Stick Man at Westonbirt Arboretum
The girls love Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man. At one time it was Emily’s favourite book, and despite being able to say very few words at the time, she would shout “Stick Man” when she wanted us to read it to her. We were very excited to see that the Stick Man trail was coming to Westonbirt.
The format was similar to the other trails that have been hosted by the Forestry Commission. We bought the girls an activity pack for £3 to share between them and followed the seasonal trail around the arboretum.
It was a beautiful, wintery day as we walked around the arboretum, with lots of little puddles for splashing around in. There were two types of boards to look out for, circular ones with pictures of characters from the book, and rectangular ones with activities to get involved with on. The character pictures were perfect to keep children of Emily’s age occupied. She recognised the various characters and helped tick them off our list.
Freyja was able to come up with some activities of her own with these boards, such as making herself look like a rabbit!
The girls also came up with their own Stick Man-based activities, for example re-enacting the section of the book when Stick Man is caught by a dog. I can’t say I was particularly pleased with them running around with sticks in their mouths, but a bit of dirt is good for the immune system isn’t it?
Freyja did enjoy the suggested activities on the boards as we continued on the trail. She was very proud of a stick tower that she had built, although her boisterous little sister then enjoyed knocking it down which didn’t go down very well.
The activity pack also provided us with a couple of brown pipe cleaners so we could make our own Stick Man. We had found a couple of perfect sticks and Rich set about making Stick Man. I was actually surprised that he relinquished his work of art to Emily, who carried him around the remainder of the walk.
Of course there were distractions from the trail, such as running between the trees and climbing on felled trunks.
After all the walking, running and climbing, the girls (and Stick Man) needed a rest and a snack.
The trail at Westonbirt was the perfect length for my two to walk round, with lots to keep them occupied, and this followed by some time playing in the play area whilst Rich and I warmed up with a hot drink made for a brilliant morning – and two sleepy girls in the car on the way home!