This week Guest Post’s start back again, by local businesses that are relevant to Parents in the area. This weeks post is from Charlotte at Busy Bee’s:
What is Busy Bees?
Busy Bees is a local pre-school children’s craft group that is run by a committee of friendly, sociable parent volunteers – usually with their own children in tow – and which takes place in the Elizabeth Hall in Hook on Fridays during term time from 9.45am – 11.15am. We’re all about letting the children’s creative juices run free whilst us grown ups get the chance to share a chat over a cuppa. We pride ourselves on being a friendly welcoming group and many parents and carers come back time after time for that very reason. A number have claimed Busy Bees as their foundation for building long standing friendships. It’s a great place to come whether new to the area or if you’re just looking for something different to do with your little ones.
Everybody at the session has at least one child there and the committee members will know who most of the children belong to if they’re regulars. For that reason it’s a safe and very relaxed, friendly environment. If we spot someone new then we like to ensure that at least one of us makes ourselves known and welcomes you in. We’ve all been there; going along to a new group can be daunting when you don’t know anyone so we aim to make everyone feel welcome.
We are a non profit organisation and all money taken covers the hire of the hall, refreshments, insurance and the purchase of all craft materials. Any money left over is ploughed back into making the group even better, something the group strives to achieve. Busy Bees also gives back to the local community through donations to schools and groups (such as the Scouts).
What we do
Busy Bees offers a variety of engaging activities to cater for all pre school ages. We theme each week differently and shape two specific crafts around this theme. These themes range from the more traditional – Mother’s Day, Easter and Christmas – to things such as Chinese New Year, St David’s Day or even International Bean Day! The aim is to ensure the crafts are exciting and fun for the children to sit and make and for you to enjoy too. We hear that many crafts are played with or displayed at home long after the session.
Alongside the two themed crafts are our regular tables of activities which include play dough, painting and our infamous train set. We have plenty of cover all aprons so you can let your children loose on the paint and not worry about whether any is going on your table, chairs, kitchen cupboards etc! We do the messy work so you don’t have to!
Whilst the session is aimed at pre school children we are fully equipped for the younger ones too. We have lovely soft mats and an abundance of baby sensory toys which keep the little ones entertained – and some of the bigger ones too!
After all that creative exertion we recharge the children with a drink and a snack and the grown ups get to enjoy a well earned cup of tea or coffee. We always have breadsticks on hand to cater for any allergies.
What’s in it for you and your child?
There are many benefits for coming along to Busy Bees. For a start it gives an opportunity for some quality time away from home, where, let’s face it, there are always jobs to do! You can indulge in those messy activities you never quite get around to (or don’t want to do!) at home or just welcome a change from the toys at home. Spending time with your child in this way will give plenty of opportunity for positive interaction and praise which is so important in building a child’s confidence and self worth.
It’s also a fabulous way of letting your child experiment with independence. Young children will confidently move away from you to play when they are ready, safe in the knowledge that you are not leaving. There are also the added benefits in that children are given the opportunities to start to socialise, learn to share and make friendships.
We encourage parents and carers to assist and participate so that they will feel they are an essential part of the group. Their comments are valued as well as any concerns or suggestions on how the group could do things differently. The group is always looking for more volunteers and is grateful for any help with the setting and tidying up of the room or offering ideas on future craft activities or even preparing crafts.
General running order of the session
The session is open and flexible and some people come for just parts of it. We pride ourselves on being a very relaxed and sociable group and welcome you along for however long you wish to stay. As a general rule we run as follows:
9.45am Open and crafts
10.30am Tidy up followed by a snack time
11.00am Song time
We operate a “pay as you go” system so there’s absolutely no up front commitment. We all know things come up that sometimes mean even the best laid plans get thrown up in the air – we’re talking children here after all!
Extra curricular activities
We aim to do our bit for charity and this year held cake sales for Children in Need, BLISS and Frimley SCBU where we encouraged parents/carers to bring in their home baking to sell at snack time for the grown ups to enjoy with their tea or coffee.
Last year saw a special visitor at one of our Christmas themed sessions where Father Christmas himself came to visit us bearing gifts for all the children. We’re hoping this turns into a regular occurrence! We also welcome along local trades and crafts people to show or sell at the session. Please get in touch if this is something you’d be interested in.
So if it’s sticking, cutting, painting, play dough or singing that you think your little one will enjoy, come along and give us a try as we’d love to see you.
Cost: For children under 18 months (who are not yet able to do the crafts) – £1.50
Children over 18 months – £3 (£1 for an extra child)
Accompanying Grown-Ups – FREE
When: Fridays (Term time only)
Time: 9.45am – 11.15am
Where: Elizabeth Hall, Hook