On Thursday the children came to school very, very excited as we were going on an excursion to visit Abingdon Miniature Village in Mandurah. We decided to visit as we’d been learning about famous buildings in London and the buildings at the village are based on UK buildings. Planning an excursion is no mean feat especially when there are 4-5 yr olds involved. We estimated that the trip would take us about an hour on the bus so we made sure everyone went to the toilet before we left. We had a checklist of things we needed to take with us; spare clothes and plastic bags in case someone had a toileting accident or was sick on the bus, a sick bowl, first aid kit including epi-pen and puffers for children who need them, morning tea and equipment to cut up the fruit, water bottles, mobile phone for emergencies, money to pay for the excursion and of course the camera!!
The plan was to leave at 9am sharp but we never really expected that to happen. We boarded the bus and left at 10 past and thought we did well to leave then. There’s an inland highway and a coastal highway we could’ve travelled along. Normally we would’ve taken the inland highway route but a parent had informed us that there was a car on fire on the inland road so we took the coastal road. There was probably only about 5 minutes difference in time with either route so in the end it made little difference.
We keep our mat session to a maximum of about 20 minutes as we know that’s about the limit of our class’ attention span. So we were expecting the “Are we there yet?” choruses that started. Fortunately the excitement and novelty factor kept them entertained until about 3/4 of the way through the journey so there was only about 10-15 minutes left before we did arrive. There were a few rumblings about hunger happening also.
Our plan was to arrive around 10am and then spend half an hour or so looking around and then having morning tea but seeing how the children were hungry we decided to toilet and feed them first. The village had a nice open grassed area with picnic tables and a playground nearby so we sat there and had some fruit and juice followed by some lamington fingers. We finished morning tea about 10:30am and then we split up into groups and agreed to meet back up at the playground at 11:20am. Each child and parent helper had a name tag in a specific colour and were grouped according to colour.
We had enough parent helpers that my EA and I were able to wander around separately, keeping an eye out for any issues and allowing us to take photos also. The train station was a major attraction. There is a button you can push to start the train going. The children got so excited about pushing the button that the train ended up derailing and no-one got a turn after that.
Another major attraction was the hedge maze. It was an eye opener watching how the different personalities tackled that one. Some were apprehensive and wouldn’t venture in without an adult whilst others ran screaming in giggling with giddiness about being hopelessly and totally lost. There are some stairs and a viewing platform near the exit of the maze so we were able to direct out anyone who was worried about being stuck in there forever.
The weather earlier in the week has been rainy and cloudy but as you can see from the pics we were blessed with an almost perfect day. It reached a maximum of 18C. The air had a slight chill to it but it was a clear and beautiful day. We wandered around the village looking at the different buildings and reading a few of the plaques in front of them before returning to the playground for a quick play before leaving.
We did a quick head count to make sure we weren’t missing anyone and another toilet run before we hopped back on the bus to head back to school for a late lunch. We arrived back at school just after 12:30pm. We had some lunch and a play and then decided to unwind by watching a relaxing dvd for the rest of the afternoon before home time. I don’t know about the children but I was well and truly exhausted after our adventure!