Majjistral Park covers an area of 6 km in the Northwest coastal part of Malta and is part of the Natura 2000 network of conservation sites. The outing was organised between Majjistral Park and Bird Life Malta volunteers.
We were invited into the visitor’s centre for a brief explanation of the activities. The children were given an application for the Bird life Magazine yearly subscription and the current issue for free, plus a colouring book of some of Malta’s flora and fauna. We took a short walk and looked for treasures from nature such as fallen leaves, twigs, empty snail shells, nice rocks and seeds, which the children were going to use for the next activity. While walking some of the children noticed two old carob trees that were so close to each other that their branches seemed to form a canopy. The Park guide pointed out that one of the trees was male, as it had flowering buds, while the other had seed pods and was a female. The children enjoyed picking the seed pods that had fallen from the tree as well as the red, brown and golden leaves. They also noticed birds and butterflies flying around, and other different plants that grow in the area, some of which, as explained by the Park guide, store water for the long warm months.
We walked up to the cliffs and took a short break for a snack near the garigue. While eating we noticed some creatures bustling about around us. The children noticed some ants marching in a row and they followed them to see where they were heading.
The Bird life volunteer, then, asked the children to create a picture with the treasures they had collected on the walk. They got quite creative!
Finally they played a guessing game were the blindfolded child had to guess what the other children put in his/her hands by feeling the texture and weight of the object.
The Bird life volunteer also explained to the children that the Yelkouan Shearwater (garnija in Maltese) is a seabird that inhabits the park in colonies and is protected by law. The children were each given a picture of the Shearwater to colour at home.
The Park guide and Bird life volunteers were very organised and were fantastic with the children. The activities they planned were age appropriate and all the children enjoyed interacting. On our walk back we re-visited the centre to take a look at the photographic exhibition of Malta’s flora and fauna and the various nature books they have for sale. We will definitely visit the park again, perhaps we will explore an other area next time!
Now that the temperatures are cooling down we are back to some Field trip fun! The Girgenti Farm is such a lovely place, situated in a peaceful countryside in the limits of Siggiewi. The kids were eager to go in as soon as we arrived. The farm owner took us around for a tour of the farm, stopping by animals where the kids had the opportunity to feed them from their hands. It was an exciting up-close experience for them. There were pot bellied pigs, chickens, roosters, ducks and rabbits. There were two sheep, one black and one white, who were a new addition to the farm. There was also a friendly donkey who loved cuddles and the kids gathered around to take a turn. Then they fed the horse and the farmer called us to plant some cauliflower sprouts into pots. Each child did his/her own, filling the pot with soil and poking a hole to place the sprout, then adding more soil on top. They each watered the plant and were overjoyed when the farmer told them that they could take it home with them! Finally, we all went to the chicken coop to see the eggs. This was a large fenced area, well shaded with trees and there were different breeds of chickens and roosters, along with ducks, geese and some rabbits. The kids stood in a line and the farmer handed them a cup of corn each, and we had a show of flying corn kernels and chickens stepping on our feet and racing around to catch the kernels. They had so much fun they wanted to throw another round of corn! They were curious to see where the hens laid their eggs and they all gathered round to watch and petting some hens. Definitely a fantastic hands-on experience!
The Limestone Heritage is situated in the village of Siġġiewi and offers an engaging walk through our local history of stone masonry. There is also a farm animal park which the children enjoyed very much. The outing is more suitable for older kids to complement their study of our local history but the little ones still enjoyed exploring the girna and other features in the outdoor area, and the fossils and different types of stone in the souvenir shop. The peacocks kindly left us some of their feathers to keep as a souvenir!
The cruise left from Sliema and we spent 1.5 hr watching views of the harbour. The children enjoyed seeing all the fortification and identifying the villages.
FIRE STATION @ ĦAL FAR
This was an amazing experience for all the children including us adults! We went to Ħal Far Station as it is also the head quarters. The station officer greeted the kids with a cheerful note and patiently explained to them the different types of trucks and why they are used for and the equipment they use in different situations including how to use the water hose! He showed them how to wear the firemen suit and explained how it protects the firemen and the older kids each had a turn to try them on. It was fantastic how interested the kids were as the station officer explained some safety procedures. Then he took the children for a short drive around the perimeter on one of the trucks. They had a blast hearing the siren of course! At the end we also had the opportunity to see a training session.