Can I take younger children with me?
Yes. Siblings under 24 months are welcome to attend, free of charge. Baby carriers, backpacs and pushchairs are all common sights at Mud Pies.
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.
Classes are weekly and held in blocks lasting half a school term. 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 run on Mondays and Thursdays: 10am – 11.30am, repeated again at 1pm – 2.30pm.
After an initial welcome to each day’s theme, we explore the wood looking for interesting items to collect. We then arrive at ‘camp’ (with temporary tarpaulin shelter if weather is bad) to find out about the things we’ve collected and usually use these to make something to take home. There is also time for snack – digestive biscuits and water, Ribena and hot chocolate – and free play. Mud Pies brings along spoons and plates for digging, chalk for drawing and toy diggers and soft toys. There’s usually a game of hide and seek on our way back to the car park too!
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 participants will be inspired to carry on exploring nature out with Mud Pies!
Classes are paid for in session blocks. Each class costs £9, so a six week session costs £54 per child. Adults go free. Payment (online or by bacs) is made prior to the start of the session.
What do we bring?
Please ensure you are all dressed appropriately, with the necessary waterproofs, footwear, hats and/or sunscreen. As we move at child pace waterproof trousers are great for keeping adults warm too. You don’t need any further equipment but teddies, bug boxes etc are welcome.
What happens if the weather is bad?
Classes go ahead unless it is deemed not safe to drive to the location or if the woods are considered unsafe to be within. Young children are generally more than happy to stay out in the wet and cold if they’re enjoying themselves. Just ensure you are both dressed for the conditions. However, in case of severe weather, especially where travel is affected, classes may be cancelled. We will let you know as soon as possible on the day of the class as is possible. If in doubt, please contact us. Mud Pies does not offer refunds on classes due to bad weather. If you don’t hear from us, the class is on!
When and how do I pay for classes?
Your child’s place on the session is only confirmed once payment is made. You can pay online or by cheque (to “Mud Pies”).
Refund policy – you have the right to cancel your booking within fourteen working days of placing your payment, upon which a full refund will be given. Cancellations outwith this period are at the discretion of the management.
Can I leave my child in the care of Mud Pies at Mud Pies?
No. One of the guiding aims of Mud Pies is to encourage interaction between child and carer in this natural setting. Also, the parent/carer must take responsibility for their child’s behaviour throughout. Though classes are informal and relaxed, reasonable behaviour is expected so that everyone enjoys the session.
Are the activities completely safe?
Every reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the woodland venue and the class content are completely safe for those participating. However, Mud Pies encourages children, if they feel safe, to clamber over logs, climb small boulders and run down gentle slopes so minor bumps and scrapes may occur occasionally. Parents/carers are responsible at all times for their child’s safety.
Can I take photos of my child during the session?
What about toilets?
A potette travel potty is available for use, although the most environmentally friendly way to go is to “Walk seven trees”!
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 also offers 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.