Family Fun Day

Held at Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre, a family fun day for all ages. Working in collaboration with local organisations and businesses to organise lots of free activities for the whole family to enjoy – as part of Buckingham Fringe week. Everybody is welcome to join us on Sunday 18th July from 1 pm until 4 pm. If you are a local business or organisation and would like to get involved, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the coordinator today: lacehillcentre@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

For more information regarding events, visit our events page.

Wellbeing Wednesday: Buxplore Green Route Activities

Outlined below are lots of fun and exciting activities that the whole family can enjoy together both outdoors and indoors from Leaf Art and Willow Crown making to Pooh Sticks and Shadow Tag gaming! You can do these activities in various places around Buckingham like Pooh Sticks from one of the Bourton Park bridges, Building a Den along Railway Walk or maybe even a Twig Maze in Chandos Park; lovely memories can be created anywhere. What will be your favourite activity?

Places to try these activities are highlighted on the Buxplore Green Trail!

Download Buxplore from the Google Play store!

Leaf art can be a fun and easy craft for all children to enjoy outdoors and indoors! The simplest version of leaf art is by using leaves to create wonderful and imaginative pictures whereas, more advanced leaf art requires you to take leaves home and then press and paint them to create cool and colourful pieces of artwork.

What will you need for simple Leaf?

  • Lots of Leaves all different shapes, sizes and colours
  • You can also include stones, sticks or nuts – Forage away!

How to make simple Leaf Art?

  • Collect lots of leaves and stones, sticks or nuts of your choice and place them on the ground
  • With your materials, start positioning them to create a picture
  • Once your picture is complete, take a photo to remember what you made

What you will need for advanced Leaf Art?

  • Leaves
  • Paper
  • Paint
  • Plate or Palette
  • Small Paint Roller
  • Newspaper or Paper Towels

How to make advanced Leaf Art?

  • Choose leaves that are still fresh and pliable. Leaves that are dried will not work, as they usually snap and crumble when pressed or worked on.
  • Lay newspapers down to protect your work surface.
  • Select a piece of paper for your leaf print and then squeeze a little paint onto a small plate or palette.
  • Paint the surface of the leaf with paint. This is best done by placing the leaf on kitchen paper towel and painting over using a small paint roller suitable for craft projects and make sure the entire leaf is covered.
  • Gently flip the leaf paint side down onto the paper and then carefully but firmly press on the leaf to ensure that the leaf touches the paper.
  • Peel the leaf from the paper and then you should have a printed mirror image of your leaf.
  • Repeat the previous steps again with the same leaf and or different leaves. The same leaf can be used up to six times before it ceases to leave an acceptable imprint. And by adding different sorts of leaves, you can build a pretty pattern or design for gift paper, cards, a painting, or any other paper craft project.
  • Let the paintwork dry and then frame your masterpiece!

Dens make perfect bird watching hides, as well as shelters and basecamps for woodland walks. Building a den is also great fun for the whole family and a wonderful way to spend time together, so head outdoors and try building your dream den!

Den making materials:

  • Long, straight branches and sticks
  • Lots of thin, bendy sticks
  • Dried leaves, twigs and grass

Make sure to not break off living branches from trees or bushes to ensure you don’t damage them. If you use any unnatural materials such as string or rope, remember to take them home at the end of the day.

How to build your den?

Coming up with your own den design is part of the fun, but here are a couple of simple ideas to get you started.

Tepee-style den

  • Find a tree with a fork in the branches that's quite low down.
  • Make a frame by propping some long, straight sticks in the fork and fanning them out. Also make sure that any branches are really secure – you don't want them slipping.
  • Weave bendy sticks in and out of the upright sticks to make the walls. Leave a gap at head height for a window.
  • Cover your den with natural materials so it's camouflaged and weatherproof.
  • Then scatter a carpet of dried leaves on the floor to make your den extra cosy.

Tent-shaped den

  • Find two forked trees that are close together and place a long stick between them.
  • Prop a row of sticks against it on each side so you end up with a tent shape.
  • Weave your bendy sticks in and out of the upright and add your plant materials to furnish.

Make a mini den

This activity is a lovely way for very small children to have a go at den building.

  • Simply collect a handful of small sticks and prop them up against a tree trunk
  • Then make the inside of the den nice and cosy with some fallen leaves and then it’s ready for their favourite teddies or dolls to play in.

Don't forget to dismantle your den!

Before you head home, please remember to take your den down. Don’t worry though, on your next visit you can have fun building it all over again, or you can experiment with a different design altogether.

