Getting Creative at Caldies

The summer holidays may be behind us now but that doesn’t mean there’s not still lots of good times to be had out of school hours down at Calderstones Mansion House with our reading and activity groups for children and young people. There were certainly tons of stories and games enjoyed at our recent Summer Fair at Calderstones and the fun doesn’t stop…

Caldies creatives 72dpiFor little ones not yet at school, our Teddy Bear’s Picnic group runs each Thursday, 1.30-2.30pm. Mums, dads and carers can come along with their under 5’s – and teddies, of course – to enjoy reading, food and fun, with no need to worry about the weather – if it’s raining, we head indoors. Read more from Family Project Worker Laura about her experience of a Teddy Bear’s Picnic session at Calderstones.

The weekend brings even more fun for older kids, as our Caldies Creatives take over the Mansion House every Saturday morning from 10-11.30am. At Caldies Creatives, books are brought to life with a range of crafty activities and much more besides, making Calderstones the place to be on a Saturday for those aged 7-13.

The Reader Organisation’s very crafty Creative Practices Coordinator Roisin Hyland co-runs Caldies Creatives, and tells us how her Saturdays have taken on a new slant:

“It’s not often that I jump out of bed on a Saturday morning but recently that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. People who know me well will know how unusual this is; my weekends are usually reserved for sleeping, lazing and eating. Spurts of energy are few and far between, generally only being reserved for sale shopping and DVD box sets.

But recently something has changed. My Saturday mornings have become filled with games, reading, crafts, dancing and a million different variations of granny’s footsteps. I now know how to dance gangnam style, The Rules of ‘May I’ and how to play the ultimate game of tag.

The reason for this transformation? Caldies Creatives. A new reading group in Calderstones Mansion House run by my colleague Sophie and myself. Each week between 2 -12 children attend this Saturday morning session which is quite literally jam packed with fun.

Caldies Creatives and their Fantastic Foxes
Caldies Creatives and their Fantastic Foxes

We recently finished reading Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl and it really was a ‘fantastic’ experience. Each week was a new experience from making our own fox plushies, designing wanted posters to cutting out and making our own fox masks to sneak up on the farmer.

Designing and preparing the activities for the sessions can take a long time and be challenging (geometric mask shapes?!? and felt fox shapes!) But watching how much enjoyment comes with them is a real delight and definitely worth it.

So if you see me running to catch the 75 on a Saturday morning at 7am with a huge smile on my face, don’t think I’m really excited about Liverpool’s public transport system – I just can’t wait to get to Caldies Creatives.”

Caldies Creatives runs every Saturday morning from 10-11.30am at Calderstones Mansion House. For information on all of our reading groups at Calderstones, as well as to find out more about the vision for the International Centre for Reading and Wellbeing at Calderstones, visit the Connect at Calderstones section of our website.

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