Halloween Weekend is here again and we had a very wet and windy day in which to welcome our unlucky 13 to the house of horrors!
We started the day with some art room fun making haunted house collages.
Then some children went to see if Pip had put on his bat costume.
The children helped to prepare a rather gruesome lunch of fingers and zombie heads!
But these kids didn't seem to mind at all......
After lunch James took everyone for a walk before the worst of the storm hits!
When they returned we all headed to the art room to make Mummy Lanterns.
Then before we knew it the children were transformed into a range of creepy creatures; from bats...
to corpse brides!
We played some very grubby and very creepy games.
It was lots of fun, but very messy- luckily the dining room recovered in time for PIZZA!
Now the children are all watching 'Hotel Transylvania' and digesting the day's fun.
It's not quite time yet, but the Hazelhut decided to get spooky early this year and allow some little witches, devils and zombies through our doors to enjoy a day of Halloween fun!
We started off by making witches' eyeballs in the kitchen and then magically turned our tangerines into pumpkins for snack!
In the art room, the children made bats and decorated masks for the day of the dead.
Lunch was a particularly scary affair - with severed fingers, ghost sandwiches and spiders in blood on the menu - all washed down with a dripping bloody hand!!!!!
After lunch some of the children made up a show which they performed in the olive tree.
We also had a treasure hunt relay in the hazelnut grove.
Once the chocolates had been gobbled, the children went to the campfire to learn a Halloween song with actions.
Then they headed off to feed the pigs.
And as if that wasn't enough excitement, before they left, the children played a game of 'trick or treat' - could they be brave enough to feel something yucky? Maybe ghost's blood or a bat's ear? If they could they might get a treat!
What a fun day we had! Happy Halloween everyone!
On Friday the sun shone for us again as over 50 grade 4 students from Marymount came to learn about 'kindness'. Among the activities planned for them were stone decorating (a reminder to always do kind things) and cookie baking for someone at home.
On Thursday we welcomed all of the Marymount Grade 5 to the Hazelhut to learn about the concept of 'Unity'.
Their teachers had prepared a wonderful day for them, packed with fun activities based around a story called 'A Bad Case of the Stripes'.
They decorated cookies for a friend and wrote special messages to say how that person is unique.
They also reflected on their own characters in order to know themselves better and to encourage themselves to stay true to who they are.
It was wonderful to welcome Marymount's EC2 classes to the Hazelhut yesterday.
They came to learn about how pumpkins grow and some of the spooky ways they can be used at Halloween!
The sun shone as the children took a tractor ride through the woods, explored the 'Magic Pumpkin Patch' and looked at the vegetable garden.
After a picnic lunch they got creative with paints and pens and
This was the day we woke up to for our Chestnut Harvest Day and the day that followed was just as lovely!
We warmly welcomed 21 keen gatherers and kitted them out with sweet treats, coffee, baskets, gloves and instructions.
Then without further delay, it was off to the woods!
Each team worked hard through the spikes and leaves to gather as many chestnuts as possible.
Lunch was much anticipated and much appreciated - each course contained chestnuts in some form or other, giving our chestnut hunters some ideas for their own share of the harvest.
After lunch there was a suggestion of a storm on the horizon, so we quickly weighed up the harvest to find out which team had won. But the weather gods were on our side and the storm never came.
Our congratulations to the 'Dolphins' who swam to success and took the prize home! Many thanks to all who came, for giving up a Sunday to help us with the harvest - we hope to see you all again soon!
It was such a pleasure to welcome another grade 2 class from the New School. They came to the Hazelhut to learn all about autumn. We played a game to alert all the senses to some of autumn's treasures and then headed out into the sunshine to see it in all its glory. We saw mushrooms and chestnuts, hazelnuts and olives. We fed the pigs and gathered eggs from the chickens. Then enjoyed lunch on the terrace.
In the afternoon, the children went to the art room with some of their findings and let their imaginations run wild!
We loved welcoming so many family members to the Hazelhut on Saturday for our 'Gleaning Day'. This has become a special moment in our calendar when friends of all ages can come to the Hazelhut and help us 'glean' the hazelnuts left after the real harvest. As always we started with some home-made hazelnut treats to give everyone the strength required for a good gathering.
James explained some of the rules for gathering and described the hamper which would be presented to the top gathering family!
Then everyone headed into the woods to search for leftover nuts while Ottavia prepared a nutty lunch.
By one o'clock the children were ready for a plate of spaghetti alla gricia dell' Hazelhut...
Then the adults tucked in to their spaghetti, followed by hazelnut stuffed rabbit and...
a nutty pear and apple crumble with James' delicious hazelnut ice cream!
While the adults relaxed after a big lunch, the children took part in a competition to see who could collect the most hazelnuts in one minute using a special ball collecting device. Can you believe that the winner managed to collect 160g of hazelnuts in just a minute?!
Then came the time for the grand weigh-in. Despite it being something of a foregone conclusion which family would win, we were still impressed to discover that over 40kgs had been collected in less than an hour and a half. Each family member was given a kilo of hazelnuts to take home, the others will be sold and the money used for Hazelhut projects.
We would like to thank everyone who came for their contribution to a wonderful day full of sunshine, smiles, hard work and hundreds of hazelnuts!!!!
We certainly couldn't have ended the year with a happier bunch of children than these!
Having tidied up their rooms and packed their bags in record time, we headed into Ronciglione.
The children spent their money on souvenirs and we treated them to an ice cream for snack as well as lunch at 'La Corte dei Prefetti di Vico'!
It was a bit of a struggle to get back up the hill but we all made it.
At the Hazelhut there was time for 'The Hat Game' before all of the parents arrived.
The boys were victorious!
Our ceremony began with the Sports Day awards.... in ascending order....
In the bedroom tidiness contest, the girls were victorious!
Since it was our final summer camp for the year, the children performed 2 songs - 'Amore Capoera' (which has been something of an anthem all week) and.... 'The Hazelhut Song' of course!!!
Not all of the children wanted to ride, but those who did had a great time.
We all enjoyed meeting up again for lunch, especially since Scottex the kitten was there to play with...
These 7 children have meant so much to us this week that we decided to take some special photos of them in a special place overlooking Lago di Vico.
Back at the Hazelhut some of the children took a last dip and others had a cuddle with Pip!
Some of us went for yet another mushroom hunt....
Later we had an impromptu talent show, which included making a cake...
We put all thoughts of this being our last night together and enjoyed the pizza party well beyond the daylight!