We were very excited to be invited to Alton Towers Resort to have a preview of the new Something Special Sensory Garden which is part of the new CBeebies Land attraction. How could we say no?!
We invited some friends to come along with us: the Evans and Goddard families and two excellent Makaton Tutors, Dot and Judith.
We headed up to Alton Towers where on arrival we were greeted at the gate and taken to a special VIP area. A little bit later we were taken to see the Something Special Sensory Garden and who was there to show us around? Only Justin Fletcher!
We opened Mr Tumble's spotty bags to reveal clues to hidden objects in the garden. When we found them, Justin made the sign with us so that we could practise our Makaton signing.
The Sensory Garden is full of coloured spots and has many sights, sounds textures and smells to explore.
Justin said "Working on Something Special has been an incredible experience and I have met some wonderful people. To see our work on screen brought to life in such a vivid environment as this garden is an absolute dream come true. Something Extra Special, you might say."
Later in the day we met some of the other stars of CBeebies as they flew in by helicopter and walked the red carpet into CBeebies Land.
Catherine who uses Makaton with her son Gethyn to communicate said: "Using Makaton has really helped my little boy to develop his communication skills. He will always have to work that bit harder than his friends in life and it is hard for all of us. An attraction like CBeebies Land, where children can play and learn at their own pace, and where little boys like mine are made to feel included is going to be a real blessing for families like us."
We are also delighted that as part of their commitment to making Alton Towers Resorts accessible to children and adults who use Makaton, over 80 of their staff have attended a Makaton Taster and learned some key Makaton symbols and signs.
CBeebies Land at Alton Towers Resort is now open!
Visit www.altontowers.com/cbeebiesland for more information.