Wednesday, June 07, 2006

East Reading Adventure Playground (ERAPA)

Play hall includes a soft playroom,craftroom and music/library room. Outside structures accessible to wheelchairs including roundabout and swing. Special needs groups welcome. Please book. Outside has 24 hour access. Playgroup and tooddler group. Youth club.Use for childrens' parties.

(None of those typos are mine, they're from the council website).Anyway, that's where we were today - the Berkshire Home Educators group hires it on Friday afternoons for get-togethers and we went and had a go. It was great. From 12:30 to 4 pm Linnea played with kids of all ages (up to about 14, I think) and a wide variety of backgrounds, in a safe, challenging environment. she took to it immediately, much more enthusiastically than the groups of kids her own age we usually go to, though she does enjoy those as well and we won't be skipping them for a while yet.

The downsides... their electric equipment is regularly safety checked and the kettle didn't pass this month, so we had to use an urn for hot water. The fold-down changing mat in the disabled loo is too high for people as short as I am. It was hard to choose which tea to drink because there were so many options. Not all of the children were lovely all of the time. Man, life is tough.

The upsides... the children were incredibly well-behaved and sensible, and the adults were lovely, and everyone was welcoming and pleasant. They had decaf Earl Grey tea. I can cycle there in 40 minutes the long way along the river. We saw a heron, and loads of swans and geese and ducks and cygnets and goslings and ducklings. Neither Linnea nor I got sunstroke.

We're going to go again, I think.

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