I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed being back at work, but if there’s one thing I miss from my extended maternity leave – it’s midweek playdates with the NCT girls. Not only are they a good chance to catch up with the women who have become such treasured friends and been the most incredible support network, but seeing our toddlers playing together, learning from each other and having a blast is the most heart-warming thing to see – even if it is hard work at times! I want to make the most of it before they start arguing and whining about each other (because, that’s inevitable, right?).
As they get older, it’s harder work to keep them amused. In order to avoid tantrums, arguments and escape attempts, the toys available need to be increasingly exciting and the activities on offer have to be more and more engaging. It’s also a difficult age to plan for: as I talked about in my First Parents’ Evening post, Pickle and his friends are all very different, and excelling in different areas. They’re starting to show their individual interests and preferences, and they’re not afraid to show their distaste if something isn’t to their liking! Finding the common ground is essential… and this week? That common ground was Teletubbies.
Organising a Teletubbies Playdate
Thankfully, Teletubbies have just released a downloadable playdate pack – filled with lots of playdate ideas, inspiration and activities that will leave you feeling like you’re absolutely bossing it at this parenting malarkey. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a Pinterest Mum, this is the easiest way to do so. Minimum brain power required, maximum impact obtained. Winner.
The pack contains some brilliant ideas – not only is there a whole section with helpful tips on organising a playdate (especially if the other children’s parents aren’t staying), but there are some fun activity ideas and even some cute little printable invites!
Seeing as the weather was absolutely gorgeous, I bucked the playdate convention, and rather than having friends over to play, I took our playdate to the park instead. I picked a quiet spot in the shade, threw down a picnic blanket and laid out some activities and snacks.
I made some fruit skewers, with a piece of fruit on each to represent each teletubby: blueberry, grape, mango and strawberry, and used some Doddlebag pouches filled with strawberry yoghurt like Tubby Custard! Both were really easy to prepare, and it’s the little things like this that children remember isn’t it? I really remember my Mum making me and my brothers tubby custard. With sliced bananas. Yum.
Thankfully, the fruit went down a storm! Not only did Pickle and his friends devour the fruit on the skewers, but they also made short work of the spare fruit I’d packed in a Tupperware too. It was perhaps the quietest, most serene part of the playdate, where all five toddlers (plus baby!) were still, contained and calm. This is why snacks should always be an essential playdate staple!
I love how this photos makes it look like Pickle’s friend is offering the fruit around… when in reality, I’m pretty sure he was fed up of his friends pinching all the lovely fruit and stood up to run off with it for himself! I don’t blame you, darling. I’d be the same.
One thing I learned from our playdate was that stickers are worth way more than their weight in gold. Got a child that’s running off in the wrong direction? Ask them if they want a sticker. Toddler having a tantrum? Offer them a sticker. Want to reward some lovely behaviour? Give them a sticker. To keep on theme, I had a Teletubbies Busy Book which had lots of stickers in – and one of Pickle’s friends made me almost weep with pride (even though she’s not my daughter!) when she asked for the watering can sticker, please. WATERING CAN. Pickle can barely say ball. She’s such a clever cookie. I think they all quite enjoyed having a splat sticker to stick on this Teletubbies poster too.
Before everyone left to go home, we took inspiration from the Playdate pack, and had a little bit of a sing song. Starting off with Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (the lyrics are helpfully in the pack, in case you should ever forget!), before Pickle surprised me by actually doing all the actions to Wind the Bobbin Up! In the photo above, he’s ‘pulling’… and in the one below, he’s pointing to the ceiling! Us Mums did have a little giggle when we were trying to decide where to point to in the gardens for the ‘window’ and the ‘door’!
Overall, I had a brilliant time during the playdate – and I hope the other children and their Mums did too! The great news is, there’s still lots of activities in our pack to try on a future occasion, including making Teletubbies antennae headbands and decorating Teletubbies bunting. I might even take these activities with us away camping this weekend, as it looks like we could be rained in and I’ll be grateful for some fun bits and pieces to keep Pickle occupied in the tent.
Download the Teletubbies Playdate Pack for Free
If you like the sound of the Teletubbies Playdate Pack, you can download a copy for yourself from the Teletubbies website. It’s completely free and full of wonderful ideas.
If this post and the playdate pack inspires you to have a little toddler gathering of your own, I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a line on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, especially if you have any cute photos to share.
Disclaimer: we have been paid to promote the Teletubbies Playdate Pack. The download itself, however, is completely free. All opinions and views remain my own, and as always, are 100% honest.