Posts Tagged ‘Surrey’

Jungle Japes

Friday, May 31st, 2013

With the very inclement weather we have had this week I was pleased to have an indoor activity session on offer for families with under 5′s and their siblings in Guildford. This week we took a trip down in the jungle with the first hour spent doing some dance and drama based around the story Beautiful Bananas. We were tall Giraffes marching on our tiptoes reaching the juiciest leaves, cheeky monkeys swinging, scratching and dancing, lions crawling and roaring loudly and bees buzzing. We also played several parachute games with some toy fruit, mixing a fruit salad, recognising various fruit and vegetables and matching colours. Our first hour concluded with a mini jungle disco complete with disco lights and bubbles.

After a quick break for elephant biscuits and juice (and tea and coffee for the grown ups) we got creative with several Jungle arts and crafts. The children made binoculars from cardboard tubes decorated with tissue paper and jungle foam stickers so they could spot their jungle creatures which included making a Parrot puppet decorated with feathers and tissue paper, swirling snakes and paper bag puppets which the children decorated with animal print paper, stripes and lots of glue! The children also created some great handprint lions too.

To finish we played with playdoh and created some great Jungle faces.

Our Wednesday sessions continue on the 12th June and we are going to the Circus. For details of this and all our sessions please visit our website.

The Rainy Day

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

This week has seen the last of our Weather related Active Adventure activity sessions in Guildford, Godalming & Farnham. It has been lovely to see all the toddlers and under 5′s dance, sing and play their way through the sessions whilst learning about what clouds are made of, how a rainbow appears and what animals like which types of weather.

This week we looked at the story The Rainy Day, a lovely book from Usborne. The under 5′s were inspired to run in the rain, jump in puddles (hoops), played with puppets and pretended to be animals who didn’t like the rain (rabbits, mice, birds, hedgehogs and squirrels) and helped Incy Wincy Spider climb up the spout. We then had lots of fun with animals that did like the rain including moving as slow as we could to be like a snail, wriggling like a worm and even meeting a very clever singing frog!

The children then helped to create a rainstorm using light up tambourines. We shook them to sound like rain, bashed them to make thunder and then lined them up to make a rainbow shape.

A Rainbow of Scarves

A Rainbow of Scarves


Finally we danced with colourful scarves and turned them into a beautiful rainbow helping all the under 5′s to brush up on their colour matching skills.

Rainbow Paintings

Rainbow Paintings


In our Guildford Arts and Crafts session our under 5′s created some beautiful rainbow painting using their hands and fingers and also brushes. We used chocolate coin wrappers to make the gold at the end of the rainbow.

We also made some rain catchers out of used water bottles so the children could see how they could recycle rain water to give their garden a drink. We decorated them with weather related foam stickers that were great for developing their fine motor skills.

The children also made a lovely rain pictures using semi circles of paper and pipe cleaners to make umbrellas, cotton wool for clouds and everyone’s favourite, glitter glue, for raindrops.

Umbrella Pictures

Umbrella Pictures

Finally we made rainbow twirlers out of paper plates and tissue paper and enjoyed a rainbow dance to finish.

Rainbow Twirlers

Rainbow Twirlers

Next week I look forward to some lovely half term activities in both Guildford and Godalming, Surrey. We are having a Pyjama Party Disco for Toddlers and Under 5′s at Mummas & Beans cafe on Tuesday 28th May at 10am and then a Jungle Adventure morning with drama, dance, songs, games, mini disco and arts and crafts at the Guide Headquarters, Guildford on Wednesday 29th May from 9.45am, again for under 5′s/toddlers. Please look here for full details of our half term activities in Surrey.

Half Term Adventures

Friday, May 17th, 2013

The Spring Half Term is just around the corner and with the weather so variable it is good to have a few indoor activities planned. Act One Adventures are running three sessions of half term activities for children in Godalming and Guildford, Surrey – two for under 5′s (an age group notoriously negelected in the school holidays) and one for 4-8 year olds.

First up at Mummas and Beans Cafe in Godalming I am running a Pyjama Party Disco on Tues 28th May from 10am – 10.45am. Toddlers and Pre School age children and their older siblings are welcome to attend in their pyjamas for a good boogie to popular party songs, teddy bear action songs and dance with lots of props including disco balls, inflatable guitars as well as lots of disco lights. All music played is child friendly and don’t forget to bring your teddy bear!

