Half Term Free Activities at the National Memorial Arboretum

Written by: Elmtree Press

Families visiting the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire will be able to take part in a fantastic range of free activities during Half Term (27 May – 4 June) while exploring 150-acres of woodland. The Arboretum’s four Discovery Shelters, dotted around the site, are full of interesting things to do and see, with fun facts and interactives to try. During half term families will be able to complete their own journeys of discovery at the Arboretum as they search for the shelters and complete the activities hidden in the wooden challenge chests. 
 The Arboretum is home to memorials commemorating those who served in the intelligence services working to unscramble secret messages as part of the war effort. Families can try and crack a secret code by following a code breaking mission found in the Shot at Dawn Shelter. The mission will inform young visitors about the associated memorials nearby and give them a very brief history of how the Royal Signals Corps led to the development of GCHQ.
An ancient burial mound sits within the Arboretum, symbolic of how Remembrance has been an important human need for centuries. Using some child friendly tools, children can search for amazing artefacts in our sandbox. 
Textures can be highly symbolic, and are a key part of Remembrance architecture. Texture Rubbing activities give our young explorers the chance to learn more about the site and explore a variety of textures following our texture trail.
Try Pond Dipping at Watersmeet and discover some of the mini beasts who live in the pond. You can identify them using the information signs around the pond. Pond dipping equipment is available in the Football Remembers Shelter but visitors are also welcome to bring their own.
The new Sensory Play Garden, introduces younger visitors to the concept of Remembrance through sensory exploration and discovery, in addition to providing traditional play. This new addition to the Arboretum has been supported by the National Forest Company, Tarmac and the Landfill Communities Fund. Including a climbing frame, slide, and tunnels, the sympathetically designed area sits naturally within the grounds of the Arboretum, seamlessly blending into the landscape.
Our Little Saplings Sensory Play and story telling is designed to help our youngest visitors enjoy the Arboretum and heighten their development and enjoyment of learning. Sounds, colours, textures, auditory sensory activities and other hands-on elements will add to the week’s chosen story.
On 2 June, our little Saplings will be looking at construction and creativity through different sensory building materials, craft activities and social skills exercises. We will also be taking a hands-on approach to the story of Humpty Dumpty and his infamous wall!
Pre-school children and accompanying adults will be given complete free rein of our expanding and evolving array of sensory toys (including dark den, lights and musical instruments) with the objective of encouraging creativity and multi-sensory experiences. All this takes place in our beautiful surroundings and with full access to our excellent restaurant and on-site facilities.
Each session will run on the first Friday of the month 1030-1200. For babies, toddlers and preschool children.