Too wet and cold to go to the woods? Never mind – you can practice your skills by building an indoor hideout instead.

You will need:

  • Four sturdy dining chairs
  • A large sheet and some blankets
  • Cushions, pillows and maybe a duvet
  • Some heavy books
  • Fairy Lights and a few clothes pegs (optional)

How to build it:

  • Start by finding the best place to build your den. This could be against a wall or the back of the sofa.
  • Then place two chairs on each side with the backs facing inwards to form the walls and continue to hang blankets over the chair backs.
  • Drape a sheet over the top to make the roof and put some books on the chair seats to hold it in place.
  • To finish, put a blanket or duvet on the floor and arrange some cushions or pillows around the sides. For some extra optional magic, decorate with fairy lights, using the pegs to attach them to the sheets.

Your indoor den can be the perfect place to read stories together, come up with new games or to have an impromptu sleepover!

Nature crowns are magical things. Weaving branches, flowers, leaves and little bits of nature into a crown, gives children a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and engage in imaginative outdoor play.Chandos Park River and Willow Tree

What you will need:

  • A few willow tree branches
  • Other bits of nature like flowers, leaves, berries or feathers
  • Scissors

How to Make a Willow Nature Crown?

  • Gather willow tree branches and other bits of nature from the ground and then take one long willow branch and wrap it around your child’s head to measure how big the crown should be.
  • Weave a circle out of the willow branch.
  • Then start to weave or wrap the willow branch around the circle to make a willow crown.
  • Start adding in your flowers, leaves, berries or feathers for decoration by tucking the stems into the willow crown. If you have any stems or bits poking out, use scissors to cut them off.
  • It’s then time to wear your beautiful crown and see what adventures await you!

Fun Fact:

A weeping willow is a deciduous tree that is commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe and parts of Asia). The tree likes to grow near fresh water lakes and ponds and has long thin branches with light green leaves that can grow all the way to the ground. The branches are perfect for weaving into nature crowns because they are long and flexible.

You may think building a maze out of twigs is hard but after you accomplish it, you will feel so happy with your creation. It’s also a definite game to help you become less bored!

Materials for the stick maze:

  • Paper and pen for the maze planning
  • Lots of long sticks and branches

How to build a stick maze?

  • Draw a Maze design - basic is better.
  • Collect a heap of sticks and branches from outside.
  • Then nominate a leader to help direct where to put the sticks and materials following the design of your map.
  • If you make the outside of the square too small and then have to change the plan, its fine. Builders have to change their plans all the time too!
  • Once it’s complete, enjoy running through the stick maze together.

More fun? Blindfold yourself and ask your children to navigate you through the maze with their voices. You’re not allowed to touch a stick!

Pooh sticks are a simple but thrilling sport, first invented by the famous bear of the same name in the stories, Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.

What you will need:

  • Two or more players
  • A stick of your choosing
  • A bridge over moving water.

How it works:

  • Stand on a bridge over moving water.
  • Make sure you check which way the water is flowing so that you can throw your sticks in on the right side to ensure that they get carried underneath the bridge with the current.
  • On the count of three everyone must throw their pooh stick into the water below.
  • The stick that floats underneath the bridge fastest wins.

Top secret tip:

Try to choose a place on the bridge above the fastest flowing water. This way you’ll have an advantage over the other players.

This bird feeder is really simple to make, which means they’re a quick and fun project to do with children of all ages. They can be customised in any way you like with string or pretty ribbons, or try using other shapes, like stars or triangles. The birds will love them all!

To make bird seed pizzas, you will need:

  • Lard
  • Mixed bird seed
  • Baking tray or Plate
  • Spoon
  • Round cookie cutter (other shapes are optional)
  • Ribbon

How to make this bird feeder?

  • Gently melt 100g of lard in a saucepan. Add 250g of bird seed, ensuring all the seeds are coated in the fat.
  • Place the cookie cutter on a tray or plate, fill it with the seed mixture and press down with the back of a spoon to ensure its tightly packed.
  • Use a skewer to make a hole through the pizza and then put in the fridge to set overnight.
  • When its set, ease the solid mixture out of the cutter, thread with ribbon and then hang in a tall tree.
  • Once you’ve shaped your feeders make sure you leave them to dry thoroughly to avoid them cracking and crumbling when you try to hang them up.

Top Tip:

Pick a tree near to your window so that you can see your bird visitors up close when they visit.

