Potty About Bees
The first event was Potty About Bees, where the children could choose a flower to plant in a pot and decorate it with a bee they made. The Little Diggers area was a nicely themed fenced off area just outside the main shop. Although outdoors, it benefited from being under cover, meaning sessions can go ahead rain or shine… Which was just as well for us, as we had a typical British summer day!
Provided for each child was a pot, a plant, compost and materials to make our own bees to place in the pot. Aided by a couple of very friendly staff, we set about planting and crafting. SO Kid needed a little more parental support than others as he was having a particularly ‘shy’ day, but he very much enjoyed the experience and was excited to put his plant pot straight in the garden when we arrived home!
The Little Diggers events are aimed at little ones aged 3-8 years, but some of the activities, such as Potty About Bees, will also appeal to slightly younger or slightly older siblings if they want to tag along during the holidays. SO Teen joined us on this occasion (mainly to supervise the rest of us!) and while the craft was a little un-cool for her age, she did enjoy choosing and planting a flower to bring home.
Tea with Buzzy Bee
The second event we attended was Tea with Buzzy Bee! This event was held in the garden centre’s restaurant. We started off with hot drinks for the grown ups and squash for the kids. On the table were activity sheets and crayons to keep the little ones occupied whilst we awaited the arrival of Queen Bee. Unfortunately for SO Dad, this did not mean Beyonce was joining us for afternoon tea… however, I think this particular Queen Bee was equally entertaining!
Food arrived in bespoke Little Diggers paper bags for the children (hot food options were also available) and afternoon tea for the grown ups was served on a 3 tier stand, full of delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes. We had to be very careful to hide these from Queen Bee, as she did keep buzzing around them! After she had flown into several windows despite being told to use the door (perhaps she had been on the nectar!), we were all taken on a hunt around the garden centre, both indoors and outdoors, to collect stickers and find out bee facts along the way. Led by Queen Bee herself, we were encouraged to make bee sounds and fly just like her. Again, SO Kid was a little shy and was enjoying the hunt but wasn’t so keen on joining in with the ‘flying’. SO Dad, on the other hand, was having a whale of a time, much to the embarrassment of his kids! Thankfully for his sake, he was driving us home, otherwise he may well have been left there!
After all the stickers had been collected and SO Dad had finished making a fool of himself, we were led back to the cafe where the kids each found a biscuit had been left for them, along with black and yellow icing, to decorate as a bee. We were given as much time as we needed to decorate the biscuits and take pictures with Queen Bee and could leave as and when we were ready.
In the Tea with Buzzy Bee session that we attended, there were only two families taking part. However, this did not reduce the enthusiasm of any of the staff who were absolutely brilliant throughout. Our host was a lot of fun and very engaging with the children.
SO Mum, SO Dad, SO Teen and SO Kid, blogging about family life in Hampshire.