I posted earlier this week about Getting Outdoors and Getting Wild so I practised what I preached on Saturday and headed to a group I have been trying to join in with for months and months.
Saturday Saplings is an outdoor nature playgroup which is run in the woods in a park in Shipley near where we live. I already know the lady who runs it through the amazing Ladies Who Make sessions which I have blogged about in the past. Paula sets up once a month between March and November in the woods in the park and you can go along for £4 with 2 adults and 2 children and join in the play.
We took a very very very grumpy Chiplet down to the woods where he abjectly refused to put his coat on (par for the course at the moment!)
The set up for the group is in a clearing in a small section of wood in Northcliffe Park in Shipley, West Yorkshire. There are different ‘stations’ set up in the clearing, as well as encouraged ‘free-play’ and some specific activities during the hour.
Chiplet took a bit of warming up, so we started with the sensory area with pine-cones and different types of wood… he then spotted a gnome in a tree along with a cuddly squirrel who he then adopted. With a grumpy toddler, we usually find food solves most ills, so we went to the little fire pit, where the children could toast a marshmallow…. this was Chiplet’s first time and he loved it, although there was some charring to the mallow – due to Mummy not paying attention.
We then had a go at a bit of den building, which I thought I was quite good at. Provided was material, pegs and all manner of things to decorate your den and the under 2s loved it…. Chiplet giggled his head off when his friend joined him in the Den.
There was then some whittling which even the youngest of our group had a go at, before we tidied up and sat down for a lovely story.
I was gutted we never made it to the mud-kitchen but we can always do that next time – although sadly that won’t be until March when the group starts back up again.
You can find out more about Saplings on Sponge Tree’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sponge-Tree/146240408719589 and the final session of 2014 is on Saturday 20 December.