Shadow Tag is a great, free activity to get children off their screens and moving whilst at home. Shadow tag is similar to other games of tag, like freeze tag, and Marco Polo but with one big difference. Instead of touching other players to tag them, the goal of the person who is ‘It’ is to tag the other players’ shadows, rather than touch them.

What you will need:

  • A bright light for indoor play or a bright, sunny day for outdoor play

How to play shadow tag?

  • Choose a player to take the first chance at being “It”.
  • The player who is ‘It’ chases the other players, trying to step on their shadow.
  • If a player has their shadow stepped on, they are now ‘It’.
  • Repeat the above steps until you want to finish playing.

Shadow Tag for younger children:

Toddlers and pre-schoolers can be fascinated by shadows, but they usually can’t keep up with the pace of the game. So, instead of running, why not have all the players pretend to be slow-moving objects like snails or sloths?

Wellbeing Wednesday: Parents Edition

Do your children like the outdoors? Maybe they do but you can’t get them away from their technology? Well why not let them try these apps by themselves or with you, their family and friends. They are fun, competitive and really cool! Let them experience all the new and exciting things that could be found in the local area.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is a free smartphone app that combines gaming with the real world. The game uses location tracking and mapping technology to create an ‘augmented reality’ where you can catch and train Pokémon characters in real locations.

If your child is 13+ then they can sign up and enjoy seeing who they can catch. If they aren’t, you will have to sign up for them on your behalf. Permission permitting for all ofcourse!

What is Pokémon?

Pokémon (short for pocket monster) is a franchise owned by Nintendo and began life in the mid 90’s as a game for the Game Boy. The game is centred on fictional characters known as Pokémon which you can catch and train to battle each other.

How to sign up?

There are two options for signing up to the game. You can use a Google account to sign in, or you can create a Pokémon Trainer Club account. On the sign up screen, tap the Google icon, Enter your Google username and password. If you don’t already have an account, tap Create account and follow the instructions. From there, you can learn about Pokémon Go from Professor Willow, and choose a starter Pokémon. Once the account is set up, you can give yourself a cool username and then you’re ready to play.

How to play?

You have to walk around the real word and find the Pokémon characters that appear on the game map. When you come within a close enough range the Pokémon will appear on the device screen and then you can throw Poké Balls at them to capture them. The aim is to collect as many different characters as possible.

The map is an anime-style version of Google maps that replaces real street names and landmarks with Pokémon specific buildings so don’t get confused if your child comes home saying that their mates house has turned into a battle club or a mystery dungeon because it hasn’t!

Another feature of the game are Poké Stops which are real life locations where you can collect free Poké Balls. You can also find Pokémon eggs that hatch into Pokémon which can be added to your collection.

What would Pokémon want?

When playing Pokémon Go, it is advised that all users remember to be sensible when going to places new or meeting new people. Pokémon would want everyone to have fun but not get hurt so do ensure that you and your children stay safe!

If you or your child has any concerns regarding safety, please visit https://www.pokemongolive.com/en/faq/.

Buxplore

Download Buxplore from the Google Play store!

When you are out with your children, have they ever wondered what that strange looking building is? If you download the Buxplore app and take it with you on your walks, it can tell you all about these things and more! There is even a whole dedicated route for primary age kids, great right? Heritage for Kids is a fantastic trail to get you and the rest of your family out exploring. Starting at the Chantry Chapel, explore the oldest parts of Buckingham – find, touch and imagine icons from Buckingham’s thousand-year history. This short route passes by Chandos Park which is great to stop and have a sweetie break!

The app has clear maps, flagging locations to explore and audio options which make these routes really easy to follow. Simply use your mobile phone to access the app (don’t forget to turn on your mobile data and location tracking) then head out to the first stop on your chosen route.

Learn and explore Buckingham’s wild spaces from Bourton Park to Buckingham Canal. Connect with nature and learn more about Buckingham parks and the river Great Ouse. The explorer route is designed to be explored a little at a time, it is the perfect way to find some of the hidden green spaces you might not know about. Most of this trail is well away from roads and has lots of activities to try at every stop so you, mum and dad, don’t have to worry.

There’s been a murder! Can you solve the puzzles and find the culprit?

Buckingham murder mystery trail is a totally free interactive detective mystery. Start on Moreton Road at the Old Police Station and meet Sergeant William Jeeves! Solve puzzles to unlock new locations and discover clues as you take a tour around the scary side of Buckingham’s history. Don’t worry – hints are available if you get stuck.

Did we mention it’s free? No pocket money needed! Thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Buxplore is completely free to use and will remain live for the next five years, with new routes added throughout.

How to download the app and start using Buxplore?

