Wiggly worms in West Bank Park

We wiggly wormed into the wood last Thursday as part of my York Literature Festival event for pre-school children in West Bank Park.

This ‘Mad March Hares’ Rhyme Time Ramble took us right to the top of a Very Tall Tree (in our imaginations), and also all the way underground (for real) to where the worms live. The children enjoyed digging up all sorts of worms, from long fat brown ones to thin little grey ones.

Digging up worms on our Rhyme Time Ramble

Digging up worms on our Rhyme Time Ramble

We all enjoyed watching the different sorts of worms we’d found, especially when they wriggled themselves up into a big ball.

Looking at the different worms we'd dug up

Looking at the different worms we'd dug up

I performed my special earthworm song for everyone.

It was a very exciting Rhyme Time Ramble. We marched like ants and we buzzed like bees. And one girl even saw a pink dragon!

And we were all very lucky because the Story Tree gave us a rhyme time story at the end of our ramble.

One of our successful worm hunters

One of our successful worm hunters

Molly’s mum wrote to me afterwards:

‘ It was a great session – such a good idea to inject a bit of magic into nature like that, because it got them all going – Molly got really into it, and didn’t want to leave!’

Conor’s mum wrote:

‘It was a truly wonderful morning … I loved watching them all staring up into the Very Tall Tree and really, really WONDERING what they would see from up there. Conor said to tell you his favourite thing was doing the ‘we’re off into the woods’ rhyme walking round the flowerbed in a circle!’

Thank you to everyone who came along, to Catherine Heinemeyer for her organisatorial skills, to the Friends and Very Young Friends of West Bank Park for their support of the event. And to Clare for the lovely ‘digging up worms’ photo above.

And if, like us, you enjoy digging up worms, then check out OPAL, who are running a worm survey across the country, and who need you to join in! Find out more

Anneliese Emmans Dean – info@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz

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Rhyme Time Ramble

Hurray! It didn’t rain today! So the Very Young Friends of West Bank Park in York and I were able to go on our ‘Rhyme Time Ramble through the Woods’. (The last time we had tried to go on a Rhyme Time Ramble, the weather was so terrible that the council shut the park!)

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After we’d done our Warm Up Rhyme, we greeted Queen Victoria:

Queen Victoria in West Bank Park, York

Then we wiggly wormed into the wood:

Wiggly Worming into the wood

The children – all pre-school – were very observant in the wood. They found worms, and a snail, and a spider’s web, amongst other fascinating things:

Finding interesting creatures on our Rhyme Time Ramble

So I performed a worm poem, and a snail poem, and a spider poem for them. Amongst other poems …

Then when we got to the Story Tree, she let us have a Rhyme Time Story. Here the children are, listening to my Rhyme Time Story:

Rhyme Time Story at the Story Tree

Thank you to all the children and their mums/grandmas/carers who came today. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as I did. What bits did you like best?

Thank you too to Catherine, for organising the event in the first place!

Organiser, Catherine

I now look forward to my next Rhyme Time Ramble. I wonder where that will be …

Anneliese Emmans Deaninfo@theBigBuzz.biz

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Imbolc Story Walk

The poster for our Story Walk round West Bank Park said it would be suitable for ages 0 to 100+. We didn’t quite manage to hit the top end of that age-range, but nevertheless, young and not-so-young alike turned out on a ‘fresh’ February afternoon for our walk to celebrate National Storytelling Week.

Patrick - West Bank Story Walk - 2.2.08 West Bank Story Walk - 2.2.08

We had a very inspiring walk through the park, with poems provided by me, and stories by … well, take a look below.

When we got to the ponds, Catherine (with assistance from some little helpers) told us a fascinting story from Lincolnshire about TiddyMun:

West Bank Story Walk, Tiddy Mun

Aidan’s grandma told us 2 stories, one about a fallen oak tree …

Telling us the fallen oak tree story, 2.2.08

… which inspired great curiousity amongst the children:

Children by a fallen tree - Story Walk - 2.2.08

As did her story about the Green Man:

The Green Man - 2.2.08 Story Walk

We also learned about the history of the park, and that it had been a plant nursery for over a hundred years:

Learning about the history of the park, 2.2.08

I finished the walk off at the Story Tree, with a poem about the seasons:

Me reciting a poem at the Story Tree

And thence to hot drinks and delicious cakes in the park cafe!

Our audience was very appreciative, and suggested we put on similar walks again at other times of the year. It turns out that today is the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which is half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. So, it was suggested that we meet up again for story walks on other Celtic festival days. A very good idea!

In the Irish calendar, today is the first day of Spring. And by the time we left the wood, it really did look like it, with blue sky and sunshine lighting up the trees.

West Bank Park in the sunshine - 2.2.08

A big Thank You to Catherine Heinemeyer for her vision and hard work in setting up this wonderful walk. I was not the only one to have enjoyed it enormously.

And thank you to Stephen Whittaker of City of York Council for supporting the event. Let’s hope it’s the first of many such story walks in the park

Anneliese Emmans Dean – info@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz