We are so excited to announce the launch of our newest book because it's an extra special one created especially for Farmer Palmer's farm park!
For the past 25 years generations of children have grown up at Farmer Palmer's in Dorset. A day out at the Farm Park is packed with opportunities for fun-filled play to get experience of important motor skills, so we have linked up together to produce I Love Visiting My Favourite Farm Park!
This colourful book shows how to integrate important foundation movement skills through play, practice, learning and experiences at the farm park, helping children prepare for school and beyond.
There are so many areas of the Farm Park offering important physical experiences. Now families will be able to take away a special memory of their visit while helping their little ones to gain essential movement skill practice.
We think it looks fantastic but so you can see too, here's a sneak peek at what's inside...
Knowing that a visit to Farmer Palmer's is a great way to encourage experimentation and practice of important gross motor skills, we approached the award-winning family attraction to stock Storycises's Farm Adventure. We were delighted when they wanted to go one better and work together to produce their own book! Wendy, one-half of the Storycises Physios, caught up with Farmer Palmers to chat about the collaboration and here's what they had to say:
Wendy: Sandra's one of the directors and 'all-around good eggs' at Dorset's wonderful Farmer Palmer's Farm Park. So we're delighted to be chatting to her today. So we're going to kick off with some quickfire questions first, Sandra, if that's okay? I'm going to go with 'would you rather?' to start with if that's all right?
Wendy: So, star jumps or step-ups?
Sandra: Star jumps.
Wendy: Swim in a pool or swim in the sea?
Sandra: Swim in the sea.
Wendy: Jump in puddles or jump into a jacuzzi?
Wendy: A snowball fight or a water fight?
Sandra: Snowball fight.
Wendy: Walk by the sea or walk in the countryside?
Sandra: Well, I like both but if you're going to make me pick, it's got to be the countryside.
Wendy: Thank you for that. So Sandra, just so we could get a bit of a sense about what your childhood was like and what it was like growing up, what were your favourite things to do as a child? What do you remember having fun doing when you were growing up?
Sandra: Growing up on a farm, our dad was never around very much, and we used to just get told ‘I'm old enough now’ to ‘disappear off' for the day sort of thing. I had a little old pony, so sometimes I would go meet my friend in the forest and we just be gone for hours. No mobile phones, no contact with our parents, I managed to lose the dog, you name it! A weird thing I used to do, in the summer, the cows used to come in and out from the fields and they'd make little paths with their hooves. I always used to think that that looks a little bit like the Wild West. Because I like horses. I used to canter down these little paths on my little legs, out in the sunshine in my shorts imagining I was conquering the Wild West. And we always had dogs and animals around.
Wendy: So a lot of outdoorsy, being active, free playing, the kinds of things to Storycises Physios love.
Sandra: Absolutely, absolutely.
Wendy: Sandra, do you mind just explaining how lovely Farmer Palmers and Storycises linked up in the first place?
Sandra: Well, if I remember correctly, you've made a brilliant Farm Adventure book. I just thought that was such an amazing concept with your qualifications as paediatric physios, I had not really had an opportunity to talk and look at your skillset. You came to us and you also said you wanted to do something else. Another book. And I think there's such a thing called the 'book bug' when people get going. I said, "Well, what if we looked at other bits of the Farm Park here, and all the equipment has the development requirements for children to do that?” We were worried about the fact children over COVID maybe hadn't had the developmental opportunities being at home that they wanted, and it just resonated with me so much. I’ve, sort of, followed your lead as you know what you're doing, and I've got all these ideas.
Wendy: Ah, thank you. I have to say we've had an absolute blast working with you. You've just been very inspirational. We like your attitude, and we've learned things as well. I think it's been a really nice collaboration.
Timing-wise, is there any special reason why it's been particularly good for you doing the book just now?
Sandra: Well, the farm park's 25 years old this year, which makes me feel old! We've had employees that are coming back with their children. We've got people that work for us and our grandparents and the whole family cycle. And I thought 'what better way than to now integrate your beautiful creation and our 25 years as a celebration?'.
Wendy: Oh, that's lovely. And I say it's been lovely for us. We love the family sense. Every time we come in, you talk about family, you talk about the intergenerational, we're always talking about modelling; modelling behaviour, modeling play aspect I think it links in well with that.
So, coming from a farming family, have you got any top tips for keeping active in all weathers?
Sandra: I think active is what you wear, you know, layering up. Making sure that your waterproof coat is actually waterproof.
Making sure your wellies ideally have got enough room for your socks so that you can keep your feet warm. Little things that you learn the hard way when your feet are freezing! And you think well my wellies are obviously just rubber and not doing the job. Gloves and gloves that work. It's all very well having mittens. But if you can't do anything, that's tricky. Children want freedom they want to be out running, exploring, just all that movement. Then you keep their extremities warm and they're happy as Larry. They usually ended up just taking all their layers off as any parents are going to know.
Wendy: They shed them. You spend hours getting the gloves on and for anyone wanting a hand hint for a glove. Pop your fist in then 'starfish' your fingers.
Oh, that's brilliant. So can we say with certainty then Sandra, if children come to Farmer Palmer's it's a great way for them to tie in being active, and having fun, you've got all your different areas that the children can go on? And the adults get out in the fresh air and have a good walk around too?
Sandra: Absolutely! You find adults spend their time catching up with their friends, they come together. And the children have got a whole array of things from bouncing to running. I always love the little toddlers who are still learning to walk and they're walking away from you but looking backward. Now I don't know about anybody that's listening to this, but I know I can't do that.
It's just incredible to see their development in the course of a year when, especially under-fives, that development is 20-25% of their life so far. And they just develop so quickly. It's marvellous.
Wendy: And it's such a key time for development as well. As paediatric physios we know that you can make changes at any time in your life. It's never too late or you're never too old to learn things. But under-fives, they're just like sponges. All those little neural pathways are forming, and even watching people doing other things. They'll be taking that on board so it's a great time, just lovely.
Well thank you so much, Sandra, it's been lovely chatting with you. We've loved working with you. We're really looking forward to seeing this book that will be available in your wonderful shop. And we just like to say to everyone have a good week, keep active and have fun!
Sandra: Oh, thank you so much. And what better motto for jumping into 2023?!
You can read more about our collaboration on Dorset Biz News here.