Bishopston toddlers and pre-schoolers are soon to be transported to lives, lands and places beyond their imaginations with Mr Benn’s Amazing Adventures! Set up by local dad, Johnny Benn, Mr Benn’s Amazing Adventures are classes for young children which include adventure, singing, dancing and much more.
Starting this week, classes will be held every Thursday morning at 10.30am at The Kelvin Players and will run on a drop-in basis.
If you fancy reading more about Mr Benn’s Amazing adventures, today’s post on Bishopston Mum features an interview with Mr Benn himself!
Hi Johnny, please can you tell readers a bit about yourself?
I’ve been a stay at home dad for the last couple of years looking after my two children, Melody and Leo, in Bishopston. Prior to that, I was a singer in a touring band for 15 years, but decided to call it a day because I missed being away from my children too much. I studied Drama at university and have loved everything to do with the creative side, from writing through to performance.
Please tell me about your classes.
The class is a 40 minute interactive class, called “Mr Benn’s Amazing Adventures”. Every week I dress up as a character and take the children on an adventure, involving role play, singing, games and dancing.
This term my character is “Pirate Pete” who has lost his treasure and needs the children to help him find it. We jump across the rocks trying to avoid the sharks to board his boat, do a spot of fishing, then hit a storm and get washed up on a desert island. And each week we meet a different friends of Pirate Pete who sing songs, entertain us and helps us find where the treasure is buried.
I plan to change the central character every term so we can go on different adventures – from space, to the jungle or a fairytale adventure with knights and princesses.
When and where will the classes be held?
The classes will be drop-in and be held every Thursday morning at 10.30 at the Kelvin Players on Gloucester Road in Bishopston, Bristol and will commence on 24th April.
If my Thursday morning group is successful I hope to run the group on other days as well.
What age range will the classes be aimed at?
The classes would be aimed at 18 months to pre-school, but younger siblings are welcome.
What will make your classes different from other classes for pre-schoolers in and around Bishopston?
Well for a start, I’m a dad! There are some fantastic classes in Bishopston, but I hope my Amazing Adventures will be different to anything else. It will be more like a show then a class – taking the children on an interactive journey and getting them to use their imagination.
We sing some familiar songs mixed in with some of my original songs, such as “Mr. Square and his Extraordinary Hair” and “A Frog who thinks he’s a Dog”, play with puppets, dance, sing and find some treasure to boot! And it’s something that will hopefully entertain the parents too.
I love kids to use their imagination and to enjoy the experience of role playing which I believe gives them confidence and helps with their own creativity. Ultimately I want the children to have as much fun as possible.
What or who inspired you to do this?
I came up with the idea by just playing with my own children. We’d go on a rocket one week and fight killer sharks the next. I sing my songs to them and if they start singing them a week later I knew I’d either brainwashed them into submission or they were pretty catchy.
What was the response to your recent trial session?
I thought I’d test the water and did a trial run a couple of weeks ago to see if it could work as a class. I invited some mums and toddlers that I know well, as I knew they would be honest and my fiercest critics! As you can imagine, it was quite nerve racking, but it went really well and the feedback was very positive. So I thought why not give it a go!!
What has been your experience of being a dad in Bishopston?
It did take me a while to adjust to life outside the band and becoming a stay at home Dad. I remember finishing my last gig in Dublin and then a week later I was sitting in Jolly Babies with a tambourine in my hand, which was odd to say the least!
However, I’ve loved looking after the children and Bishopston has so much to offer with playgroups and parks etc. And all the Mum’s have been very nice and welcoming even though, as a dad I tend to be in the minority still.
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For more information on Mr Benn’s Amazing Adventures, please contact Johnny on 07815433316 or via the Mr Benn’s Amazing Adventure’s Facebook page.