Then on the afternoon of Tuesday 28th May from 2-4pm I am running a Princess and Knights Adventure for 4-8 year olds at the Guide Headquarters, Nightingale Road, Guildford. We will make castles, crowns and shields and play lots of games, dance and drama to make sure we have honed our royal skills. Parents can leave their children or stay with them.

Twirly Snake

Twirly snake

Finally on Wednesday 29th May there will be a Jungle Adventure Morning for Under 5′s at the Guide Headquarters, Nightingale Road, Guildford. From 9.45am we will have an Active Adventure with Jungle themed games, dance, drama, action songs and a mini disco with lots of props and puppets. Then from 10.45am we will be having an Arts & Crafts session making Jungle collages, lion faces, twirly snakes and lots more.

All the above sessions need to be booked in advance by emailing joanne@actoneadventures.co.uk. For full details do visit our Events & Holiday Activities page on our website.

Little Cloud

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

I am just back from our last Active Adventure session for under 5′s of the week. This week we have looked at the story “Little Cloud” by Eric Carle. This is a charming story that shows a cloud that has great fun changing into a sheep, aeroplane, shark, rabbit and a hat and it certainly made me look at clouds in a whole new light and I even spotted one shaped like an elephant and another like a camel when I was driving along the Hogs Back this morning.

All the under 5′s at our sessions in Godalming, Guildford & Farnham have played with puppets, moved, danced and made sounds like the various animals in the story, watched how other objects can float like clouds i.e. scarves and bubbles and had some great sensory play with cotton wool. The children loved throwing and blowing them away and also transforming them into cloud shapes and shaping into the things the Little Cloud turned into in the story.

One of the most popular activities this week was exploring the Act One Hat Box. Inside were flowers, pirate, builders, cowboy, ladybird, helicopter and many other fun hats and the children loved dressing themselves and their mummies up in the many hats and enjoyed some great role play.

At our Arts & Crafts session in Guildford the children enjoyed making a lovely cloud mobile which involved using lots of glitter glue. They also made some great cardboard tube aeroplanes and helicopters and experimented with cotton wool as a way to paint and make cloud pictures with.

For more information on our Adventure sessions in Guildford, Godalming & Farnham click here

Terrific Tuesdays & Wonderful Wednesdays in Guildford

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I can hardly believe it has been just over a year since I started my Active Adventures and Arts and Crafts for under 5′s at Mummas & Beans in Godalming. It has been lovely to see the classes grow and look at lots of different topics such as nursery rhymes, colours and shapes, seasons, festivals and great to see how the lovely toddlers and slightly older pre school children have benefitted from the unique mix of stories, dance, drama and games the sessions offer. The sessions have always aimed to keep the children active but also fire their imaginations so that they are inquisitive about books and stories.

Dancing with Coloured Scarves

Dancing with Coloured Scarves

After launching a session at the end of last year at Archies Launchpad in Farnham my focus turned to finding some suitable venues in Guildford. After a couple of false starts I have found two lovely venues. So we are having Terrific Tuesdays at The Millmead Centre, Bury Fields Guildford which is right by the river, so perfect for a spot of duck feeding before or afterwards. This is an Active Adventure session from 1.45 – 2.30pm so we look at a different story each week and explore with dance, drama, games, colourful props and puppets. For example this week we looked at The Windy Day and the children have been having lots of fun flying kites, waving flags, tumbling leaves and hanging the washing out! The sessions always have a variety of music and we have been looking at different types of movement inspired by the wind e.g. swooping, swaying, blowing, twirling, flying.

Free play play doh

Free play play doh

Wonderful Wednesdays take place at the Guilde Headquarters on Nightingale Road, Guildford. This venue is right on the edge of Stoke Park so again ideal for a trip to the playground/paddling pool or a picnic afterwards in the summer months. Here we run an Active Adventure session from 9.45 – 10.30, have snack and tea and coffee from 10.30 – 10.45am giving grown ups and children time to socialise and then we have an Arts and Crafts session from 10.45am. Each week we have 3-4 themed art activities based around the story of the week which can include paint activities, mini makes such as puppets, masks etc and free play with play doh, building bricks etc. The session finishes with an activity using things we have made and some songs or parachute games. As a bonus both Guildford venues have plenty of free parking and easy access for pushchairs too.

