02/02/2023 - Permalink

Market Drayton Library goes wild for activities with pre-schoolers

Related topics: Children's services / Climate change / environment / Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Pre-school children in Market Drayton will be going wild for activities laid on by the town’s library.

The Shropshire Council-run library has been awarded funding through the Veolia/Shropshire Council EnviroGrant Scheme, in partnership with The Friends of Market Drayton Library, to put on free outdoor activities for pre-school children.

The £970 grant will be used to run the Muddy Boots Club, four blocks of four one-hour sessions out in the ‘wild’ for children who do not live close to the library in the town centre, and regular users, alike. This will run throughout 2023 in term time.

Muddy Boots activities

Muddy Boots Club activities

Tori Watson, Shropshire Council library assistant, explained:-

“If you haven’t got your own transport it can be a long walk with children from parts of the town to the library, so we have chosen four locations around town for the Muddy Boots Club that may make it easier to get involved without needing to come all the way into town.

“We currently see very few families from the Dalelands Estate, so we will go out to Walkmill Meadows and the green space by the skate park as two of the sites, and as the children are pre-school age we will be concentrating on having fun.”

The Muddy Boots Club will encourage up to 20 children and their carers at each session to explore the open spaces around their homes and hopefully encourage them to use the spaces again without us there.

Tori added:-

“We have an amazing volunteer who has experience in Forest Schools, but as we are dealing with really little ones (confident walkers) we will be concentrating on fun not lessons. Activities will include making bird feeders, crafting air dry clay, planting, and pond dipping, along with lots of art, craft and mud, and each session will end with a linked story and loud singing.

“We will also be supplying puddle suits and reins so parents need not worry about requiring extra kit.”

Rob Gittins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-

“This an excellent way of taking the library out into the community and demonstrates that our library service is so much more than book lending.

“It can be isolating looking after small children and it isn’t always easy to get into the town centre to get involved and meet other people, so it is fantastic that the Muddy Boots Club is getting out and about and supporting people’s wellbeing.

“I would also like to thank the Friends group who made it all possible by making the successful grant bid, as well as the staff and volunteers who will be leading the sessions.”

The Muddy Boots Club launches on Wednesday 8 March 2023 between 1pm and 2pm and booking is available now through contacting the library.

For more information on this and other events at Market Drayton Library, and other Shropshire Council libraries, see Library events | Shropshire Council