Start by visiting Buxplore.web.app on your mobile phone and click the white box at the bottom of the screen to download the app. Then simply pick a route and visit the first location to get started!

Apps not your thing? How about you try playing games that don’t require devices or added platforms but rather just your imagination. The games that I am inferring here are I Spy, Stop and Go and Spot the Swan – a safer alternative to Yellow Car! There’s no time like the present to try these out, what can beat good old fashioned fun anyways? Let’s see how they work;

I Spy

First you need to designate who is going to be the spy. Then they will need to select an object that everyone can see but they mustn’t reveal what it is. The spy will then hint at what the object is by saying something like "I spy with my little eye something beginning with B."

Tip for the spy: Try not to look at the object when you are hinting at what it is. That would be a big giveaway!

Depending on how many people are playing, take it in turns to guess the object the spy has hinted so everyone gets a fair chance at guessing. Finally, once the object has been guessed, change the spy to the first person who guessed the object correctly and repeat the previous steps. To make it more fun, why not try changing the characteristics of the clues. For example, have your family guess objects that are a certain shape or begin with a certain colour.

Stop & Go

If you have a family of fairly small children, why not teach them their stop and go commands? It won’t be like home-schooling, it can just be an imaginative way of letting them pretend to be everyday objects like cars, trains or buses. They can even pretend to ride a pony if in desperation! All you have to do is act like a signal and shout ‘STOP’ or ‘GO’ when you want to change direction etc.

Spot the Buckingham Swan

Like the game Yellow Car, Spot the Buckingham Swan is where you have to tap another person in your group when you spot the Swan statue in Buckingham. The force of the tap should only be hard enough to ensure that the intended person knows that they have been hit, we don’t want any tears or bruises!

Remember to always be aware; the game is always on, unless otherwise agreed by everyone that you are taking a well-earned break.

If someone calls out ‘Swan’ the Buckingham Swan must be in view otherwise the tap will not count. Therefore, if you call out ‘Swan’ and tap another player but the statue is not in view, that player can tap you back. This also means that you cannot call ‘Swan’ before you see it even if you know where it is!

Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet

To help brighten up your daily bit of exercise and to recognise Children’s Mental Health Week this year, which runs from February 1st to February 7th, Buckingham Town Council has put together a Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet for young children. Download and print the spotter sheet and see if you can spot some or all of these seasonal nature signs on your walk today. Please take part responsibly and follow government guidelines on social distancing. For more fun, we've added some extra activity sheets to be completed at home.

Getting outdoors has taken on added importance in recent weeks and most people would agree that a walk in the fresh air is a sure way of clearing the head. The weather may be rubbish but encouraging your children to get back to basics and have fun playing outdoors can make a huge difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Even in winter, nature is still alive and there are lots of green spaces to see and explore within our lovely town. The spotter sheet can easily be completed around Bourton Park and Chandos Park and we hope it will make your daily walk even more enjoyable.

For more information about Buckingham walks and maps, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham.

We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet! Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #WinterWellness #SpotterSheet @BuckinghamTC and don't forget to tell us what you thought to be entered into a prize draw to win a reusable water bottle. We will do our best to share as many of your photos as possible. Happy hunting!

Possible Family-Fun Locations

Bourton Park Footpath and Trees
Children Playing in Edible Woodland
Close Up Shot of Buckingham Canal and Reeds

This weekend at Buckingham Fringe

 
Family Quiz Night
There’s some fantastic prizes up for grabs tonight, for the winning team and the winner of the children’s round at Buckingham Town Council’s family Quiz Night! Bring your family and friends and have a go, tonight 7pm at Buckingham Community Centre.
Friday 20th July, entry is £2.50 with under 12s FREE. Ticket price includes snacks (please bring your own drinks). Tickets can be purchased on the door or at The Tourist Information, The Old Goal, Buckingham

Family Camp Out Day and Astronomy Evening

This fascinating FREE day starts at 3pm with sun gazing via specialist telescopes, and activities for children including badge making and a scavenger hunt – cardboard BUZZ ALDRIN and TIM PEAKE will be joining the fun too.
From 8pm Milton Keynes based UK astronomy will be there with a wide range of telescopes to try and two experts on hand to guide the way.
Keep your eye out for some dancing from Zumba Janey too.
Saturday 21st July, starts 3pm at The Paddock, Bourton Park, Buckingham
Family Fun Day
Sunday brings Lace Hill’s Family Fun Day! An afternoon of family fun, food, stalls and bouncy castle!
Sunday 22nd July, Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre, Buckingham, 1-4pm