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Ignite! x Renewal Trust Summer Sessions

Ignite! Summer 2021 Intern, Morgan Kane, reports on the Holiday Activities Fund programme with the Renewal Trust across St Ann's this summer.

After a year of doom and gloom, we’re back doing what we do best. Working alongside the children of Nottingham sparking their own creativity and curiosity once again. Over the past 4 weeks we have been working together with Renewal Trust to deliver several fun-filled science activities!

We wanted to take advantage of the lovely British weather (although somewhat unpredictable) and incorporate the local parks into the activities. The children were given their own personal notebooks which allowed them to express themselves as well as take note of the nature and wildlife they discovered around the parks. It was delightful to see the creativity the children possessed, using the notebooks in their own individual ways to capture their favourite moments- definitely Picassos in the making!

Photos: Exploring the blackberries on Coppice Park; Using blackberry juice as ink; finding a four-leaf clover.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics made a comeback this summer, so it only seemed appropriate to challenge them to an Olympic style challenge… Obstacle Olympics! The challenge was to use their imagination and get creative to incorporate the nature of the parks to produce their obstacle courses. We saw a range of objects used; from a broken goal post as a balancing beam to a long jump made from sticks. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ignite! Obstacle Olympics at the Paris 2024 Olympics!

The winning activity of the summer was certainly creating your own marbles, after producing over 100 marbles over the weeks - even making an appearance in my dreams... or nightmares! Just kidding! This was undoubtedly our favourite activity to teach the children as their reactions were priceless each time. Once the marbles were made, using thermoplastic pellets and hot water, children were challenged to make their own marble run, using straws and card to construct the track. The children learnt very quickly that to create a successful marble run they had to work collaboratively and take on board everyone's ideas. The end result demonstrated how creative the children were in crafting their marble runs and this presented itself in the success of the marbles staying on the table for 4 seconds. Are you wanting to have a go yourself? Head over to our resources page to try this at home.

Photos: Pointing to individual marbles; creating a marble run; a line up of marbles.

As we sadly approached the end of the summer sessions, the children transformed into pirates for the day - shiver me timbers. Sycamore Park was revamped into a nature theme treasure hunt, but it wouldn’t be a treasure hunt without a challenge, to find the clues the children had to crack the riddles or face walking the plank - ahoy matey! The children dived straight into this challenge and scurried off into the park to begin cracking the clues, it didn’t take long until a little bit of competition creeped in. After all teams completed the treasure hunt, we decided to give them their very own ‘treasure’. The children were given their very own gold medal which in my opinion is better than any pirate treasure - ahoy.


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