Bringing children to Sandham
Sandham is an amazing place to bring children. There is so much to see in the stunning paintings covering the walls in the chapel, First World War handling items including things to dress up in and a bespoke children's guide* and trail* for younger children to engage them both during and after their visit.
Sandham is an extraordinary special place for children. The chapel paintings show them the everyday life of this tiny man - only 5' 2". Stanley Spencer who was a medical orderly in the Beaufort hospital, Bristol and then in Saloinka. There is so much detail in the paintings - strange looking animals, unfamiliar pieces of First World War kit and uniform, day to day actiivites of washing, cleaning, drying that will be familar to them. They can see the extreme heat experienced in Salonika and the perils of the mosquitos causing widespread malaria.
There is a extensive selection of handling items which can be picked up, touched and worn; children can find these in the paintings too.
We now have a beautifully produced and illustrated guide* with hand drawn and coloured sketches. It welcomes children to the chapel through Stanley's voice and words. Stanley tells us about his early life and asks children to think about similar experiences, he shows us what he has painted and invites children to produce their own drawing. Stanley takes children through his time at the Beaufort hosptial and all the jobs he had to do - there is a spelling bee quiz to find out all those tasks. Stanley takes the children to Salonika and recalls his experiences including burning all the bacon - there is a spot the difference and word search puzzle to do too. The guide will not only engage children around the chapel and its paintings but provides additional material for thoughts and reaserch to continue at home or school.
There is also a trail* for younger children to find things around the site including the massive chapel key, drawing in the windows and doors or the chapel building, spot the difference and opportunities for them to think about the paintings through smell, taste and touch.
All of our staff and volunteers are incredibly knowledable and keen to engage with eager minds and curious questions - so just ask.
The chapel is surrounded by gardens so there is plenty of space to run aournd and let off steam and then enjoy a picnic perhaps.
There are also seasonal events for children at Easter, Halloween and Christmas so do look out for those.
.*we invite donations for these to help towards the cost of reprinting