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  • Writer's pictureKirsty

A day in the Sun with our JIA families, and co hosted by CCAA

Kingsbury Water Park 22nd June 2019

And the sun shone!

After so many days of rain, rain and a bit more rain we were all very nervous about what today would bring. This was our first joint event with CCAA and we’d chosen Kingsbury Water Park as the venue. Last week when Carl and Sue from CCAA went to check the site out, many of the areas were under a layer of water. Luckily when we arrived today it had dried out significantly and the sun had decided to put in an appearance. In fact by mid afternoon it was incredibly warm and my arms are actually now a bit pink!

The CCAA team set up on in our reserved area on the field while the KLU team gathered at the Education Centre to meet the early arrivals. Soon we were all together at the centre and just waiting for the families to arrive. As we had fewer families than we’d expected all the children were able to choose to do both activities if they wanted to.

Steve the Ranger arrived to take us to our first activity – Den building. We had a quick briefing then all headed off to the wooded area where we learned how to build our own dens. Even the youngest of the children got stuck in and with some help managed to carry the large branches. First we built an A frame den which by the end even had a garden area marked off with some outside seating too!

Next we headed over to where Steve had found us a perfect tree to build a Wigwam style shelter. This took a bit more skill and we also needed to find much longer branches. We soon got the hang of it and managed to create a reasonably sturdy wigwam that several of the children fitted into.

It was then time to wash our hands and head over to the field for our picnic lunch. The beauty of these gatherings is that the children can mix with others whilst the parents can all chat. The chats are either just social chatting or for those whose diagnosis was more recent they can be about learning from other families experiences. Both CCAA and Kids Like Us have committee members whose children have JIA or they are actually young adults who have JIA. This means that we understand the challenges the children are facing and we can help to support the families who are now living with JIA.

After some running around, bubble blowing and playdoh modelling it was time to head back into the woods for our Wild Woods activity. As this was aimed at our younger children the older ones continued with more den building. There were a couple of collapses but the end result was pretty impressive! The younger children started off messing around making mud to create their own mud pies. Some made the mud into paint and were painting the trees; the trees drink the moisture from the ‘mud paint’. I think it was safe to say that Megan definitely won the prize for being the muddiest afterwards! There was bug hunting available but only one of the children took part in this so the rest played in the sand pit or continued getting muddier.

There were some very tired children at the end of the day but all the families left having had a fun day in the sunshine.

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