Family day fun down at Gressenhall Farm

Learning to milk cows, pond dipping and hunting for golden pigs were just some of the activities hundreds of young children enjoyed with their families at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse yesterday.

Learning to milk cows, pond dipping and hunting for golden pigs were just some of the activities hundreds of young children enjoyed with their families at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse yesterday.

It was all part of the Pre-School Learning Alliance's family day, sponsored by the Big Lottery Fund, which aimed to encourage parents to play and learn with the children.

More than 800 children and their families, from more than 35 pre-school groups, turned out to enjoy the day.

And despite dark clouds threatening rain in the morning, the event escaped with only a few showers that failed to dampen the children's spirits.

Sadie Ditton, project manager for the Pre-School Learing Alliance in Norfolk, said: "As well having fun, the whole point of the day was for parents to

spend time with their children

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and to understand the valuable

nature of play and how children learn.

"It was a great success. We got lots of positive feedback from the parents and the children all had a great time too."

The activities included a hunt for golden pigs hidden throughout Gressenhall's grounds, included a special activity based on the Three Little Pigs story and tractor rides. There was also basket weaving, playing in mud, potato printing and lots of other arty fun.

Three-year-old Ellah Johnson from Necton Little Oaks playgroup, was there with her parents Jayne and Paul Johnson.

Mrs Johnson said: "There was so much for the children to do which was wonderful. Ellah loved seeing the farm animals."

Cameron McCallum, four and from Rainbow Pre-School, in Gooderstone, had fun getting wet as he learned how to wash clothes the old-fashioned way with carbolic soap and a washing dolly, while his friend Daniel Mower, three,

from Gooderstone, hung the clothes out

to dry.

Daniel's mum Anne-Marie Mower said: "It has been a great day for the children to explore and good that they are learning by about things by getting hands-on experience. It has been really interesting."

One of the activities part-time cashier Sarah Wickens had enjoyed with her daughter Bethanie Scothern, three, who goes to Cantley Playgroup, was making a butterfly banner.

She said: "All the activities were really good fun for the children. It has been nice

for the parents to get involved and to get together too.

"I like the fact that a lot of the

activities are very messy and creative," she said.