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Gracehill bake off

This new year has been all about baking for everyone at Gracehill Afterschool Club. Our theme was about winter so of course we had to make some snowball buns. We started with crushing digestive biscuits in a bag (a great stress reliever). We then mixed the biscuit with cocoa powder, condensed milk and melted butter. Taking a marshmallow, we made a ball of the mixture and wrapped it around. Finishing off with rolling in coconut.

Chinese New Year

On 27th January we had rice and curry sauce with crunchy prawn crackers for break. This was to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Most of the children had a taste of it all and some were asking for seconds!

Valentines Day

Gracehill bake off continued for Valentines Day when we made yummy Jammy Dodger biscuits. These are made by mixing butter and sugar together in a bowl. Then we added the egg and continued to beat until it was all well mixed. Next we added the flour and folded it all together to make a dough. After the dough was ready the children enjoyed rolling out the pastry. As it was for Valentines Day we cut out heart shapes to make our lovely biscuits. After removing from the oven and cooled slightly, each child jammed the biscuits together to make our Jammy Dodger.

Pancake Day

On Tuesday 25th February Shrove Tuesday was celebrated at Gracehill with homemade pancakes. Sharon and Shannon were the cooks for the day and after making up the pancake batter of soda bread self raising flour, buttermilk, caster sugar and eggs they were to put on the hot griddle. The children had a choice of toppings which consisted of strawberries, blueberries, bananas, grapes along with either syrup, chocolate spread, sugar and butter or jam. As you can see by our photos they were really enjoyable. Gracehill bake off went down a real treat and was thoroughly enjoyed.

Christmas at Gracehill

This month we have had lots and lots of fun and excitement getting ready for Christmas at Gracehill. The children enjoyed getting the Christmas display prepared. Carly made Santa’s sleigh and his reindeers which the children decorated by painting, sticking and lots of lovely glitter (everywhere). Santa is shown flying over the rooftops in the night starry sky! Lots of lovely baubles were decorated to finish off our display.

Christmas at Gracehill continued with all the children helping to put up the Christmas trees and decorations all around the room. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a treat bag. Each child made up a bag with chocolate treats and Christmas pencils. These went home or hopefully not eaten in the car on the way home!

To help us celebrate Christmas at Gracehill we made delicious snowmen. These were made of giant marshmallows and chocolate coins and rolos were used to make his top hat. Strawberry laces gave him a nice scarf and chocolate chips for eyes! Everyone was pleased at how well they turned out and how tasty they were.

The annual dinner for Christmas at Gracehill had a great turn out as usual. We all had a feast of turkey with all the trimmings to fill us all up for the rest of the day! The children had great fun playing pass the parcel and musical chairs with the winners taking home a little treat!

We would like to congratulate Amber on her graduation in December. We are very proud of your achievements and wish you all the best in your new post!!

Christmas at Gracehill was fantastic for everyone. Thanks to all who gave us many lovely gifts and we want to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Half term break

Over the half term break at Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena, we have been busy doing lots of exciting activities and lots of outdoor fun! As the weather has been so good, we took the opportunity get outside. The children collected leaves and acorns to use for our beautiful Autumn display. They also enjoyed playing out in the garden catching the leaves as they blew off the trees with the wind. We enjoyed walking through the crispy leaves and discovering the lovely colours of Autumn.

Half term break saw everyone off school for a full week! The staff took the chance to entertain the children by helping them make tasty witches hats. The children made these by dipping an ice cream cone in melted chocolate and placing onto a biscuit base. Sprinkles and mini sweets were added to decorate the hats. The best part was being able to lick up all the chocolate off our hands and most of them were ate before they left Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena.

Some of the children helped with carving out pumpkins during the half term break. Not everyone enjoyed the smell or cleaning out the gooey insides of the pumpkins. What a messy job but some really loved it! Samantha had great fun carving out bats with her group of kids. Shannon, our new member of staff, helped with a group to make a Harry Potter themed carving.

Some of you may have noticed a new face at Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena. We would like to welcome Shannon to our team and we hope everyone will make her feel welcome and get to know her .

Birthday Celebrations

Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena has been enjoying our birthday celebrations! Everyone has settled back into school life again and the homework has got well underway. The club is celebrating 10 YEARS in business, having opened in September 2009. Since then we have had lots of children through our door and have had the joy of seeing children grow and mature from Primary 1 to Primary 7.

Party time

To celebrate our 10 years we had a party with lots of yummy food. With sausages, sausage rolls and chicken dippers, and sweets and treats, no-one went home hungry. We think the buns we made at club for the birthday celebrations went down a real treat with everyone, including the staff. The children enjoyed a few party games of musical statues and musical chairs. We have found a few very competitive children in our club!

No birthday celebrations would be complete without a party bag. Each child and staff member received a bag to take home. Flossy treats provided a beautiful bar of chocolate and Toast Cullybackey made us delicious cupcakes. Thanks to Flossy Treats and Toast for such a good job and helping us for our birthday celebrations. We received many compliments from parents and staff for these delicious treats.

The birthday celebrations continued with a fantastic write up in the Ballymena Guardian. It showed some of our great activities and lovely pictures of some of our children and staff. The article covered the day to day running of the club and all the services we provide. Thanks to Ballymena Guardian for a great article and to all the local businesses who wished us well on our birthday celebrations.

Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena would also like to thank all the parents and children who have supported us in the last 10 years. We appreciate your business and have enjoyed caring for all the fantastic children.

Holiday fun

Jet Centre

During August we had lots of holiday fun starting with a trip to the Jet Centre. Our plans to Carnfunnock Park were abandoned due to our typical Northern Irish weather!! At the Jet Centre we started with a game of bowls where the kids were in a few teams. They showed their competitive sides as everyone wanted to win! After working up an appetite during bowling we enjoyed a lovely, tasty picnic lunch. With our tummies full we enjoyed watching the Queens Corgi in the cinema.The holiday fun continued with a dance off to the jukebox where they showed their best moves to everyone in the Jet Centre. They also had a ball spending their money and redeeming their tokens for lovely treats with sweets being the most popular!

Mini Medics

Holiday fun continued in August with a visit from Danny from Mini Medics in Ballymena. The children were split into two groups (young and old) and spent an hour each learning about inside human bodies. He talked about the importance of blood flowing around our bodies and how our organs work. Then we had fun with Annie (resuscitation doll) and learnt CPR and the recovery position. The children found this really good fun but was also a learning curve of what to do in an emergency.

Danny also showed us how a defibrillator works. This was very interesting, not only for the children, but also for the staff. Some lucky children got to wear a special T-shirt which showed up funny parts of inside our bodies on the I-pad.

Danny very kindly gave the children an activity book and a pen like a syringe. All the kids loved these and got to take them home to show off to Mums and Dads.

We had great holiday fun at Gracehill Afterschool Club this summer and now its back to school time!!!