Monday, 8 December 2014

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Swallows & Amazons and Play

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Swallows & Amazons and Play
 
Last week I had the pleasure of taking my four year old daughter to the Bristol Old Vic to see their 2014 production of Swallows and Amazons. It was a huge success in 2012 so I was glad to be given the opportunity to see this year's production.
 
However, I was a little apprehensive.
 
What is it all about? The synopsis stated that it's 'a story of an idyllic era, of endless summer evenings and the beauty of youthful imagination.' Bristol old Vic
 
The plot summary in Wikipedia of the original book states that it 'relates the outdoor adventures and play of two families of children.' One lot of children who are holidaying in the Lake District and the other who live there.
 
Well that sounded pretty good! We love play! Oh, but hang on... Will my 4 year old daughter sit through over two hours of theatre? She can't sit still to eat her lunch!
 
Well... I can tell you that she did! And below I will try to relay why I think the cast did a wonderful job of capturing my daughters imagination and playing to it perfectly.
 
Waiting for the show to begin!
 
The actors playing John, Susan, Titty and Roger, the Walker children, did an excellent job of allowing you to believe that they were indeed children who were more than excited about their voyage across the lake on their own without parents! Not something we can ever imagine today! Which stimulates a whole other conversation about our children's perceived freedom that is not for today.
 
My daughter was sucked in! her eyes followed their every move as they spoke and moved around the stage like children who's minds were firing away with all sorts of imaginings. The performance started with excitement and energy and never relented at any point - totally matching the energy of children never wanting to stop playing, even for a minute.
 
My daughter asked me 'what are they doing?' a couple of times and I said to her that 'they are pretending. They are using their imaginations to have a great adventure.' This was enough for her. She didn't need any other explanation. This was acceptable. The Walker children created a whole world for the story by using the whole theatre space. They looked out over the audience to things in the distance and every time they did so my daughter looked round to see what they were looking at because she believed in what they were doing. They ran through the audience and used the auditorium as space to explore. Rows of children stood up from their seats to see what the children had spotted - they weren't in a theatre anymore, they were all on Wild Cat Island.
 
 
Then the Amazons appeared, the children local to the Lakes, and they were mischievous and loud and full of energy and were pirates! My daughter wanted to be an Amazon. They were pirates and she loves pirates! All adults were Barbarians! Brilliant! And Uncle James Turner became Captain Flint who the Swallows and Amazons would join forces to fight in their war. We were excited! We were presented with children swimming in the sea, sailing across lakes, rowing up to Captain Flint's ship, sitting around a fire created by clicking fingers and hand movements mimicking flames, and wonderful songs that reflected the mood of the scene - my daughter loves singing and has been singing the bits she can remember ever since.
 
Birds were made of tools and bin liners, a parrot was made of a feather duster and garden hand shears, yet we all believed they were birds coming to life in front of us. Exactly as children would grab whatever they could find in a flow of play to create characters and props to further the story.
 
My daughter likes to move all the time, so sitting down for over two hours was difficult, but being a family show it was acceptable for her to fidget and move around a little as many other children were doing - it's hard to expect a child to sit still especially when they are excited. We were lucky enough to move the end of the row where if she stood up she wasn't in the way of anyone else. During the second half she physically moved towards the stage as she was drawn in (there's me grabbing her skirt to pull her back towards her chair!), she bounced on her seat at the exciting bits - I won't tell you because I don't want to spoil it - and she jumped up in the air shouting 'they did it!'
 
 
The best bit for her was being able to help the Swallows and Amazons to fight Captain Flint by throwing things at him across the theatre! Great fun!
 
More than anything else, here is how I know she enjoyed the show; this is what she spent yesterday doing...
 
 
getting out her crafty stuff and making a costume to be an Amazon. Tonight we'll be sailing across the seas to find Wild Cat Island.
 
Okay, so nowadays we don't quite give our children the same freedom to explore without parent supervision as back in 1929 for many reasons, however the most important aspect of the story is how the children use their imagination to turn their surroundings and the people around them into the world of the Swallows and Amazons with Captains, pirates, barbarians, a parrot and a Queen. 
 
Whilst we've been evaluating our recent Parents 4 Play survey we have already discovered that nearly every parent out of over 200 parents directly mention that their child or children like to take part in imaginative play and role-play. We can all do plenty to nurture our children's imaginations and most simply by making sure there are resources they can use such as they did in this show, and perhaps we can work on the freedom bit.
 
