Slimbridge Home Ed - Bewick Swans

This morning Jenson and I were at Slimbridge Wetland Centre for their first ever home ed session! I had been really pleased to bag a place on this very popular session, having seen it pop up on my Facebook feed. I had called them straight away and managed to get the second to last place! 

It was definitely worth it too. We all met in the foyer before heading outside to an educational hut. Apparently, whilst making our journey across the wetlands we had all grown bills and turned into Bewick Swans or at least that's what Georgia, our inspirational host for the morning, would have us think!  

Despite the freezing cold, Georgia's great enthusiasm rubbed off on everyone. She soon had the children running around for their first game. It basically recreated the journey the Bewick Swan makes from its breeding grounds in Arctic Russia to the UK. The children were paired into 'swan families' and then had to run relay to see which team could collect the most tokens, with each token worth one slice of energy. Once all the tokens had been collected the 'swans' began their epic journey from Russia to the UK, or in this case, from the blue rope to the yellow buckets! Along the way they endured all sorts of difficulties, from near misses by aircraft to being shot at. It was a great way to help the children understand more about these beautiful birds and the challenges they face just to survive.

After games we all warmed up a little in one of the hides, where the children completed worksheets and spotted a few birds. 

Back in the hut, Georgia showed everyone the leg rings they put on the swans and explained what they were for.

After an hour or so of outdoor fun, we all headed back inside for a craft session. The children made Bewick Swan masks.

At the end of the session we said our thank you's. Jenson was given a token and was asked by Georgia to put it into one of three jars. It was basically feedback for the centre to find out if the children had enjoyed themselves. I waited on tender hooks to see which jar the token would end up in but I was pleased to see it go into the one labelled 'Enjoyed'! Not sure how much Jenson really understood it because afterwards he said he had chosen that jar because it had been the same colour as his token!! 

Before we left to pick up Wren from nursery, we headed over to the Peng hide, where we saw actual real life Bewick Swans! They are smaller than the well known Mute Swans and have a yellow bill rather than orange. 

It was a great morning and we have already signed up to the next two home ed days coming up in May and July!