the Play Activities Newsletter. ( It’s free!)

The power of letting go


Lessons from the heart: Be Flexible. It does work out

Puzzles go in the puzzle draw.

Pens and pencils in the box.

If you don’t chaos erupts. Or does it?

Alphabet cards

We have a beloved set of alphabet cards. You place them under paper and rub over the top with a crayon or pencil crayon. It’s been a favourite calming activity for years in our home. I’ve looked after the set carefully from one home to the next. The package it came in; long gone. It’s been in many different containers before settling in the plastic easy access baggy. The boys believed counting them into the bag each time was part of the activity but it was more to make sure we had them all. Can you relate?

The texture was a lot of fun as they all liked to feel around the edges and their fingers were always just small enough to move inside the letter.

This set is on its third child now. I’d so carefully put it away that it was only recently discovered again and I wondered where to put them. Previously these were a special game that we did together or was on the special shelf where only an adult gets the things down. I’d always gone back and forth about that. Never really sure if I should be so restrictive but wanting to keep all the letters together. ….Sigh!

I was so excited to introduce these to the LO.

  1. He is fascinated with letters and numbers at the moment.
  2. I was sure he would like the feel of the letters.

I lay them out; went for the big butcher paper, hiding out in the garage and was promptly distracted by life.


When I got back this is what I saw.

My first instinct was to show him how to use them as naturally he hadn’t got it had he? Then I stopped and noticed how he was using the pen and how much he was concentrating.

He followed the lines and traced around. He investigated the letters flipping them up and became fascinated at p and d. Using a marker on its last legs he traced within the letter.


His attention was there.

He was curious and investigating.

It would have been easy for me to have swept in and shown him what to do.

I learnt a valuable lesson that afternoon, apart from try not to be so easily distracted. It’s okay for children to play differently than you expect with certain objects. Of course I know this but the distraction pointed it out to me even more.


We need to give them time to be curious and investigate.


………… P.S. These alphabet letters are down in the pencil and pens box.

What have you struggled with letting go and how did it go?

Tell us in the comments


If you enjoyed this article, get the Play Activities Newsletter. ( It’s free!)

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