A Teddy Bear Tea

Musical Toddlers – Summer finale – “A teddy bear tea!”

What an amazing finish to our last Musical Toddlers of the summer. By kind invitation of Belinda and Richard Southwell we were lucky enough to have a teddy bear tea in the very beautiful gardens of Upton Lovell Manor.

A heavenly location blessed with sunshine and flowers surrounding us we had 12 families attending, over 20 children, 13 adults, plus volunteers and of course teddy bears!

Laughter could be heard in every corner of the garden as the children took part first in a treasure hunt and then a bear hunt in the flower meadows led by the lovely Ruth who has been helping us from a Christian charity called Spurgeons. Finally ending with a short sing along and most importantly an abundance of cake, fruit and other treats and for the adults a cup of very British tea!

Musical Toddlers normally takes place in Upton Lovell Village Hall every Friday in term time from 9 – 10.30 am and is suitable for bumps, babies up to 5 year olds. The suggested cost is a minimum donation of £1.50 per family. This helps cover the cost of hire of the hall, drinks, equipment etc

Musical Toddlers was born out of a need noticed by Reverend Ali Morley (mostly) for mothers spread across the wider Upper Wylye Valley villages who felt isolated with their pre-school toddlers. The group provides a place where parents and grandparents too can meet enjoy a cuppa and let their children play freely whilst they chat. Initially taking place at Heytesbury Church the group has had to move to Upton Lovell Village Hall due to a lack of heating and facilities.

The growth of the group from its infancy in May 2016 has been wonderful to observe; it is now a thriving, buzzing collection of babies and pre-school children on busy week hosting twenty-five children and eighteen adults. Last October we ran a special Musical Toddler morning incorporating the Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee morning and with 40 guests raised £56.10 for the charity.

Families come from across the Upper Wylye Valley including Codford, Sutton Veny, Upton Lovell, Heytesbury and Warminster.

Each week a number of faithful volunteers set up (at around 8.30 am) with participants arriving at nine. The session starts with free play for the babies and a supervised craft activity for the slightly older ones – which varies each week. We try where possible to embrace themes and engage with nature – at Christmas time making and decorating salt dough decorations for Heytesbury Church. Other recent activities have included painting fireworks, making seed feeders and creating snow men.

After craft and play we sit in a circle, sing songs and sometimes enjoy a dance – it can get quite noisy being described by one regular volunteer Steve as “Listening to happy chaos from heaven”. A drink and a healthy snack or homemade treat is followed by a quiet story in the church (or lady chapel) and finally a closing prayer before departure.

It is a happy group which relies entirely on volunteers and aside from the nominal weekly donation given by families attending money is raised through fundraising. This helps to cover the costs of hall hire, food, and craft.

If you would like to join our group either as a volunteer or with little people, please contact verityeastman@gmail.com or call 07980 853 667. The more the merrier!

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