So, long story short, take the opportunity to see this show and pander to your imagination.
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Festive Family events in Bristol & Bath

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Festive Family events in Bristol & Bath


http://www.pinterest.com/parents4play/festive-fun/
The temperature has dropped and we're on our way to Christmas! Yes I said the 'C' word - Christmas! It can be a time that's busy with added stress, so here's lots of things that can make it a fun-filled family time of play memories you won't forget. 
Firstly, you can visit our Pinterest page for craft and play ideas for at home or keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for ideas and events:

You can even take a look around our Blog site and read some of our Parents 4 Play blog posts focus on key aspects of play:

WHAT IS PLAY?
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
BARRIERS TO CHILDREN'S PLAY
THE PLAY CYCLE
ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS

And then, when your ready to go out and about you kind lots of events hosted by our campaign partners. We have shown a couple of examples below and given links to partner 'what's on' pages so you can find all of what's coming up:


Click on the links below to go through to their events pages and read on to find a couple of events in more detail. 

ARNOLFINI
ARNOS VALE CEMETERY
AT-BRISTOL
BATH AREA PLAY PROJECT
HOLBURNE MUSEUM
ST WERBURGHS CITY FARM
WINDMILL HILL CITY FARM
LAWRENCE WESTON COMMUNITY FARM
PLAYING OUT
NATIONAL TRUST
THE OUTDOORS PROJECT
CSV OUT 2 PLAY
PLAYBUS

Sunday 30 November 2014
10:00am
FREE ENTRY
 
Come and join us at Arnos Vale Cemetery on Sunday 30th November for our Christmas Fayre. This year we will have stalls in the Speilman Centre and Anglican Chapel and will also be selling the Arnos Vale Christmas trees!
 
Join in the hunt for the Arnos Vale Elves, bring your letters for Father Christmas and spend some time listening to the dulcet tones of the wonderful Free Range Accapella who will be entertaining us on the day in the Anglican Chapel.
With our unique and unusual stalls selling something for everyone and lots of craft ideas there will be an opportunity to buy Christmas presents whilst enjoying some festive cheer!
Why not take the opportunity for a break from shopping with a warming glass of mulled cider and a turkey and cranberry roll? You’ll also be able to take part in our raffle and have the opportunity to win £250 before Christmas!
If you would like to find out more, please contact Cheryl McArdle on 0117 9719117 extn 213 or email cheryl.mcardle@arnosvale.org.uk
 

 


At-Bristol
02 Dec - 05 Jan
All day drop in sessions and table top activities
 
Christmas crafting in Santa's Invention Workshop

Transport yourself to the North Pole with Santa’s Invention workshop. Set to work making your own science-inspired stocking fillers to take home!
Cost: standard entrance fee
 
At-Bristol
13 Dec
Time: 11am
 
 
Join us a very special event - using the Big Screen, visitors and skaters will be able to sing and skate to the Disney film of the moment, Frozen! Do your best Anna, Elsa and Olaf impressions on the ice, and sing along to your heart's content. 
The event is free to watch, but if you'd like skate whilst the film is showing at 11am, book your tickets by callling At-Bristol’s Booking line on 0845 345 1235 or online here.
 
 
 

Lots of festive fun to be had at the St Werburghs City Farm Christmas Fair. £3 suggested donation.
 
Windmill Hill City Farm
Tuesday to Friday mornings 9.15am to 12.15pm
Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons 1pm to 4pm
 
 
A unique, all-year-round opportunity for your children to experience nature play, including forest school, farming and growing and for parents to access courses and workshops at the City Farm.

National Trust - Leigh Woods
23 December 2014 10:00am
Price: All Tickets £2.50
Join us to take part in our Festive Photo Scavenger Hunt, make some natural art, followed by the opportunity to cook up a warming and tasty outdoor snack on the fire.
Booking Essential 
        
 
National Trust - Leigh Woods
30 December 2014 10:00am
Price: Per Item £3
Drop in anytime between 10am and 2pm to have a romp around the woodlands whilst completing our festive trail

 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Family events in Bristol & Bath October Half Term

PARENTS 4 PLAY: Family events in Bristol & Bath October Half Term


 



Woah! Check out all these family activities including the Bristol Family Arts Festival this half-term! All at amazing and inspiring locations around Bristol and Bath. Pack your wellies and your winter warmers and go and have some fun! Scroll down to see a huge list of events by us and our partners  and catch up on our blog posts here:

WHAT IS PLAY?
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
BARRIERS TO CHILDREN'S PLAY
THE PLAY CYCLE
ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS


Find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook

Don't forget to schedule in a good amount of free time to just play, no objectives, no end goal, just see where the play takes you.


