Woodchester Wednesdays are over for the year but read about the fun days of the summer holidays with Sandie Clarke and Chris Taylor.
Messy Arts Day
Woodchester Wednesdays 2014 started with a few bangs today! Great to see some friends from last year and also lots of new faces.
Our theme today was Messy Art and our artistic streaks soon came out. We made colourful mosaics, monoprints and some interesting spidery pictures. After a few energetic games and lots of drinks it was soon lunchtime- everyone was starving!
Then time for bubble blowing, George and Joe were really good at it and blew some really big ones but other people found it impossible. Then the highlight of the day - exploding paint bombs made with bicarbonate of soda vinegar and paint. A fun day for everyone today - Joe and Alex said it was a BRILLIANT DAY.
Twenty five children enjoyed a full day of welcome sunshine and adventure den building, tracking and creating natural art. The mornings task was to build the den, which entailed scouring the nearby woodland for suitable fallen branches, logs and twigs. Children as young as five shared the carrying of building materials and were keen to place branches into the framework. The climax of the morning was the group photograph taken by volunteers, proud mums and grandparents and the local press.
The first afternoon activity saw the children divided into two groups and sent off to lay a trail to be followed by the other group later. One team tracked up the park towards the play trail, whilst the second went in the opposite direction towards the woods near the lakes. The teams swapped over to follow both trails which eventually led to the location of carefully concealed toy dinosaurs! Tracking required plenty of walking exercise, and on their second return to the mansion children were ready for a quieter, less energetic activity. This involved collecting leaves, stones, cones, berries and twigs and arranging them in artistically pleasing designs. Children worked singly, in pairs and small groups and all produced attractive results. It had been a fun day, tiring but rewarding for children and accompanying adults alike.
Bats & Butterflies Day
Today was a day of two halves. As the sun was out we started by searching for butterflies and filling in a recognition chart. Amazing results - we found 5 different species including a rare gatekeeper. Some of the boys also found a baby toad! The results have been sent to the National Butterfly Count and you can identify our location and results on the website map. After a drink we then shared our knowledge about butterflies and their lifecycle and made some butterflies of our own. Interesting that some of the older ones thought that butterflies ate insects!
All change after lunch as Gemma from the Gloucestershire Bat Group came to show us the live bats in the Observatory and also some dead specimens of different kinds of bats. Gemma answered all our questions and we now know lots about bats. Some cute little bat characters were made to take home while the older ones made some detailed sketches.
George and Poppy had to go home early as George wasn't feeling well - we hope you are better now.
Thanks everyone for another good day.
Well, the wind we ordered from the Met Office for today didn't arrive but nevertheless we had another sunny day.
The kites we made worked out really well and all flew, even if only a little way, in the light breeze.
They were really colourful and some had lovely patterns.
After lunch we made brilliant windsocks out of plastic bottles and plastic bags. Everyone chose different colour combinations
but I'm sure they'll all look great hanging from a tree in your gardens !
Tilly had a lovely day today and enjoyed sitting in the sun surrounded by her new friends!
Last week will sadly be the last week for this years summer activities. We've planned some interesting challenges
aimed at slightly older children, maybe 8-12years but younger ones will still be welcome to join us.
Let's hope for another fine day!
Outdoor Challenge Day
Great to see so many older kids at the Mansion today, all ready to take on the 10 Outdoor Challenges for our last Woodchester Wednesday for summer 2014.
After a briefing, the first task was to go up to the woods to collect suitable logs for all the challenges. We found making the catapult easier than using it to knock down a tin can! Tables too were not so easy but with some careful plannning everyone managed to make one which would bear 2 kilos in weight, some interesting designs too. People worked their way through the rest of the challenges and soon it was time for lunch as everyone was starving.
After lunch the log tower was completed and yes it was higher than the tallest boy! Then one group had some expert tuition in making bows and arrows while the other group made a solar oven. Unfortunately by then clouds had settled in so we eventuallly gave in and resorted to a microwave to cook our biscuit, marshmallow & chocolate sandwiches - yum!
The day finished with a mass arrow shooting, a bit like the Battle of Hastings but luckily no-one got shot in the eye. Everyone got their challenge sheets signed off to show their achievements and we shared out the rest of the treats.
A great day for everyone, which showed how sensible children can be when given responsibility for using tools and making things for themselves. Big thanks to all the helpers, we couldn't manage these days without you
Half Term Activities - We will be running a two-day theatre workshop on Wednesday and Thursday 29 and 30 October 2014 - we look forward to seeing you there.