Who are the VYFWBP?

We are a friendly community group, run by parents, who meet every Thursday morning in West Bank Park, York. Whatever the weather, school hols included, we spend a couple of hours in the woods and meadows of the Park, doing nature games and crafts, building or making things with materials we find, telling stories and singing songs.

We are open to all - with a contribution of £1 a family (to cover basic equipment) - so if you want to join us, see you on Thursday at 10am at the statue of Queen Victoria, at the top of the Rose Walk. (Bring something simple to share at snack time.)

For more information contact Elly at: westbankparkkids@gmail.com

Monday, 9 November 2009

From mosaics to windmills

Another very lively few weeks for our group. We've had:

* a trip to Holgate Windmill with the wonderful Jen Hay. She gave us all a try at grinding corn with a pair of stones, then with a quern (that was a real technological innovation, let me tell you!), and then we looked at how the windmill works. She told us the story of 'The Mill That George Built', complete with some impressive props, and the children coloured in some pictures of the windmill in bright colours. We sponsored one panel of the new sails, and have a smart certificate to say so! (unfortunately we also caused a minor breakage - the perils of toddlers!)

* leaf printing - thanks Nikki Humberstone and Janey Stockdale for organising this. The children really enjoyed making lovely, overlapping artworks in different colours of paints, using different kinds of leaves. Activities like this can get them in quite a dreamy state, which is to be treasured.

* bird feeder making, using pine cones, sticky 'orrible lard and seeds. There were not many children this week, but sometimes that can make for an unexpectedly fun morning, as happened on this occasion. They led us a merry dance round the woods, jumping up and down slopes covered in fallen leaves.

* More Magical Mosaics! - the splendid Mary Passeri came back for a final fling with us, and we made secret hidden mosaics in the woods. The children's enthusiasm and attention span for this was really wonderful to see. It being half term, we had some robust 4, 5 and 6-year-olds to help out. They especially enjoyed hammering old tiles to smithereens through an old blanket - as pictured. We made one final one all together in a top-secret very-well-hidden place. Mary - we will miss you!

* Planting in the wildlife area. The council has given the Friends of West Bank Park a generous budget to plant some nice-smelling, insect-attracting herbs in this area. We took part in the selection of plants, and today we got planting, with a little help from our Parks Officer Stephen Whittaker, and Margaret Weeden from the Friends. Thanks to both, as we really did enjoy this and it means a lot to the children to have contributed to making the park an even better place. They will all come back and point out which sage plants they planted, and where their snowdrops are hiding in the soil, waiting to come out after Christmas!

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Our beloved Queen Victoria

Our beloved Queen Victoria
We sometimes bow to her before we set off into the woods!