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

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Babes in the Springtime

This spring has seen a great input of new members and a great atmosphere in the group, as well as lots of new ideas and activity. Many of the new families have very young children around the 1 year mark, which is just brilliant. This coincides with one of our members, Laura, having written an excellent booklet for parents and childminders called 'Babes in the Woods', full of ideas on how to make the most of babies and young toddlers' experiences in nature.

Also this spring, we have been trying to develop a more 'Forest Schools' type approach to our group, giving the children more freedom to play in the woods or the meadows with basic materials (baskets, water, ropes, etc) we bring with us. We've been building fairy houses, constructing complicated pulley systems between trees, mini-obstacle courses, doing our laundry. Singing a lot of songs too, of course!

With 'Forest Schools' in mind, we've also been plotting to improve the little children's playground at the park, to provide more opportunities for cooperative play. We've been awarded £3000 by the council and are fundraising to many local trusts, as well as the National Lottery, to try and get enough for several new pieces of equipment, and funds to publicise them locally.

New members have brought new talents - thanks to Katherine for all her work on the funding bids, and Elly for putting her professional photography skills to use.

Last week though, it was back to basics with a good bit of Maypole dancing around a very humble little tree near the Story Trees. Photos (beautiful ones taken by Elly) to follow as soon as we can work out why we can't upload them!

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Our beloved Queen Victoria

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