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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!!!

Summer holidays

Summer holidays at Gracehill After School Club has got off to a great start. After a relaxing few days when school had finished, we had Science Starz come to visit. Mary showed all the kids how to make slime and started off by giving each child a white lab coat. What excitement as they all felt like real life mini scientists! Mary explained the process of making slime and each child went home with their very own pot of slime.

W5

Summer holidays continued at Gracehill After School Club with an exciting visit to W5. We all boarded the big bus to Belfast with a few having a power nap on the way! On arriving at W5 we received our itinerary of all the activities we were to take part in all afternoon. After a picnic lunch of tasty sandwiches and biscuits we were ready to start our W5 journey.

First stop were workshops for all the children to participate in. The under 8 group learnt about living in space including toileting, washing and recycling! The kids found this very amusing talking about poo and pee!!

The over 8’s also learnt about the moon landing 50 years ago! They recreated moon buggies out of Knex and they then used these to compete in a race to collect rocks and the team who had the heaviest amount of rocks were the winners!

Summer holidays are not complete without a climbing adventure. The children enjoyed Climbit! so much that they all needed a well earned drink at the end. It was then time to have well supervised free play of all the different floors of W5 from water play to being shopkeepers, learning loads about science and how things work. We headed home after a very busy, enjoyable day.

Sponsorship

Gracehill After School Club also were sponsors for Northend United football club during their week at the Foyle Cup in Londonderry.

Media Training with MCC Computers

Gracehill Afterschool Ballymena had an interesting day at Media Training with MCC Computers. Gillian and Samantha joined Philip at MCC Computers on Monday 3rd June. Catherine and Ruth-Anne from McMillan Interiors in Cullybackey also were present.

Media Training at MCC Computers started with Philip explaining how to build a campaign. We need to set goals and be organized. We also need to spend time working on our media. Gracehill Afterschool Club does not need to use all forms of media. The Media Training with MCC Computers taught us to look at our strengths and weaknesses.

The essentials for our media are our website, which was set up by MCC Computers. Also blogging and social media e.g. Facebook. We also discussed the importance of producing leaflets. Sometimes its good to speak face to face and promote the Afterschool.

Media Training with MCC Computers showed us how to use words to promote our business. Photos and videos are a great way to show off Gracehill Afterschool Club. Our business can be found on PC, tablet and other forms of technology.

Gracehill Afterschool Club can be found on the internet or Facebook. Why not have a look at What we offer.

Summer Time Fun

During the months of July and August we at Gracehill Afterschool Club have arranged some fun. We are looking forward to school finishing. We will be having days out to W5 and Carnfunnock Country Park in Larne. The children will enjoy workshops about space at W5. At Carnfunnock we will have a lovely picnic and lots of fun in the fresh air.

Science Starz will make an appearance the first week in July. The children will take part in scientific experiments. Then in August we will finish off our activities with Mini Medics . Take a look at their website. Maybe in the future we will have a few doctors or nurses!

Easter at Gracehill Afterschool Club.

What a great time we had over Easter at Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena. The weather was good so we were able to get outside. We went to the garden to play and have fun. A great time was had hunting around for delicious Easter eggs. We found them hidden in trees and the grass and many different places. Team games and football were the most popular activities for outside in the beautiful surroundings in Gracehill village.

Also during the Easter Holidays we had a special visit. Flossy Treats, a local business in Galgorm, joined us at Gracehill Afterschool Club Ballymena to help us make very tasty Easter eggs and chocolate pizzas. After melting the chocolate the children got to choose between milk or white chocolate. We were very lucky to be able to choose both. It was a hard decision which yummy sweets to put onto our chocolate creations!! We had the delight of eating all the leftover sweets. These definitely went down a treat. I wonder did many parents get to taste the beautiful chocolate?

During the Easter Holidays all the children had a helping hand in making lots of Easter crafts. Our beautiful display had butterflies, bumblebees, Easter eggs, flowers and a colourful rainbow. The children used paints, coloured paper and pens to make these lovely creative designs. The lovely weather got the children thinking of Spring and the colourful display reminds us of this.

Making buns and smores was also on the agenda for Easter at Gracehill Afterschool Club. The children made birds nest using shredded wheat, melted chocolate and topped off with Smarties mini eggs. An afternoon treat was making smores. We used digestive biscuits, chocolate spread and marshmallows. Everyone at Gracehill Afterschool Club agreed they were delicious!!