Thursday 9th August – Visit to Safari Park   2 comments

We are very lucky in that Penny’s Place is only about 3 miles away from West Midlands Safari Park. You might think that it would be somewhere that we visit regularly  – well no we don’t – it is often very busy and so can be a nightmare to take more than one or two children – and also it is in my opinion expensive to get in, not very pushchair friendly- and quite frankly there are just too many temptations for children to want to do this or that, or to buy things – in other words if not careful you could spend an awful lot of money there.

However when my friend Carol told me that a childminding colleague that we had met through the childmindinghelp forum was going to visit the Safari Park – it seemed a really good idea to meet up with her (another Carol) there.

And so some very rare forward planning occurred!

Pre visit to risk assess?

No – been before – all be it a year ago. I know the risks are varied and many. No chart, tick list or written policy would keep the children safe. The only thing that would keep the children safe would be ME

Permission letter for parents?

Well would usually do one of these but being so close – already covered by generic permission form.

Rush around like a headless chicken finding all my safari type resources and activities?

No point really – trip only two days notice and in the continuous provision there is a basket of jungle animals and  an ark with various animals include elephants and giraffes. And in any case  I have NO IDEA which ‘bits’ will interest the children until we have done the visit. After a few seconds consideration I decided that with the age of my current mindees – I would tell them on the day.

However I am very proactive in protecting my mindees from risks and ensuring their safety and their well being – so I did have to think about things and take a few actions.

First was to inform the parents

Second was to make sure I had the reins in my outings bag – as well as all the other essential things needed on an outing.

Third was to tell the children about the phone number tags that they would be wearing (told them just before we left to go to safari Park)

As it happens the children were able to tell their parents about the phone number tags when they were collected – parents were impressed!

Alex aged 2yr 6m ‘That’s my tag’ (pointing to the blue tag)                                       Me ‘Tell Mummy what you do if you can’t see Penny’                                                  Alex ‘Tell lady, find Penny – Penny’s number’ (pointing to number on tag)

So proud of them all – they have not worn the tags before because not taken them into such a busy environment before.

Anyway I digress

The trip was a huge success – bit of a hiccup at the beginning because Chinzia was worried about the camels – due to memories about the camels she saw on the beach while on holiday with Mummy. ‘ No like it camel. No see camels Penny’

However I reassured Chinzia that Penny would keep her safe in the car. However as you might guess which ONE animal approached the car – yes the camel!!! Chinzia screamed and despite her seat belt managed to physically move closer to Penny. I had quickly moved the car away before the camel could put it’s head in through the open window – and said in my ‘don’t worry voice’ – ‘Silly camel, he wants to say hello to the children’

By the time Chinzia saw her mummy it was ‘ Naughty Camel – bite Chinzia!’ Good thing Mummy asked Penny for details and believes Penny’s version!

Apart from the ‘camel incident’ the children enjoyed driving through the animal enclosures and we had good views of most of the animals and lots and lots of discussions.

We then had a picnic with Carol and her mindees (but no sign of the other Carol) before heading off to the look at the rest of the park.

If I say so myself – the children were extremely well behaved. They held on the pushchair, walked without moaning (and it is a lot of walking for little legs), did not demand ice creams, sweets, goes on the rides – or any such thing.

They enjoyed seeing the animals and being with each other and Carol’s mindees.

We did eventually ‘bump’ into the other Carol – some problem with her phone – so we only had about 30 mins to chat and catch up – but never mind we will meet up another time – now we know we actual only live about an hour away from each other.

Oh and our theme of the 3 little pigs – not forgotten – on our return to Penny’s Place as we are walking down the side passage to the house – three of the 4 mindees (Archie being asleep) stopped pointed to and touched the bricks on the house and said ‘Bricks – look Penny a brick house ‘

Posted August 11, 2012 by psw260259 in Daily blog from my childminding setting

2 responses to “Thursday 9th August – Visit to Safari Park

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  1. Sounds like a fabulous day out for everyone, as Archie’s mummy, am really pleased by the tag idea and usage!

    • Thank you Catherine – although Archie did not use as many words to tell others about the tag – he knew where it was(attached to his trousers at the front) and he knew to show it to people and say Penny – he also understood the importance of not taking the tag off.

      Archie was such a good boy and a real pleasure to take out. A credit to you and Nick.

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