Wow Said the Owl art activities

Wow Said the Owl art activities

At our Wonderful Wednesday launch session last week we looked at one of my favourite stories – Wow Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. This is a lovely story about an Owl who stays up during the day to see all the lovely colours. In Active Adventures we met a friendly owl puppet, played with green and yellow leaves, made a rainbow with coloured scarves, fluttered some beautiful coloured butterflies and crinkled and found different body parts with some scrunchy coloured cellophane. In arts and crafts we made some beautiful tree paintings using bubble wrap to paint with, some cute paper plate owls and sun colourful sun catchers.

Over the summer term we are looking at weather and days out as themes for the activity sessions. You can book onto individual sessions or block book for some great discounts. Please visit our main website for full details of all our activities for under 5′s in Guildford, Godalming & Farnham

I look forward to seeing you at a session soon with your toddler or pre schooler and please either email joanne@actoneadventures.co.uk or call 07956 182 488 for more info or to book a place.

Bringing Books to Life on World Book Day

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Mmmmm ….. That feeling, when you are so immersed in a book that the whole world outside is completely shut out, the characters are leaping off the page into your mind’s eye, you can visualise the setting perfectly and the satisfaction when you have completed the story. I’m sure most of us would agree it is a great feeling. I’m sure we also probably agree that it is important to instil this love of reading into our own children from a very young age, especially when your read reports that reading as a pastime for our children has dropped since 2005.

So how can we make reading fun and something that our children want to continue with long after we turn the pages for them? How can we help to encourage independent reading as well as enjoying reading together. Here are my top tips for bringing books alive.

1)Talk about the book before even opening the cover. I know the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but it’s an important part in drawing any reader in. When I start a storytelling session the first thing I do is ask the children questions about the cover. Who is on there? What do we think the story is about? Do they recognise any words or numbers? Do they like/dislike the cover? We play detective and try and find some clues about the story. This can easily be done when choosing a book at the library or bookshop or off your own bookshelf and kids love seeing if they were right about the story. These activities also encourage speech and language development in younger children and can help to start developing independent reading skills in primary age children too.

2)Allow children to ask questions as you go through the story and talk about the pictures. With picture books and very small children point to a picture and get them to tell you what it is, ask them to point to things that are a specific colour etc. With older children maybe go back over the story at the end and get them to find a specific word (play detective) and count how many times they see it (if a short story book). Again all these things help with speech and language development and literacy and numeracy but they are also a way of encouraging independent reading later on.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

3)Books can so easily be tossed to one side once finished but there are many ways you can keep the book alive in your child’s memory. How about eating like the Hungry Caterpillar one night? Or trying out all the dance styles from Giraffes Can’t Dance – just pop some music on and away you go. Who says books can’t keep you active as well? Maybe go collecting sticks and create your own Stick Man collage? Go on a Gruffalo hunt in the woods. For older children drawing a picture of their favourite moment in the book, have a go at creating a new sweet for Willie Wonka or maybe try a science experiment to create a new spell for Harry Potter fans. The possibilities are endless.

4)Look out for events at your local library or book shop. Many run sessions which may include an art and craft element or an author talk and many local libraries run reading challenges where children collect stickers etc often based around a theme. It can be a great way to kick starting the habit of reading regularly.

5)Don’t forget non-fiction! I find especially when children start school their thirst for learning new facts can be insatiable. Choosing a good non-fiction booked in a subject your child is interested in can be a great way of encouraging them to spot keywords. You can also follow that up with other activities e.g. spotting planets and stars on a clear night after reading about the Solar System or go on a nature hunt to try and spot some footprints or actual creatures from a wildlife book.

And remember they will get there. My son is 6 and is still not keen on reading himself but loves being read to. If we keep making it fun he will get there in the end and enjoyment of books is far more important in the short and long term.

I hope you have fun with some of the suggestions and that your child’s adventure with books continues for a very long time.

Hungry Caterpillar Party

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Last summer I had the pleasure of entertaining at a Hungry Caterpillar Party. As it was taking place on the last weekend of August we were hoping against hope that we would be able to go out in the garden for this one. For once, the weather gods were in our favour.

