I'm all wiggled out after today's Giant Wiggle, where we raised a super £75, which is enough to fund an anti-bullying workshop for children in schools. The day was a brilliant success.
If you haven't heard about The Giant Wiggle, here's a quick low down. It's all about raising money for Action for Children. The charity formed a partnership with The Very Hungry Caterpillar to bring joy and creativity to children taking part in events just like the one I organised today. Action for Children works to make sure every child has the love, support and opportunity they need to reach their potential. The money we raised today will be spent in the best possible way by making sure Action for Children can be there for the children who need them most: now, tomorrow and every day.
Our Giant Wiggle kicked off at 10am. While we waited for everyone to arrive, those who arrived early enjoyed exploring our garden. The rabbits proved very popular!
Eventually, the day began with a story we all know and love: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Once all the children were settled with biscuits and milk, another home ed Mum read the story to us all. The children were given props before the story started and they were able to hold them up at the appropriate moments. It was delightful. The story is a real classic that never gets old.
After story telling came craft, which the children were able to do either seated around our large vintage garden table or inside our mini retro caravan. Jenson, Wren and their friend Arrabella holed themselves up in the caravan!
But this left plenty of room for the other children to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Here is Sebastian, another lovely little home schooled child we have met. He was dead excited to have his photo taken with his butterfly mask on!! The children were also able to make caterpillar crowns too.
There was plenty of time for play and the children absolutely loved the garden! From riding on the go cart with The Very Hungary Caterpillar...
...to swinging on the garden seat.
Looking at the tadpoles in our barrel pond was another favourite and the newly spawned creatures didn't seem to mind getting poked!
Plenty of time for a picnic inside the caravan!
We all regrouped for a game of cocoons. This basically involved wrapping each other up in tissue paper before the caterpillar would break free like a beautiful butterfly! Lovely stuff that the children delighted in. Jenson absolutely loved being wrapped up and waited very patiently until it was time for his butterfly to fly!
Here is another little lad who loved the activity!
Wren was another little caterpillar who loved being cocooned!
Here she is breaking free!!
Lots more play time followed, where some of the children found balloons left over from yesterday's Lego club. What a brilliant addition to the day though.
And still the bunnies got lots of attention!
After lunch we set off on our Giant Wiggle walk around Park Campus. Up until now the weather had been very kind to us, but the heavens opened soon after we left the house and so a few of our crew turned back.
It didn't matter in the slightest. Turns out Plan B was the best part of the whole day! I had loosely pencilled into the itinerary that we could all create a giant Hungry Caterpillar on my studio infinity backdrop. It was a massive hit, so much so that I'm thinking of hiring the space out for painting parties!! Seeing how happy their children were, all the Mum's thought it was a brilliant idea.
The activity started off rather timidly, with me drawing a life size caterpillar. As soon as the children were invited to join in though the whole place exploded with colour, laughter and a massive amount of joy on a scale that was really quite overwhelming.
Socks were soon stripped off feet and trousers were taken off with great vigour as the paint explosion grew!
Feet and hands became human paint brushes and bottoms made great skid runs!
Just look at her hands!! The freedom to squirt paint all over the floor and walls was fantastic and all of the children relished the chance at being able to do this without restriction.
Here is Jenson pouring paint all over his feet!
The clean up afterwards was interesting to say the least! The maze of tiny foot prints scattered all over the floors, walls with hand prints on, carpets with the odd footprint on as its owner had run to get into the bath. One bathroom looked like a blue bloodbath and the other like a blue lagoon. I wish I had taken some photos of it all but for the first time in my photographic life it didn't even occur to me to get any photographic evidence, such was my distraction with the mess, which even by my relaxed standards was pretty impressive!
I don't think I can remember a time where I have seen so many children smiling with such big smiles. Jenson was the happiest I have ever seen him. I don't mean any disrespect to our old school or our good school friends, because they are all really cool, but the school system in general is not cool. I'm gutted for Jenson because primary school was the time I made some of my best friends, but I don't think school feels like a place where you can make best friends anymore. Children are worked to within an inch of their life and for what? I don't get it. Kids won't remember all the information being pumped into them at such a young age but they will be able to recall certain events or experiences that home schooling provides.
Jenson and Wren are a massive inspiration to me and always will be. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have half the motivation to do any of the things we do. Today's Giant Wiggle was a wiggle in the right direction: a happy, bright and creative future for us and our children.