Saturday, 19 July 2014

Week Review - Libraries, leisure centres, art, music and sculpture...

Every week me and the girls do something, go somewhere and I keep forgetting to take a photo grrrr!!! So I am have making a mid year new years resolution!!! One Evening a week up date the blog on where we've been regardless of photos.

The library is a lovely new library attached to Ralph Thoresby Secondary School.
I was so impressed by the staff there on Tuesday. Genuinely lovely and helpful!

This is more a post for The leisure centre provisions in general -I was really impressed by the 5 page handout available for all the holiday activities. However, there is hardly anything apart from the bouncy castle and big splash swim sessions available for under 4s. Trampolining is over 5s, arts and crafts over 4s. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to tap in to the families that use the leisure centre during the week whilst big kids are at school. We still have our kids with us and the classes we normally do are off. So... a few more for the little 'uns please?! OK so there's also striker Tots for kids but we'd done that for 2 terms and she's footballed OUT!

We had our last Rhythm time session today and I was genuinely sad. This has been such a fantastic music class. Di and Barbara are so lovely. The group lesson itself is so well thought through and designed and it feels genuinely educational for the kids rather than just signing songs etc which I would do myself at home anyway. The toddler class is brilliant because you get a free CD for the start of every term. LOVE LOVE LOVE Rhythm time and recommend it wholeheartedly!

I finally made it to Fingertips! I had been recommended it loads and finally went. Fingertips is run by Steph and has been up and running at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley since February this year. the studio is ofsted registered and not only can you drop in for sessions but you can book the kids in for a preschool session and go get some jobs done! 

The studio reminded me of a lovely early years classroom. Everything is set out at child height and the children can help themselves to whichever resources inspire them. 

We popped in for the stay and create session: Because it was the last session before the end of term, the children could free flow and play and create as they wish. Usually Steph will have a planned art activity initially and then the children can free flow.

There was cardboard out on the floor with a variety of paint colours and different mark making tools - obviously my 3 year old decided to paint her entire hand and arm. and use that to make marks. BRILLIANT!
It's great for kids to be free to explore and get messy in an environment without having to worry about getting things dirty! There was a massive box the girls enjoyed drawing on and a small table where my 3 year old enjoyed cutting and stamping out shapes. There's also a book corner and my little one bonded with another child over a picture book of Rapunzel with the soundtrack to Frozen in the background :-)

As I was chatting to Steph after the session she was setting up for her baby Sensory Group - the things she was getting ready looked ACE. There was cars in a tray of oats, powder paint and flour, spaghetti, jelly and a host of other sensory delights! Steph is absolutely lovely, really passionate about what she is doing and the different ways she can use fingertips as a platform for others. She has teamed up with a baby sling library. Mum's and their babies can come in for a session for £5 have a cup of tea, babies get arty and mum's can try on different slings and chat with each other in a space that the kids get benefit from. Better than a coffee shop!!! She is also running after school activities and does birthday parties which sound fantastic - check out her website!

Back to the studio... Sessions are £5 for an hour and siblings are £3. I would recommend you have a visit,especially if you don't 'do' messy at home. The children really love it!!

This month the session was led by Nichola Pemberton entitled paper people inspired by the  Thomas Houseago's sculpture outside the art gallery at the moment. There were massive rolls of paper that could be crawled through, crumpled and sculpted. I had my 14 month old with me and she just wanted to make some marks and generally 'ta' pencils to Nichola, then to me then back to Nichola repeat repeat repeat. 

I can't recommend the playground sessions enough! They are awesome. The only problems are that... they are sadly only once a month so it feels like ages if we miss one. And it's not that well advertised. Here's a link...

And that's all for now...
Another fabulous week in Leeds

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Lister Park in Bradford is about a 6 mile drive from leeds - Half hour drive.

We arrived midweek for 10am. Easy drive, not much traffic and loads of parking. You can park on North Road or as you pass the hall  on your right you turn in to the park and can park along the road there. It's free and SO easy to park. 

I had no idea what to expect at the park so my first impression was 'wow, this is really lovely!' We walked round the side of Cartwright Hall up to the main entrance. GORGEOUS!

 Lovely manicured gardens and stunning sculptures at the front.

We were going to the SQUASH and a SQUEEZE Exhibition inside the gallery - if you have pushchairs, go round the back there is a lift. I will do the exhibition seperate.

  • Lister Park is a lovely sized public park that can easily be covered in a day visit. 
  • There is a lovely Art Gallery with super nice and helpful staff - Toilets at the front entrance. Lifts available at the back of the building.
  • An adventure Play area - although the playground is obviously not brand new, there have been repairs and the play area itself was very clean.
  • A Boating Pavillion and Coffee Shop - next door to the adventure playground. Toilet available there. We went on a pedal boat ride - £5 for 2 people and a £1 for each extra person - sits up to 5 adults.
  • Mughal Water Gardens is a very peaceful area right next to the Art Gallery with water fountains and streams flowing into each other. There are ramps which the kids really enjoyed walking over.
  • The whole park is 100% pushchair accesible.
  • After the Boating Lake there is an absolutely gorgeous Botanical Gardens with lovely secret paths to excite my 3 year old. A geological trail and lots of informative signs.
  • A sensory Garden within the Botanical Garden was lots of fun trying to find all the different plants to touch and smell.
The gardens are so well kept and there was hardly any litter, really lovely place to spend the day. This was an amazing adventure friday destination which, doesn't need to cost very much at all!

5/5 for this lovely park and ART Gallery!


Here are a few photo's of our adventure...

Mughal Water Gardens

Children's Play Park

 On a peddalo on the Boating Pond
 Botanical Garden Trail