Gruffalo story telling

Meeting the Gruffalo

Today was the final day of Shenfest, which is an Oxforsdhire village’s music and literature festival. ┬áThis year is the second year, and along with numerous concerts and meet the author, they’ve also added Little Shenfest in the village school to get the children involved as well.

There were several story telling sessions along with art & craft activities, and messy play.  I thought (as N’s favourite book seems to be The Gruffalo’s Child) that we’d opt for that session which would entail story telling, meet the Gruffalo, a goody bag of some activity sheets & balloons, and some Gruffalo stickers.  Plus obviously the general activities and then the children’s bookshop.  The alternative was Dear Zoo, which he also likes; unfortunately they weren’t bringing zoo animals to the event, only a couple of old tractors and horse – being on a farm, he sees those anyway.

I’d told N beforehand we were going to see the Gruffalo and he seemed fine, telling everyone he was going to see the Gruffalo.  He sat down in the wooden hut where the story telling was taking place.  He was happy enough to sit with the other children on the beanbags, and seemed to love Dan’s story telling (I’ve never seen a book so huge…and it turns out the Gruffalo had a Scottish accent!).

Story telling
Listening to the story telling
The Gruffalo Story telling
Dan narrating The Gruffalo at Shenfest 2013

But then the Gruffalo turned up and was waving to the children.  All the other children waved and said hello, but N looked round, thought for a bit, then stood up, cried and called ‘mummy’.  Oops.  I wasn’t sitting far, so he sat with me for the rest of the story.  Of course, even though he’d not liked the Gruffalo, he was happy to wave and say ‘bye’ to him. (Can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of the Gruffalo…maybe he didn’t really exist?!)

He loved the Messy Play tent.  It was run by a new franchise set up in the area who, small world, one of the people running it knows one of my school friends and went to the same school, so I spent a bit of time comparing notes with her.  All under tents in case of bad weather (it was dry, but windy and definitely not the 20 degrees we’d been expecting following the forecasts), they’d got areas set up with different activities.

messy play oats
Messy fun in coloured oats

Of course N went straight for the one with coloured oats and construction vehicles, although he also tried out the scoops and cutlery with the coloured rice, and the gluten free playdoh.  I’d never felt gluten free playdoh before, but it’s really elastic compared to the normally made version.  So lots of play in that tent, before we checked out the book shop.

N also had the chance to play on the playground equipment.  He found the trike-chariot to try out; I love the fact that he always goes for the biggest items that will be too big for him, but is determined to use them anyway.  Of course he had to also try out the bridges – just about managing the tyre bridge on his own.

Although it wasn’t the warmest day (bad mummy had him in shorts as well, while all the others seemed to be more covered up!), he had a lovely time playing outside…definitely need to get hold of a tuff spot for ourselves – great for lots of play options and small enough to be brought inside for storage (keep the dog from running off with it and chewing it up!).

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  1. Yep my wee man is not too keen on the real life version of characters! I am thinking of getting a tuff spot too. Sounds like you had fun and I’m sure your wee man was busy enough to feel warm!

  2. I suspect the Gruffalo is a little less scary in the book than a real life one moving around – the size perspective probably frightened little N. The festival sounds fab though, lots of activities organised to keep the children occupied. I do like the smiley photo of N on the bike – adorable. Thanks for coming over and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. He’s obviously taken after me, as my mum said I was never a fan of huge dressed up animals! But hopefully it could mean never having to go to Disney world?

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