This year, our Barnsley team have decided to form a group for our foster children that are aged between 7-10 years old. The purpose of the group is to teach young children about where ‘Safer Strangers’ are in the community and where they can get help if they are lost or scared when out and about. The group will come together throughout the year for social events, with the first being held at the Magna Science Museum last month.
On the 19th February, 6 children joined us and attended the Magna Mayhem event, followed by a visit to the Magna Museum.
When we arrived at the museum, we introduced the children to each other as this was the first time some of them had met. We went and got our wristbands and headed into the Mayhem inflatable area. Each of the children gave us their bags and coats before going off together to play.
The children decided to play a game of hide and seek across the inflatables and they really enjoyed going on the big slide and the inflatable obstacle course. It was lovely to see them all have such fun. After the children had finished on the obstacles we went and had a picnic in the park, which consisted of pizza, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, crisps, yoghurt and biscuits.
After lunch the children headed to the museum and started by going to the fire and air exhibition which they really enjoyed. They then decided themselves that they would like to visit the water area next, so they all worked out which way they needed to go and we all set off together. When we got to the water area there was rain pouring from the ceiling. They all put their hoods up and ran through the water, back and forth, all giggling together. There was also plenty of interactive play for them to get involved with.
Once the children had finished in the water area, we all went through the Earth area. In this area there was a large sandpit area where the children all played nicely together. At different times each of them took themselves off to another area of the exhibition to look at something new, before returning to play with the rest of the group. By the time they had finished playing in the sand area, it was time for the museum to close and for us to go home. On the way out we stopped at the gift shop and the children each chose a treat, for most of them it was ice dream despite the cold weather.
Before we all left, we said our goodbyes to each other outside and the children were all keen to see each other again, which was lovely to see. As a result, we explained that there would be a get together during every school holiday and that they could even ask their foster carers if they wanted to meet up for a play date in between if they wanted to.
On the whole, the behaviour of the group was excellent. There were times when they became very excited but that was expected. In addition, there were some caring moments that were displayed by the children; sharingg their experiences in the care system, helping each other with interactive skills, inviting each other to play and at no point did it appear as though any child was being left out of the group which was great. It seemed as though everyone had a really lovely time and we can’t wait for the next group get together to happen.