First New Grange Manor pre-prep school report

Play-dough lemur caterpillar, lemon and leaf

I previewed an age play preschool even on this site at the start of April. This was the first New Grange Manor pre-prep school term, it was held yesterday and everyone thought it was a roaring success. Especially me when I decided to be a dinosaur and walked around roaring pretending to eat people.

Miss Livingstone, who organised it with help from ABJane, had done an excellent job of arranging a lot of activities for us to get involved in. Judging by how well-behaved we all were we must have been very involved in them! We had different tables with things like building sentences, jigsaws, painting, drawing and making play-dough models.

My big brother Dani (aged 6) asked for permission to take some pictures of the models we made. He made a polar bear (Grrrrrrr!) and a red-ruffed lemur which was totally beezer! Dani was really good at play-dough for a six year old. The only thing I made that gets into the pictures below is a lemon (complete with dimples) with a caterpillar coming out of a hole in it and a stem with leaves attached. I was mega impressed with it and even more so when Dani suggested making the caterpillar’s legs by pressing on its sides with a comb – brill! Dani helped me make a purple blob monster with brilliant eye-stalks and antennas after my model of a foot fell apart.


I felt totally at ease crawling over the play mat with a map on it, loading up it’s restaurants we’d built with farm animals for people to eat, then making cars do slow motion jumps through the air to crash into them. After the event I realised I viewed Dani and Jane as little children, like me, enjoying playing with one another, and they were viewing me much the same way (although Dani is big so he thought Jane and I were silly for doing slow motion, mid air car crashes when we could be building things).

When we were playing with these things and others it wasn’t an act we were putting on, it was part of the ‘real us’ making play-dough models and building jigsaws. The environment was supportive and encouraging and I think we all found it easy to express the little side of our personalities without much inhibition. It was us being ourselves.

I was a happy, grinning three year old (with my finger in my mouth, of course) when I noticed Dani was getting a naughty picture with me in it:

Davy at preschool with play-dough models

Much like a bunch of children who had never met on their first day of pre-prep school we were all a bit shy at milk and biscuits time. Dani and ABJane were the only ones to get in trouble, for throwing orange peel at each other and got sent to the corner (Dani says Jane started it)! After snack-time someone had the idea of playing tag around the classroom and we were all  running around and having a whale of a time! Fun hasn’t been so uncomplicated in AGES!

We got a bit quiet again for the next set of activities, although Dani and I did occasionally shout “poo!”, no one joined in… Generally everyone seemed most comfortable in their own ‘little zones’, and I suppose that is understandable given the limits on how most people can be little. When we start down for a story at the end of the day a few of us had the odd glance around and grin at another little; we’ll be better friends next time.

We hope there is a next time, everyone who was there seemed pretty keen to repeat the experience, and a few said they’d be recommending other people attend. If you want to attend the thing to do is email Miss Livingstone, the organiser, say you’ve read about the wonderful pre-school experience on this site and that you’d like to attend. You can also ask her to give you the details for the New Grange Manor pre-prep school mailing list so you can get to meet some of the kids who attended the first term.

If you are a little, and are allowed to go to Farnborough I cannot recommend this event highly enough. Go and be comfortable with yourself as you have never been before. And it’s MEGA FUN!!!!

EDIT: ABJane has taken to words about this event and her write up is much better than mine.  Read her article here.

  • Daddy told me I missed a bit out; sorry!
    We thought all the adult helpers were just great. They took the time to soothe our nerves if we got over excited or show us better ways of doing things with the activities if we struggled with anything. It was mega beezer that there were a lot of them too, so if you are a grown up who like to come and help next time you’ll feel a lot of love when we all shout “THANK YOU!!” at the end of preschool.

  • Brilliant account of a brilliant day! Playing with you was the definite highlight for me, just made me even more resolute to get a playdate with you arranged asap! I advise everyone keep their eyes pealed for info about the next event – more playmates will equal more fun! Hurray 🙂

  • Thanks Jane! It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good without your efforts or even just you being there and being your wonderful self. You should all come along to the next preschool, which i will keep you posted about, just to see Jane’s stylish orange peel throwing skills!
    It’d certainly be ultra brill if we could organise a meeting soon but all the other boys and girls will get jealous if I say I’M HAVING A PLAY DATE WITH ABJANE, HA, so we’d better talk about that in private 😀

  • Baby Richard

    It was nice to have so much fun for my 1st time out as a 3 year old and having
    made some lovely friends in the playgroup and out down the pub. and yes I think
    we all had soft drinks.

    A big thanks to Miss L and ABJane on sorting all this out for us and I must not
    forget all the carers that looked after us.

    The best thing I did was the sand pit with Sarah making a sand castle with a
    water mote and then the colouring and then tag.

    I am so looking forward on going next month.

  • Baby Richard

    For all the Boys and Girls ages between 3 and 7, you have to go there it is the best thing that I have done. Being a 3 year old again, my all my I loved it so much that I want to have one every weekend.

    You have to come to one to see yourselves.

    This was my 1st time out as a 3-year-old baby boy ABJane and toddler davy helped me get in to the speret of things. Thank you to you both

  • You said that very powerfully, Baby Richard; thank you for commenting on my site.