‘We’re going on a dinosaur hunt!’
As a parent, one of the things I have particularly loved about Playlanders is the staff’s commitment to giving the children opportunities to go on exciting trips! I thoroughly enjoyed being a volunteer on ‘Dinosaur Day’, when staff took the children into the city centre to find fossils and hunt for dinosaurs – yes, really!
After all the excitement of a bus journey, we began in the Grand Arcade where the children had to look for fossils in the floor tiles of the shopping centre. In the weeks leading up to the trip, they had been learning all about belemnites (like little spears) and ammonites (like snails) and so were excellent at spotting them (far better than I was!). I was impressed at how being able to see these fossils right at the heart of modern life helped the children to understand something about the continuity of history and how we are all part of a bigger story.
The children then enjoyed balancing on the low brick walls to make their way to Cambridge University’s Sedgewick Museum where, after a quick snack, they then climbed up the steps to be greeted by a large T-Rex skeleton! The Playlanders team were exceptionally well prepared, and had planned a little route around the museum for the children, along with a wonderful craft activity: a 3D map of the museum with little models of the exhibits they had seen. The Museum then gave us a treasure box to explore, full of special fossils like dinosaur toes and eggs. The children loved being able to hold these different shapes and textures and talk about what they were doing.
After their fill of dinosaurs, the children had lunch at the St. Andrew’s Living Yard cafe, where there is a very good play area. Happy and tired out, the children then enjoyed one final bus trip and a special sweet treat, before running off any remaining energy in the playground, where parents and carers came to find them.
The trip had been planned with such care – it was fun, informative and had the children’s imagination gripped from start to finish! I am so grateful to everyone at Playlanders for making it possible.