acepuppets

Archive for March 23rd, 2016


 

We have had a bit of family illness to contend with recently and my son has dealt with it like a super hero.  I promised him that I would take him to LEGO Land Windsor and that we would stay in the resort hotel. To be perfectly honest staying in the resort hotel is incredibly expensive, for the same amount you could probably stay in a cheaper hotel for three days.

We had an early start on the morning of our expedition and many different trains to catch but we managed to get to LEGO Land in one piece.  The outside of the hotel did have a wow factor and was so child orientated that nobody needed to nag their children to stand still and wait while you checked in.  The greatest attraction in the reception area was a large sand pit full of LEGO, tearing Alistair away from that proved to be quite difficult and we hadn’t even entered the park.  We couldn’t go to our room until three o’clock so we spent the next three hours exploring the park.

It was a bit disorientating entering the park from the hotel because you are essentially entering it from the back into the quiet part.  We wandered towards the Viking area and went on the spinning log ride.  Most of our time was spent wandering around and squirting water on the people doing the wet rides.  We had some doughnuts and a drink then went to the shop to buy a big LEGO cube storage box.  We were both a bit tired and relieved to get back to the hotel so that we could enter our room.

The floor our room was on was fantastic and kitted out like an Indiana Jones set.  Our room definitely had the wow factor and the children’s bedroom bit was everything a little adventurer could hope for.  The carpet had pictures of scorpions, spiders and bugs on it and the walls were decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphs and Lego sculptures.   The adult side of the room was near the window and looked like a luxury hotel room with a really comfortable double bed.  There were two televisions so the children can watch Lego TV and the adults can watch Midsummer Murders.

On the side was a set of clues instructing the child to count four objects so that the answers could form the combination of a safe.  We were hopeless at counting and eventually managed to unlock the safe to reveal a Lego car.  We spent an hour resting and snacking on our packed lunch before getting ready to go into the hotel splash pool. It was great splashing about and extremely hot.  We went to the restaurant for dinner and entertainment – the entertainers did a sterling job of playing Simon Says and setting Duplo building competitions.

Finally it was bed time and I was so stiff I could hardly walk.  Alistair fell fast asleep without a fuss and I wasn’t long after him.  We slept soundly until seven o’clock in time for a 7.30 breakfast.  The breakfast selection was fantastic and you could eat as much as you wanted to.  We didn’t have a cooked breakfast and Alistair could only manage a small bowl of cereal because he was so excited.  We stayed in the lounge for a short while until we went upstairs to pack and check out of the hotel.  After handing my rucksack in to be looked after we spent the next three hours enjoying the park.

Lego Land has been designed to accommodate children of all ages and abilities and the staff are really good with children. Before 12.30 a Lego driving licence was acquired, we saw sharks, we went on a train, we saw the Star Wars exhibition and models of all of the major cities in the world.  We also had a play in one of the playgrounds which like the rest of the park had an inclusive playground design allowing all children to have the best time ever.

We spent the last half hour in the reception area playing with Lego and spending money in the shop until the Taxi arrived at one o’clock.  We were taken straight to Slough Station and had a tiring but good journey home.  It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror did I realise that I looked a complete mess.  My eyes were swollen and starting to go black the next day to the shock of my friends who said that I looked as if I had been mugged.  Anyway my son said that his holiday had been, ‘better than awesome’, which was all I wanted to hear.

 

 

 

 

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quote-imagination-is-more-important-than-knowledge-for-knowledge-is-limited-to-all-we-now-albert-einstein-48-10-93

I think that the greatest thing I miss about not being in education any more is not being able to participate in role play.  Working with children provides the best opportunities to let go of reality (without being sectioned) and enter a fantasy world.  Although in reality we are all role playing to hide our short comings and sadness.  Some adults take role playing to another level and become members of role play societies.

If you have ever been to a summer fair and watched someone weaving baskets, wearing medieval clothes, chances are they are part of a role play group.  Companies like Iron Shepherds Living History visit schools and attend summer fairs educating people about the Medieval and Victorian era through role play.  Role play is so useful as an education tool that businesses use it to train their staff.  So what is it about role play that is so fantastic?

Play puts the zing in to. ‘role play’, children don’t need to dress up to enjoy it and can visualise a whole new world in the sitting room.  Unlike adults, children see the magic in everything and become masters of their own universe.  Apart from objects scattered all over the carpet, children are processing everything they have learnt during the day and programming their brains to use that knowledge the next day.

We associate role play with the under fives and school and public play areas have early years playground role play equipment fitted so that parents and teachers can encourage and observe children participating in role play activities. Kiddy Charts blog has written a fascinating blog on the benefits of role play for children.  When you are the parent of a young child, like it or not, you will end up pretending to be a shop keeper, customer, patient or a dog.

The Training website basically repeats virtually the same benefits of using role play in training as the Kiddy Charts blog but in a commercial way; confidence building, develop listening skills and creative problem solving.  Play therapy is used to treat children who have had a traumatic time but is increasingly used to treat adults with dementia, grief and loss, post traumatic stress syndrome, obsessions and compulsions, anxiety and depression.  Adults often need to be reminded on how to summon up their imagination in order to participate in the treatment.

If you are an adult who enjoys dressing up as a Viking, knight, basket weaver or Victorian you are probably boosting up you well being scores. As long as you don’t start believing you are who you are dressed up as you will probably have a very fulfilling life.

 


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