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Winter - HAF Programme

It's Winter and we have returned to Greens Windmill and Science Centre for our final sessions in December 2023 and our first sessions in January 2024. It is cold outside but we have lots of activities planned that will make the most of being able to visit the Windmill, Science Centre and Community Garden as well as staying cozy inside with the oven on. 

We visited the Windmill and learned about what happens there, how it works and how flour is made. The group loved exploring the Windmill and for many of them this was the first time that they have been to the site, for them this was particularly interesting and they had lots of questions. Here they can learn about local heritage, and the process of the way a food that they eat is made. This inspired our next activity, returning to the community room we used flour and salt to make salt dough. They  worked in pairs to mix and create their own salt dough. This was a task that required them to work together, following instructions and figuring out how to measure ingredients and use equipment. This was very messy but also a lot of fun. When they had made their mixtures each child rolled a ball of salt dough for them to use later. We then ventured out into the cold to dust off some of the flour. 

Venturing out into the Community Garden, we had been warned by the Green’s Mill team that there had been a big storm the day before that had pulled up and thrown around a lot of plants and equipment. It was a gray drizzly day but this did not bother the group, they were happy to join the volunteering in the garden and together we all helped to pick up plant pots and pile up plants that had been uprooted. The group were really helpful and excited to help clear the garden so that they could play games. This was a great task for them to practice taking responsibility, safety and communication as they worked with the volunteer team. The volunteers at the Mill were fantastic throughout, they welcomed the group and were very knowledgeable about communicating the history of the site to the children. Following this we played the game ‘Go Find It’ . In this game children are encouraged to explore the space that they are in and search for objects of different colors, sizes, textures and materials. They enjoyed playing this in the garden as they could explore different objects, plants, insects and areas of the garden.

Back indoors the group were excited to make their salt dough sculptures inspired by what they had seen around the site. An array of different animals, objects and landscapes were made using the salt dough. The group were very creative in thinking about what they had seen and learned , creating everything from volcanoes and dinosaurs to turtles and ladybirds which they later painted to decorate with patterns, designs and details.

The group loved exploring the science museum where they challenged each other and worked together to complete complicated puzzles; some were especially skilled at this and were keen to share their knowledge with other children. They stretched their heads in the wibbly mirrors, watched videos about the workings of the windmill and history of the site and played with all of the scientific objects on display. They challenged themselves to create electricity using the hand spun circuit to light bulbs, they played with metal instruments to learn  about magnetic fields and found out how to create and measure static electricity using their hands and objects together. They searched the Science center to complete a quiz learning about the science and history of the site.

We explored the garden one  morning gathering objects in bags to bring inside, we had microscopes set up in the community room that the group used to examine their finds. They were fascinated by seeing familiar objects from the garden close up. To demonstrate what they could see they made drawings and paintings of what they saw through the lenses revealing the detailed patterns of leaves, sticks, stones and petals that they could not see with their own eyes. They made collections of circular drawings and paintings - some put these together as books and some made them into cards for their parents. The group also made lots of other crafts like paper airplanes, cardboard cubes, houses, mobiles, paper chains and snowflakes - because of the time of year a lot of them liked to make presents for people using their crafts.

Despite the rainy and cold weather we managed to get lots of fresh air either by returning to the community garden or playing games in the courtyard including ‘Go Find it’, Red Light Green Light, Wink Murder and Hide and Seek. This terms programme welcomed a really nice mixed group of some children who had joined us at this site earlier in the year and others who were new to the programme and to the site, the children who had visited before were confident and excited to show other children around and tell them about what there was to see and do. We enjoyed meeting lots of new children this term and introducing the group to Greens Windmill and Science Centre as a place in their local area that they can access and explore in the future with their parents.


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