Scroll down the list to events from the following Parents 4 Play campaign partners (you can click on their title and go through to their website too):

ARNOLFINI
ARNOS VALE CEMETERY
AT-BRISTOL
BATH AREA PLAY PROJECT
HOLBURNE MUSEUM
ST WERBURGHS CITY FARM
WINDMILL HILL CITY FARM
LAWRENCE WESTON COMMUNITY FARM
PLAYING OUT
NATIONAL TRUST
THE OUTDOORS PROJECT
CSV OUT 2 PLAY

PLAYBUS






Download our Harbourside Play Trail HERE or pick it up from the Arnolfini

You can also download the Windmill Hill City Farm Play Trail HERE

P4P & Artrageous are part of the Bristol Family Arts Festival this half-term and you can kind find a list of family events that we are part of here: Arnolfini Family events

Children's Scrapstore Open Day
Wednesday 19th November, 10am to 6pm
For one day anyone can access our scrap warehouse and get 20% off in Artrageous!



 



The Arnolfini is open all year round for you to visit and is very family-friendly. They also have a programme of events called 'We Are Family' for you to come in and enjoy activities as a family.

Arnolfini are part of the Bristol Family Arts Festival this half-term and you can kind find a list of family events posted including family screenings and art and craft sessions:
 




Arnolfini Family events




The cemetery is open daily between 9am to 5pm where the whole family can explore the site and enjoy the natural and wild environment to be found there. A family friendly attraction, you'll find plenty of activities for the whole family from stomping stories to craft workshops.

A list of their event are here - click on the link above to go through to their website for more details and how to book if necessary.

Brodsky Quartet - Shostakovich Cycle IV
Saturday 18 October 2014 01:00pm - 03:00pm

Grotesques & Gargoyles Stone Carving Workshop
Sunday 19 October 2014 10:00am - 04:00pm

Owl Prowl
Sunday 19 October 2014 07:30pm - 09:00pm

Bats about Arnos Vale
Monday 27 October 2014

Creepy Crafts
Tuesday 28 October 2014

Free Horrid Histories
Tuesday 28 October 2014 - Friday 31 October 2014 01:30pm - 03:30pm

Fangtastic Forest Foray
Wednesday 29 October 2014

Stomping Story - Funnybones
Wednesday 29 October 2014 03:45pm - 04:30pm

Terrifying Tours for Families  
Friday 31 October 2014

Twighlight Tours for Families
Friday 31 October 2014

Horrid Halloween Tour for Little Monsters 
Friday 31 October 2014 10:00am - 11:00am

Day of the Dead Craft Sessions
Saturday 01 November 2014 12:30pm - 03:30pm

BIG Sculpture Draw Two workshops: 10am-12noon or 1pm-3pm  
Sunday 02 November 2014

Stomping Story - Stick Man
Tuesday 18 November 2014 03:45pm - 04:30pm

Magic Lantern Show - The Great War  
Friday 28 November 2014 07:30pm - 09:00pm

Arnos Vale Christmas Fayre 
Sunday 30 November 2014 10:00am - 04:00pm

 


Discover science through play and learning daily at this well known Bristol attraction. You'll also find programmed activities for their science studio and Live Lab.

16 Sep - 30 Nov
Autumn Night Sky Planetarium show
Immerse yourself in the wonder of the Universe as you are led on a magical tour of the Autumn night sky.

29 Oct
Meet the Expert: Apple Pressing
Bring an apple and get juicing! Join the National Trust Apple Pressing Tour for one day only within our new Food exhibition.

10 Sep - 12 Nov
Autumn in the Greenhouse
Get hands-on with growing your own!

10 Sep - 12 Nov
Autumn Kitchen
Cooking and science combine in our new interactive kitchen!

04-10 Oct
World Space Week
To celebrate World Space Week At-Bristol’s Live Science Team are bringing out their favourite space-themed activities.

02 Sep - 24 Oct, 25 Oct - 02 Nov, 03 Nov - 19 Dec
Storytelling  
Join the Live Science team for an interactive adventure!

30 Sep - 10 Nov
Dissection Lab
Let the Live Science Team guide you through some hands-on dissections - from tugging on heart-strings to peeking through an eyeball...

18-19 Oct, 25 Oct - 02 Nov, 08-09, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30 Nov
Fairytale SOS II
Help us use science to lend a hand to some fairytale characters in distress!

