Yesterday, we went to the weekend play session at Willow Rangers, which is based on the Umberslade Farm site. I have written a blog post about Willow Rangers before before I wanted to do another one because there were so many new things there and we had so much fun.
Steph and Laura, who run the sessions, had set up activities linked to the traditional tales – The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One tuff spot had bricks, twigs, straw and the characters from the story. Sophie enjoyed playing in this tuff spot and made beds for the pigs.
Pouring activities are always a hit with Sophie and she loved this tuff spot full of porridge oats. She made porridge for the three bears and also some cups of tea for Craig and I. They had a set of characters from Wilkos in this tuff spot too. We have the Gingerbread Man ones but I am really tempted to buy the other sets after seeing them today.
Sophie loves her mud kitchen at home so I wasn’t surprised when she made a bee-line for the one at Willow Tots. They had put porridge oats in there to use and Sophie got to work cooking porridge for the three bears. She was desperate to use a spoon that another child had and got quite tearful when we said she couldn’t take it. She found three bowls and said that one was for daddy bear, one was for mummy bear and the other one was for baby bear. Then I realised that she was looking for a small spoon for the baby bear to use. We have a Goldilocks and the Three Bears story basket out in her playroom and it was so lovely to see her connecting the story to the equipment in the mud kitchen.
Here she is with the small spoon, which the other child kindly shared because she had two. Tantrum successfully averted… phew!
There were lots of other activities set up around the woods including some of the others that I wrote about before. We headed to the minibeast area and Sophie enjoyed looking for bugs using the magnifying glass.
We found a worm which Sophie studied carefully, while her dad stayed far away! It was lovely to see Sophie being brave considering she went through a phase of being scared of insects. Thankfully the minibeast activities that we did in the garden seem to have paid off.
Sophie loves books so, unsurprisingly, the reading area was a big hit too. This is a new addition since the last time we went to Willow Tots and I think it is lovely. Sophie enjoyed reading stories in her bean teepee over the summer and this makes me want to set something up in the garden that would last all year.
She enjoyed playing with the cars and the trains. I love how they have painted decking boards to create roads.
There is so much to do at the forest school that we ran out of time even though the session was an hour and a half long. The last activity we did was to set up a birthday party for the dinosaurs around the cable reel toadstool table. Sophie found some leaves for them to eat and even dragged one of the massive logs from behind to pretend it was a present for them to open.
I think the open air had made lots of the other toddlers hungry as people were starting to get snacks out. Sophie spotted a boy with some mini cheddars and tried to help herself to one! We managed to coax her away from both the ‘dinoroars’ and the boy’s mini cheddars with a snack of her own and headed back to the campfire area for the end of the session.
If you live locally, I would highly recommend going along to one of the sessions. This is the third session we have been to and we are already booked to go back again! Steph and Laura are really friendly and set up such fun and creative activities. Willow Tots sessions run on Thursdays and also once a month on Sundays. They also run sessions for older children where they have camp fires and learn to use tools. I can’t wait for Sophie to be old enough to have a go!
*I have not been sponsored to write this post. I just wanted to share our days out on the blog.