Sticks and Stones Looking for a morning out in the fresh air with your tot, feeling great after having gone for a walk and spent time in a lovely wood? Sticks and Stones is the new activity class in Aberdeen for the under 2s and their adults to simply have fun in the outdoors.
If there is enough interest then I am happy to run a class between now and the end of 2014. Just get in touch if you would like to join in.
Each class at Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen begins with a 30 minute pushchair walk at adult pace through
the park itself, followed by an hour of woodland play. The walk gives
parents fresh air and some exercise*, whilst the play session encourages
children to have fun through exploring and investigating.
Thursday mornings - 10 to 11.30am at Hazlehead Park. Meeting point - the wooden shelter in the main car park on Hazlehead Avenue.
This is deliberately a very informal class. Current thinking in early years education promotes giving children time to experience natural spaces. Within the hour of play those not yet walking can investigate baskets of interesting items such as cones, sticks, stones and household objects. Those now mobile use little buckets to collect sticks and stones, spoons and plates to dig, chalk to draw with and can take the toy diggers and cars for a drive. All children will be encouraged to explore in their own way and it is likely we will spend time simply throwing leaves up into the air, clambering on logs and swinging in a hammock!
Please bring a snack and drink for your child. The park's cafe is open again for take away coffees too. A temporary changing area will be available at our camp area although there are toilets nearby at the golf club house.
* this half hour walk is optional! Feel free to meet us at the woods around 10.30am for an hour of play if the walk is not your kind of thing.
Mud Pies Classes run on Mondays and Fridays. Monday classes are at Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen, with Fridays
classes taking place at Countesswells Woods on the westerly outskirts of Aberdeen.
January's classes will be open for booking by the end of October.
Mondays - Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen Come and explore a secret wood at Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen!
We will squelch in mud, jump off rocks, climb mountains, make things and find out about wildlife!
We meet at the small swing park on Groats Road, over towards Hazlehead Academy and swimming pool. Here's a map. The park's cafe is open for lunch and coffee.
Mondays 27 October to 22 December (8 weeks, Session 2) Please note - due to a school holiday there is no class on Monday 17 November.
Times - 10am to 11.30am: fully booked or 1pm to 2.30pm: fully booked
Costs - £56. Equivalent to £7 per child per session - adults go free, payable in advance by session.
Fridays - Countesswells Wood, Aberdeen From climbing on logs to stomping in mud it's safe to say we're going to have fun at Countesswells Wood! Play in the dens, make mud pies and find out about wildlife.
Fridays 31 October to 19 December (8 weeks, Session 2)
Times - 10am to 11.30am or 1pm to 2.30pm Costs - £56. Equivalent to £7 per child per session - adults go free, payable in advance by session.
The Forestry Commission now charges £1.50 to park for up to 3 hours at Countesswells. (You can also buy an annual season ticket for £30 that gives access to several woods in the area. Call their local office on T: 01466
794161 to pay over the phone).
Weekly classes - more information
Who, where and when?
Mud Pies weekly classes are for children aged 24 months to five year olds and their parent or other carer, i.e. children who are not yet in Primary 1. Younger siblings are more than welcome to attend too - in baby carriers, back pacs or pushchairs.
The classes are held weekly and run in session blocks lasting half a school term, usually around 6 or 7 weeks. Each class lasts 90 minutes and will involve up to 15 children and their adults.
Sessions run throughout the school year and are held in specially selected woods within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Classes times: 10am – 11.30am, repeated again at 1pm - 2.30pm.
What’s involved? After an initial welcome to each day's theme by the session leader, the children will explore the wood to look for interesting items to collect. We then arrive at our ‘nature den' (a temporary tarpaulin shelter) to take part in further activities, make things and have snack. There's always time too to play with toy cars, draw with chalk and of course dig. We then usually re-group ten minutes before the end to play hide and seek on our way back to the car park.
Classes are based around a loose theme each week, and involve a range of fun, seasonal activities, such as collecting leaves, finding out about trees, spotting colours and shapes or hunting for minibeasts. Classes will also involve making something from the natural treasures collected. Planting and gardening usually feature in each session.
Not just for children! Parents/carers play an active role in each session. This is an ideal opportunity for children and their adults to enjoy quality time while learning together about the environment. Mud Pies hopes all participants will be inspired to carry on exploring nature out with Mud Pies!
How much? Classes are paid for in session blocks. Each class costs £7, so a six week session costs £42 per child. Adults go free. Payment (online or cheque) is made prior to the start of the session.
What about older children? Can my child’s nursery or school book a session? Mud Pies classes are for families with children aged between 24 months and five years (not yet in P1). Mud Pies does also offer one-off visits for schools, nurseries and playgroups. Please get in touch if you'd like to know more about this type of activity session.