24 Oct - 02 Nov
Little Stars Planetarium show
A trip to the stars for under-5s and their families!

21 Nov
Toddler Takeover - Colour Spectacular!
Toddlers take over At-Bristol in this fun-filled day for little ones!

11 Nov - 01 Dec
Invention Lab
Get creative and unleash your inner inventor. Tinkering, tools and things to take home.

13 Nov - 03 Feb
Winter in the Greenhouse
Get hands-on with growing your own!

13 Nov - 06 Jan
Winter Kitchen
Cooking and science combine in our new interactive kitchen!

29 Nov
DigiMakers
Explore, make and create in the digital world...

08-09 Nov
Hello! Hartcliffe Community Weekend 2014
Our next free, family fun weekend is for visitors who live in Hartcliffe, or whose children go to school in this area.
 
 


Our community Play Rangers work all year round in parks and open spaces across Bath after school with children aged 5 – 13 years. Open to all children and staffed by qualified playworkers. Visit our website to see when and where you’ll find them: www.bapp.org.uk

Download our Winter Play Leaflet HERE

Saturday Art Club
Oct. 18, 2014  
Time:  10:30 — 12:30
Saturday Art Club for 5-13 year olds Saturdays 10.30am-12.30pm £9 Tel 01225 388568 A fortnightly workshop (term-time, excluding Bank Holidays) for aspiring young artists. Expand your skills and discover new techniques, exploring the Museum's...
Also on:
Nov. 08, 2014, Nov. 22, 2014, Dec. 06, 2014
Holiday Drop Ins - Spooky Silhouettes
Oct. 27 - 31, 2014  
Time:  10:30 — 13:00
Free
Make some Halloween decorations inspired by the silhouettes in our collection.
 


The farm site, adventure playground and community garden is open 7 days a week, 360 days a year with summer opening times from 9am – 5 pm and winter opening times from 9am – 4pm. We do not charge entry but as a charity we gratefully accept donations.

The award-winning City Farm Café is open everyday except Tuesdays from 10am to 4.30pm with the last orders being taken at 4pm.



Better Play for Toddlers
Design a Decking Plaque to help raise money to make lasting improvements to the farm play area including improving the sandpit, adding more durable toys, swing hammocks and seating for parents - £25 per plaque
Before you know it, your kids will have a better play area to explore and a personalised decking plaque to find whenever you visit.
Download the Plaque leaflet HERE
 

s, storytelling, mulled cider and apple juice and more...

Entry: £3 Adults, £1 Kids, Free for under 5's
Love Farm Members get discounted entrance

For more info on how to become a Love Farm Member contact office@swcityfarm.co.uk or go to our website at
WINDMILL HILL CITY FARM (click here to visit website)



Halloween Fun Day
from tbc
Spooky fun things will be going on at the City Farm on Halloween. Make a note in your diary to come and visit us. More information will be available soon.

Christmas Fair

from 12pm to 4pm
Free entry
More details will be available soon about our fabulous annual Christmas Fair. Meanwhile, make a note in your diary to join us on the day for a farm-produce barbecue, carols, Santa’s grotto, market stalls, mulled wine, tombola and lots more fun.

Farm Adventurers Stay and Play
Mondays 9.30am to 11.30am
For families with children under 5 years.
Drop in: but please arrive on time in the John James Room and as we can only accommodate 10 families at any one time and places are allocated on a first come first serve basis.
Cost: £5.00 per family (up to two children), £1.00 for any additional children (max 3 children per family).
These sessions are a fantastic introduction to Farm Adventurers.

Farm Adventurers
Tuesday to Friday mornings 9.15am to 12.15pm
Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons 1pm to 4pm

A unique, all-year-round opportunity for your children to experience nature play, including forest school, farming and growing and for parents to access courses and workshops at the City Farm.

Kids Club
Tuesdays during term time 3:45pm to 5.15pm
We are running a club for those 6 to 10 year-olds who love being outdoors, exploring and learning about nature. Each week we will be doing a variety of activities, for example feeding the animals, growing vegetables, tasting and cooking with farm grown produce, pond dipping, natural arts and crafts and woodland exploration, including shelter building and fire making.
Drop in: no need to book.
Cost: £5 per child per session. Payment by cash or cheque at reception on the day.


 


Farm Hands 8 - 11yr olds
All year
Weekend Farm Hands sessions are up and running again! We have places available for local( Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills and Avonmouth) 8 - 11yr olds who are in need of positive activities. Farm Hands help look after the animals and the gardens and contribute to the community farm in many ways. Please contact kerry@lwfarm.org.uk for an application form. Places are free.

