Sunday, 27 November 2011

Autumn Trees

Continuing our Autumn theme we've spent the last few weeks working on some tree wall hangings. There was a lot of work to do and for lots of people new skills, learning to tie knots and how to weave the strips of coloured fabric to make the leaves of the trees. Everyone worked really hard and the results speak for themselves.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Inspired by autum

It's definitely Autumn now, the weather is getting colder and the leaves are falling from the trees. We're using it as our inspiration for the craft activities this term and we're thinking about all the changes around us at this time of year, from the colours of the leaves to the clothes we need to wear in the colder weather.

Tonight the children used fallen leaves and imagination to create some wonderful autumnal art.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A Night in the woods

Finally the weather was on our side and we enjoyed a great night out in the woods. I was beginning to despair when I was out in the hail storm at lunch time.

We started with a couple of rounds of "pegs in the wood" a surprisingly fun game involving sneaking a clothes peg from a base in the woods and getting past the guards to peg it on the clothes line.

This was followed by a rest and some hot chocolate, always popular.

Finally we split into groups and played a sound tracking game. The "moths" went off into the woodland and the "bats" had to find them by sending out a sound signal. Each time the moths heard the signal they were to respond so the bats could track them.

There were some very tired children (and adults) by the end of the evening.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Rainbow Sand

Having focused on games for the last couple of weeks it was time for a craft session tonight. I started on the rainbow sand jars back in July when I made the coloured sand and it's been waiting ever since.

It was surprisingly quiet as the children concentrated on getting the layers of sand just right

The jars need to be completely full, any space and when you move them the layers of sand will all mix up. If they do settle and leave gaps you may need to add a bit more sand later so we didn't glue the lids down.

The finished jars looked really pretty.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Welcome Back

While there were no group meetings over the summer holidays we still had a few things going on. We ran parachute games at the Jubilee Green playground and ran a stall at the local car boot sales raising over £60 for the group funds. Thank you to everyone who donated, what we didn't sell is being passed on to another group raising money for their coach to camp over the summer.

Our first session back was devoted to games, of course the old favorite of dead ants and a new one called lighthouse which involved one or two people being blindfolded and having to navigate around the islands to the lighthouse aided by the rest of the group.

We've got several craft activities lined up for the next couple of weeks. This term we'll be making things over a couple of sessions rather than something smaller each week.

As the evenings get darker we will also looks to play some games in the dark or maybe a night walk through the woods.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A Busy weekend

Saturday morning saw us once again at the Jubilee Green park running parachute games for the fun day, we packed up a little early so we could join in the cycle ride in the afternoon.

This morning we were up bright and early to set up our pitch at the Trench Lane car boot sale. This is something we've been planning for a long time and it feels good to have finally done it.

Thank you to all those who have donated things for the sale and an extra thank you to Anne for her time and her table this morning.

 We raised just over £60 for the group

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Fun at Jubilee Green

This morning we took the parachute along to join the Friends of Jubilee Green for the preschool event in the park.

There was plenty of fun going on and we got lots of people around the parachute, most of them too young to join just yet but maybe in a couple of years time. You can see photos of the event here.

The next event is planned for Saturday 20th of August and is aimed at 5 - 12 year olds, though again everyone is welcome. We hope they've booked the sun again and we'll be back with the parachute.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A damp picnic

Despite the weather there were quite a few of us at the end of term picnic. The adults found shelter under some of the trees but most of the children seemed to ignore the rain (and in some cases the food too) in favor of the play equipment.


Though we did have a squirrel who came to join the picnic.

There was not quite enough wind to get the kites flying so we had a quick wide game instead.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Plans for this term

We were hoping to get lots of outside games time this term, so far the weather is not on our side. There's still a few weeks left though.

We've got a couple of evenings out planned, we're spending an evening orienteering and our last week of term we'll have a picnic in the park. We're planning to make kites in some of our craft sessions so it will be a good opportunity to test them out.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Our Weekend at The Burrow

We arrived on Friday evening, everyone was very excited about the weekend ahead and exploring the place we were staying. The building we were in was called the burrow, and it's very unusual because in good weather you can slide the roof off. Fortunately we had plenty of good weather to try out this feature.
 Inside the "bedrooms" were all canvas walls, we've never seen a tent with bunk beds though! Everyone chose their bunk before having some hot chocolate and settling down for the night, we wanted an early start in the morning.