Beatrix Bee all ready for the party


For this party I went in character as Beatrix Bee and asked the children to help me find my friend the Hungry Caterpillar who I hadn’t seen for days. We had a food treasure hunt around the garden as we know he likes to eat lots but could not find him.

We then asked some of his minibeast friends if they knew where he was. I was able to use lots of lovely props for this part of the party including puppets and pop-up toys that the children loved.

Props used for the Hungry Caterpillar party

Next, we asked some scarecrows if they knew where the caterpillar was and sang them Dingle Dangle Scarecrow to thank them for their help.

Scarecrows

Eventually we found the Hungry Caterpillar just as he was about to turn into a butterfly. We were able to use these lovely butterfly props and do some beautiful butterfly dancing.

Butterflies

This is a lovely theme for both boys and girls under 5′s. Although it was lovely to use the garden it is equally possible to create some lovely games inside using all the great props. For more details email joanne@actoneadventures.co.uk

A Monster of a Party!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Since Moshi Monsters took over the world I have done a fair few Monster parties. It is a great theme to work with as monsters can take so many different forms. For a couple of the parties I have enlisted the children’s help in training to be Super Monsters to stop an evil baddie who is threatening to steal the baby monsters. We do assault courses, eyeball and spoon races, find monster eggs in a treasure hunt, monster feet races. We also test our brain power with puzzles from the Puzzle Palace.

Moshi Cake made by a clever Mummy

When we have defeated the baddie we celebrate with a rock star disco with blow up guitars, disco lights and cool rock tunes.

Rockin' at the Monster Disco

It is a theme popular with both girls and boys and it also works as a great theme for Halloween too. If you would like more details please email joanne@actoneadventures.co.uk

Building a Perfect Party

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

If your son is anything like mine they are obsessed with Lego and anything that involves building. I have done a few parties now that I’ve called “The Big Build”, I turn up with a large assortment of bricks (Lego, Mega Blocks and Giant Garden blocks) and the children begin the party with lots of free creation, building with their friends to create some lovely creations like this Lego garden.

Lego garden and swimming pool


Or this Olympic inspired Stadium

Inspired by the Olympics - a Lego stadium


Or how about these stocks!

Lego stocks


That is the great thing about this theme, the children can use their imaginations and that makes every party very different.

Once we have had some free building it is then time for some Big Build Challenges. Maybe build something we can wear like these Lego glasses

Lego glasses


Or an animal, robot or vehicle.

It is then time for some games. Lego brick and spoon race, Under and over giant brick race, tower building race, mini figure hunt to name a few. I bring enough building bricks to keep around 20 children occupied and the party gives the children the best of both worlds – some free play and some fun games too.

For more details of this party please email joanne@actoneadventures.co.uk for more details.

Perfect Paper Plates

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

I have a confession to make. To those of you that have attended any of my craft sessions you probably won’t be surprised. I love paper plates. They are such a versatile and cheap craft material for kids, easy to store, easy to work with and non-messy too (although of course that does depend on what you decide to do with them). So as we reach the midpoint of half term here is some paper plate inspiration the Act One Adventures way.

One of the simplest crafts to make is a paper plate fish. Cut a triangle out of one side to make a fish mouth then use this triangle as the fishes tail. Decorate with whatever craft bits you have to hand.

Paper Plate Fish

We made these decorations below for Halloween but you could equally make for Christmas (robins, puddings, baubles) or Easter (chicks, bunnies, flowers etc). We painted the plates and then used foam shapes to make the features.

Halloween decorations

We made this Royal Carriage to celebrate the Jubilee last year but would work well for any Cinderella mad children. We used normall paint mixed with glitter paint and jewel embellishments. The wheels were the bases of Laughing Cow Cream cheese cartons.

Royal Carriage

This rainbow twirler is great for dancing with. We cut out the centre of the paper plate and then glued different coloured strips of tissue paper to make the streamers but ribbon, crepe paper or just ordinary paper would work too.

Rainbow Twirler

Finally here is a lovely paper plate make we made for Christmas – Angels. You need to draw out the angel head and wings and cut out, then decorate and then stick or staple together.

Angel template


Paper plate angels

These are just a few of the wonderful creations you can make with paper plates. I would love to hear about or see some of yours.

For more paper plate ideas visit my Pinterest board