While I no longer play sports anymore (aside from doing a bit of swimming), I do love to watch the big sporting events on tv. Even sports I don’t follow or wouldn’t usually be interested in (judo, for example), I will happily watch, and did that for both during the Glasgow and Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The OH isn’t a fan at all. He’ll watch football and that’s about it.
So I’m trying to encourage N to watch some of the Commonwealth Games with me to maybe inspire him and also educate him about the other less popular sports. It’s going better than the World Cup which he wasn’t particularly keen on. (I do have another reason…to try and cut down on him asking for Peppa Pig all the time).
Of course, watching sport with toddlers and young children is always going to be interesting. After a week of the Glasgow games, we’d watched:
Rhythmic gymnastics ‘what’s she doing mummy?’, ‘why she got my hoop?’. If the OH had been in the room, he’d have been trying to get N to say ‘pretty girl’ I’m sure.
Cycling ‘I got a bike mummy’, ‘there’s 2 on that bike’.
Judo, which he can now recognise when he sees it. He hasn’t yet asked why they’re fighting, but hopefully he won’t start launching on his friends at nursery.
Shooting ‘we had shooting at the farm’, ‘why’s she wearing glasses?’
100m sprint qualifying. I can’t say he was interested in this at all although he had been on the go all weekend, so might have just been a bit tired.
Triathlon relay ‘I’ve got a bike helmet too’, ‘they did a big jump into the water’, ‘they might be swimming with fish in there mummy’
And best of all the swimming. I was hoping he’d be interested in the swimming as he obviously has lessons himself and is the one he could most relate to. He has been enthralled by the swimming. If he’s been playing and we’ve turned on the tv to see the swimming, he’ll immediately stop and look at it, even going to sit somewhere comfortable. I’ve been amazed at how focused he is.
I’ve been talking him through the strokes they’re swimming, and how much they’re kicking ‘look at their straight kicking legs’ (as like most toddlers he does a very bent knee kick, so doesn’t really go anywhere). He likes the butterfly the most, but was watching their breathing and faces in the water ‘they blow bubbles mummy’. It was like toddler commentary ‘watch how they breath, blow bubbles, breath, blow bubbles’ just like he’s taught in the pool.
I was hoping him seeing the backstroke might encourage him to try for longer on his back, but by that stage he was most interested in ‘how do they get out of the pool?’. There were no steps!
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So when we had our swimming lesson this week I was interested to see whether he would be inspired and make an effort, after the last month or so of him being a bit rubbish on the effort and clinginess phase.
It was like a miraculous turnaround (again). He was jumping (standing and sitting) off the side with no worries. Then it came to doing swimming with support and then his 123 swim, and he was using his arms as well as legs. Usually his arms don’t really do anything, but it was brilliant to see it coming together. I’m not sure who was more shocked, Lynsey the teacher or me!
Despite him loving watching the backstroke, and having swum a width holding a float behind his head a while ago, N wasn’t having any of it this week. He would go on his back but only with someone supporting him, whether that was myself or Lynsey. But he’s now happy to give a star float a go. It might only be fleeting, and only one attempt per lesson, but he’s getting there with it.
Overall, I’m astounded at how much he seemed to have been inspired watching the Commonwealth Games swimming. I’m debating recording some of the final races, so the day before lessons we can watch them and hopefully give him a bit of encouragement.
Have your children been interested in the games at all? How do you encourage them an interest in sport?
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