October Half Term 2014

Family Make and Draw
Sat 25th Oct 1 – 4pm
Free drop in event for families to make and draw. Part of the Bristol Family Arts Festival and organised by the Architecture Centre. No need to book.

Free Family Taster Day - Oct Half Term
Wed 29th Oct 1 - 4pm
An afternoon for all the family to come and have a go and learn some new skills including:
Creative IT - Make a comic on a Mac
Cooking
Health and Beauty
Animal Care
Bike Maintenance (bring your bike)
Green Woodworking
Gardening
Crafts
Sports Coaching

There will be activities for children, a chance to find out about courses and learning for adults and information about how to volunteer at the farm - a way back into work. In partnership with the Learning Communities Team and City of Bristol College.

Family Fungi Walk
Sun 2nd Nov 10.30am - 12.00pm
Join fungi enthusiast Joe McSorley on a walk around the farm's woodland, fields and orchard to discover the fabulous world of fungi on the farm. Boots are a good idea. Children must be accompanied. No need to book.

Friday Gardening Club
Fridays 11.00 - 12.30pm
Interested in getting involved in gardening on the farm? Come along Fridays to help with our gardens.

Farm Lunch Club
Tuesdays 12.00 - 1.30pm Dinner served at 12.30pm
Two courses and drinks £2.50. Come and enjoy some healthy food and have a look around the farm. No Lunch Club on 29th July, 12th and 19th Aug

Farm Tots
Wednesdays 10.30 - 12.00pm
Come and help look after the animals and gardens. For parents/carers and under 5's. Please call to check it is running as we have a few holidays in the summer. £1.75 or £1 if you are a member (includes juice and biscuits.No Farm Tots on 6th August.

PLAYING OUT
Make your street a place to play
 
If you want to bring the play to your doorstop and enable your children to play happily on your street without the risk of traffic contact Playing Out. They will support you to manage the whole process and things will never be the same again in your street - for the better! www.playingout.net 
 


There are over 80 events happening over the next month across National Trust properties in Bristol and Bath including Apple pressing and halloween activities so click below on the downloadable PDF for details:

Bristol National Trust Events

Bath National Trust Activities


October Half Term Adventure Holiday Club
All sessions take place OUTSIDE!
Please bring a packed lunch and ensure that all children bring suitable clothing including extra layers, waterproofs and refreshments for the day.
All sessions are run by fully qualified outdoor pursuits instructors.
All staff are CRB/DBS checked and First Aid qualified for your peace of mind.

Mon 27th, 10-14.30
St Andrew’s Park, by the play park. £20
Bush craft & Survival skills: Para-cord Bracelets, Shelter Building, fire Lighting and Woodland Games.

Tues 28th, 10-2.30
St Andrew’s Park, centre bottom. £20
Elite Nerf Battles, Adventure Games, Slack- Lining, Mud Painting

Weds 29th, 10-2.30
St Andrew’s Park, by the play park. £20
Craft Session: Survival Egg drop, Willow Necklace Making, Stinging Nettle Cordage and Environmental Games

Thurs 30th, 10-2.30
Hermitage Wood.
Meet Wallscourt Farm Academy, BS16 1GE. £20
Wild Forest session: Mini Beasts Shelter Building, Leaf Treasure hunt, Bug hunting& Woodland Adventure Games

To book contact Rowan on: 07722 996025   rowan.hibbett@theoutdoorsproject.co.uk
Or book online http://www.theoutdoorsproject.co.uk/holiday-clubs/

Outdoor play and environmental learning in Bristol 
CSV Out2Play offer outdoor play and learning to children, young people and adults in Bristol and the south west. For more details visit their website www.out2play.org.uk
 
 
 
 
 

Bristol Playbus is a mobile charity that has had 40 years experience of responding to the needs of the community.
 
Playrangers
22/10/2014 - 23/10/2014
29/10/2014 - 30/10/2014
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
St.George's Park
Come and enjoy outdoor fun with the Playranger team. Activities include cooking on the fire, tree climbing, hammock swinging and arts and crafts. All welcome. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult or responsible older sibling. Meet by the lake.

Playrangers
23/10/2014 - 24/10/2014
30/10/2014 - 31/10/2014
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Meadow Vale
Come and enjoy outdoor fun with the Playrangers. Activities include cooking on the fire, tree climbing, hammock swinging and arts and crafts. All welcome. Under 8′s must be accompanied by a responsible older sibling.