Work and Play were thrilled to be invited to be in the South London Story Telling event on Tooting Common last Saturday with an interactive wishing tree, Dress-a-Rat and rangoli workshop. Preparations started weeks in advance with the building and decorating of a wishing tree, cutting out templates of cardboard rats, and scalpelling intricate ragoli inspired designs out of sticky back plastic from our wonderful supplies.
Despite certain reservations about the weather, we set up and waited for the crowds to arrive. There was a steel band, stilt walkers, and story tellers attracting the local people to Tooting Common. The Wishing Tree was looking lovely in the sun and the bells were tinkerling gently in the breeze as children and adults wrote their wishes and attached them to the branches. Queues quickly formed outside Jayson's marquee where he was spreading his love for rangoli, with children having the opportunity to create their own works of art with the amazing colours and shapes.
Next door to Jayson, Catherine and Sharon were asking children to form an orderly line waiting for space around the two activity tables where children (and some adults!) enjoyed choosing fabrics and trimmings to dress their rat (or teddy for the squeamish). Snipping and gluing, sticking and drawing, everybody had great fun and were pleased to take them home for them to dry out properly - some were even planning on adding to their creations at home!
Both activities were busy through the day and there was great disappointment when Dress-a-Rat had to be packed up and put in the back of the car. It was a great day and it was wonderful to see one of London's green areas being used for such a well-atteneded, family focussed event.