Well despite it being glorious weather the day before and the day after – on the day of our visit to Skelton Grange it decided to pour with rain ALL day. That didn’t stop us having a huge amount of fun though as we explored Skelton Grange and all that it had to offer. The lovely volunteers showing us around stuck out the rain with us and their enthusiasm was never dampened.
Skelton Grange is in South Leeds. It’s a Charity run organisation that encourages play in the natural environment at their award winning eco-centre and nature area. Little Hiccups worked with Skelton Grange to organise a fun and sensory day out during the summer holidays for our families. We had the following fun activities:
We started off with a welcome to the centre and walk of the grounds to orient ourselves. We walked around the vegetable and herb garden and found interesting plants and herbs that smelt and looked beautiful. We were given some sticky paper and asked to find the most interesting leaves and flowers.
We built shelters in the woods including erecting hammocks. There was a variety of styles from canvas tents to a intrigate wooden wigwam. The children certainly enjoyed building in these and swinging in the hammocks after. We then had lunch in the shelters in the woods. It was pretty wet by this point so we were glad of whatever shelter we had! We think that the rain kept all the bears away.
After lunch we split into two groups. Some stayed outside and took a trip to the herb garden to make potions. The idea was to mix up nice smelling plants with a little water and make a ‘potion’. My son took these one step further when he created an Invisibility potion, poured it over his head (yes really) and kept disappearing!
The other group went inside and started making Hapa Zome and/or God’s Eyes. If you google these you will see exactly what they are. Hapa Zome is the process where you gather leaves or petals (the more colours the better) and on a cloth you hammer them in then peel them off. Depending on how detailed you do it, it leaves the shape and colour of the leaves or petals on the cloth and you can make patterns using this. Some children then made these into flags by attaching to long sticks.
God’s Eyes (or Dragon Eye’s as I also heard them called) is the process of putting two sticks in a cross shape then with wool, going around each stick to make a diamond shape which can be changed throughout with a variety of colours.
After this, to complete the day, we all returned outside where one of the volunteers had lit a fire for us. Using a special ‘cage’ like tool at the end of long pole, the children took it in turns to shake popcorn kernals over the fire to make popcorn. Sharing fresh warm popcorn around the campfire was a nice end to a lovely day. Many thanks to all the volunteers at Skelton Grange for looking after us so well!