After breakfast we split onto two groups, the first group set off through the woods, leaving a trail for the second group to follow. The trail led us to some caves which the everyone enjoyed exploring. I hope the bats didn't mind too much.

 We swapped groups for the return so everyone got a go at laying and following trails.

The afternoon was spent in the field by the site where the children made a series of nests and mazes though the long grass.

 We also got to make a toasting fork for the campfire in the evening.
Everyone made a toffee apple over the campfire and we had marshmallows too.
By Sunday everyone was feeling a little tired and just over the bridge there were some carved wooden benches, perfect for relaxing.

 And a final snack in the borrow before we came home.

Everyone was in great spirits when the parents arrived to take people home. It was a great weekend and we are already think about planning another for later in the year.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Lanterns in action

The lanterns turned out well and made a nice atmosphere for our hot chocolate on the first night of camp.

The weekend was a great success, it must have been we are already talking about planning another!

Saturday morning we split into groups and did some trail laying in the woods, the trail led us to some caves which the children had great fun exploring. I'm not sure the bats were quite so happy about it.

After lunch there was plenty of time for games in the field next to the burrow, the children made quite a maze in the long grass. We also did a bit of whittling, everyone made a marshmallow toasting stick ready for the campfire. Along with the marshmallows we tried out campfire toffee apples which went down very well.

Sunday morning saw more playing in the field and crossing the suspension bridge for a snack on the other side of the river before packing our bags and heading home.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Let there be light

We had a great session tonight making lanterns from empty tin cans.

A couple of weeks ago we asked everyone to save an empty baked bean tin, fill it with water and stick it in the freezer.

This week everyone brought along their tins of ice and after a chat about the safety rules (ie no running with nails, make sure you have enough space around you) we got to work using large nails and rocks (we didn't have enough hammers) to make holes in the tins. The ice is important as it stops the tins from getting crushed. It doesn't take much force to make a hole so we did have a couple of problems with children hitting the nail in too far and shattering the ice. Fortunately we had some spare tins. I held the tin still with my feet when I did the demo model as I was working on a slippery floor. Tonight we worked outside and the cans stayed still better in the grass.

Once the lanterns are done and the ice melts drop in a small candle.

It's important to realise just how sharp the inside of the lantern is once you;ve covered it in holes. To put the candle in hold it by the wick and drop it in. Do not put your hand in. Light with a long taper

We'll try and get some photos of the lanterns in action at camp.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Are you sitting comfortably?

This week we played a new game, the aim was to be the first team to pass an electric current (a squeeze of the hand) from the generator at one end of the line to the siren at the other.

Each team sat in a line holding hands, with the generators next to each other and the sirens at the far end of each line. A coin toss determins whether the current should pass on or not. Heads a squeeze of hands should travel to the siren and make it sound, tails nothing should happen. The siren from the loosing team swaps teams and becomes the generator for the other team.

This week we made mats to sit on when we are at camp. The brightly coloured plastic is the kind of fabric which councy castles are made form so should be nice and waterproof. We used sticky backed plastic to personalise the mats.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Welly pegs in Action

The first of our camp crafts, the welly pegs are done, so our boots should stay organised.

The pegs are wooden clothes pegs, decorated with shapes cut from sheets of craft foam. We used a variety of hole punches to make the shapes. For some reason some of the sheets of foam seemed stiffer than other colours. The thicker ones were easier to punch, however a piece of paper held underneath the thinner sheets made them easier to punch.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Comming up this term

As many of us are looking forward to the camp at the end of May our craft's this term are going to focus on making things that will be useful on the weekend.

The first will be making decorated welly pegs. Hopefully they will keep us organised at camp.

We're also planning to decorate some groundsheets so we don't get wet bottoms at camp.

Finally we're going to make recycled tin can lanterns. There is no electricity at the camp site so we'll use these to light up our evenings.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

What I like

There's lots of games, we can do crafts, cooking and stories. The games are quite long, we sometimes play outside. It's brilliant

Esme aged 6

Welcome to the Blog

The aim of this blog is to share what we have been doing in our group.

Last term we were busy with the Woodcraft Pom Pom Olyimplics. Everyone made their own pom pom,  then we got together in small groups to invent the events. We found out how far, and how high we could throw them and how accurately we could hit a target.

Our last session was very popular as we made chocolate nests, complete with mini eggs. Yum.

Next term we are looking forward to playing more games outside and to our first camp at the end of May.