Let’s face it, most kids hate shopping. On the rare occasion, I have to take the kids with me, I usually have to bribe them with something: a trip to McDonald’s, a visit to an overpriced and grotty soft play centre or some naff toy.
Broughton Shopping Park, in Flintshire, have come to the rescue for stressed-out parents and bored kids over the summer holidays with a weekly programme of fun – and free – animal-themed activitieshis. We went along this week to see what it’s all about, and well, I think the kids faces in the pictures speak for themselves how much fun it was!
They’re every Wednesday, from 11am to 4pm throughout the six weeks (this week was the second week). The kids can enjoy interactive lessons on bees, bugs and birds from animal experts and costumed characters, including learning about the importance of bees and how to spot birds of prey. Activities on offer include puppet shows, singing and dung beetle dancing, bird ball making, and badger burrow storytime.
The full schedule is as follows:
Wednesday 8th August (11am – 4pm) – Birds over Broughton – A day focused on dinosaur descendants… birds! Kids will learn how to spot a bird of prey, join a bird singalong and make tasty bird ball treats to take home.
Wednesday 15th August (11am – 4pm) – Bedtime in the Burrow – Fun and interactive learning about animals who live underground, such as badgers, foxes and rabbits. This includes mini mammal racing and a badger bedtime story.
Wednesday 22nd August (11am – 4pm) – Tiny Transformers – Little ones get a lesson on insects and their transformations into flying creatures via a chrysalis.
Wednesday 29th August (11am – 4pm) – Creepy Crawlies – A playful day all about creepy crawlies such as spiders and centipedes.
The one we went to was all about ants and worms, and the kids learned all about the soil cycle and how the worms play a big role in it – and there was a very special visit from William Wormsworth, the poet worm!
We got there around lunchtime, and whislt we were the only people there at that time, as families walked past and saw how much fun the boys were having, more kids joined in. It was loud, it was full of toilet humour and it was informative – perfect for the kids. The staff doing the sessions were full of enthusiasm and really knew their stuff. The kids had hats to get them into the spirit of things, were encouraged to talk about what they already know about bugs and played games such as ‘munch, munch, poo’ (like duck, duck, goose!). It was a really interactive and hands on session.
Not only are there the sessions (this one was outside Tesco, but it does move about each week), but the rest of the shopping park is involved, with fun facts and information displayed around the centre and an ‘underground station’, near Nando’s, a walkthrough tunnel and live wormery where the little ones can learn about the creatures that live beneath your feet.
If you;re looking to try and get a bit of shopping done with kids, this makes an excellent bribery tool – it’s informative, it’s free, but more importantly – it’s a lot of fun!!
*In collaboration with Broughton Shopping Park.