Sandie Clarke has, once again, masterminded the Children's Activities for the Woodchester Wednesdays. We are very grateful to Sandie and to her team of tireless helpers for all the hard work that they put into making these activities such fun for all involved - children and helpers alike. This year, the activities have been even more popular than ever with all well over-subscribed - memo: book early for 2013. Sandie's blog appears below and, as she says, please keep an eye out to see if anything happens at half-term in October ... and don't forget the Halloween weekend open days, when we plan spooky fun in the cellars!
(1 August:) Our first chidren's activity day was Totally Batty! Luckily the bats were all keen to show off their babies and showed us how they stretch their wings and move around the roost. Steve, the bat expert, told us lots of information about bats and answered all our questions. He took us round the Mansion and we found insect wings that the bats had dropped. We learnt how to draw a bat and made our own bat to fly home with us. Thanks to all the Mums, Dads and Grandparents who helped out.
(8 August) GREAT OUTDOORS DAY today and thankfully it didn't rain!
Nearly 50 children turned up with lots of little brothers and sisters, Mums, Dads and grandparents. We all worked really hard to make a strong den which should last a long time for other young visitors to enjoy. Even the littlest ones joined in with dragging huge branches and rolling logs. We made natural art based on the Mansion architect's logo and some interesting creatures appeared in the trees.
Lunchtime was a great chance to play in the puddles and to eat ice cream, and soon it was time to explore the woods. The Playtrail was a great hit, especially the zipwire and everyone summoned up the courage to have a go, even the less adventurous people. So a great day for everyone and thanks to all the adults who helped out. Gargoyles next week!
(15 August) The heavens opened right on cue today, just in time for a real life demo of how gargoyles work! We were all amazed to see how much water came out of their spouts. We were joined today by two 'John' s - John the gargoyle expert who told us how they developed and showed us some unusual gargoyles in Gloucestershire (including some rude ones!) and John the actor who had us all in fits of giggles one minute and scared stiff the next with his tall tales. Lots of audience participation kept everyone involved and begging for more stories. We made some great gargoyles and green men with clay and some scary masks. So another enjoyable day......thanks to all involved. Last activity day next week with the Victorian Treasure Hunt.
(22 August) Sadly it was our last Activity Day for 2012 today but we had a great time making treasure and boxes to keep it in. Later we went on the Victorian Treasure Hunt which kept everyone busy working out the clues - the two monkeys were particularly elusive - but well done to Effie and Caldora who won first prize. After lunch some people played French cricket Victorian style ( until rain stopped play!) and others did some detailed sketching. Oskar found a skull of a small mammal yet to be identified and we had some more young visitors join us from Rome and America . So thanks to all the children who brought their enthusiasm and interest, thanks to all the parents and grandparents who joined in and helped with everything we did and thanks to all the volunteers who so willingly gave up their time.
Keep a watch out for Halloween and what we'll be doing in 2013!