J eagerly went to measure herself against the minimum height board, and jumped excitedly up and down. There was nothing I could do but stand back and watch as my 5 year old climbed up onto onto the enormous bright yellow, mud covered JCB. Was she really allowed to sit behind the controls of this mean machine, and then take the controls, and drive off out of sight?
She did disappear out of sight. It was a long 5 minutes as she took her little sister off for a joyride in a JCB. As she emerged it was clear she was driving as she was dodging the pot holes in the dry ground.
I shouldn't have been so worried, as a member of staff joined her in the cabin, along with Daddy and S. Although she was driving, she was under supervision, and not much could go wrong. Proving, that although she is a girl, and just 5 years old, she can play with boys toys too, and even grown men toys.
At Diggerland, children can actually take control of these machines built for demolition, and digging. J was above the 110cm that was needed to do pretty much anything she wanted, whereas S was still around the just over 90cm mark, which meant she could do a lot, but mummy had to tag along too. This cramped her style a little.... we all know how free spirited, and independent this little cherub is...
...but being able to ten pin bowl with a "digger" as opposed to not being allowed, meant she didn't mind me cramping her style too much. The controls are easy enough with two joysticks, doing the up and down, and side to side. S took control of one whilst I did the other.
There were several types of this JCB set up for different activities, so the controls were the same across the activities.
The competition really stepped up when Daddy wanted to play too, alongside J. Bowling, digging for treasure and hook-a-duck, everyone has played it before, but with a JCB?? With life sized plastic ducks? It gave lots of giggles. S didn't know who to cheer for...
Daddy isn't the type of person to let J win just because she is a child, and she gives as good as she can. She did beat him on some, and on others Daddy did win. It was great fun. especially as there was never more then a few minutes wait for a machine to be free.
As well as the activity rides, there was a ride where J could pretend to be the grown up and take S for a ride.
This really did look surreal... J managed all the twists and turns and even a narrow bridge. Whereas S happily played the content passenger, waving to the bystanders, looking like she was royalty in her carriage.
It was then onto more driving, and in J's case, stunt driving as she went onto 3 wheels around another dirt track. This gigantic machine she could drive by herself. They looked so much fun, I managed to persuade Daddy to chaperone S in one, whilst I had one to myself.
I am still amazed that she is allowed to do so much here at Diggerland, at just 5 years old.
There are so many different Diggers. J's favourite of them all is "Spin Dizzy", as you can tell by Daddy's face, it makes you dizzy. This is a pilot that had to do acrobatics as part of his flight training, and a digger makes him nauseous... J loved it after the initial moment of "ARGH, what have I got myself onto"
The ride, is on the bucket of a digger, which literally spins... and it gets higher and higher... I am petrified of heights so it was a no-brainer from me, to stay away. Daddy didn't venture onto it again, however J did another 4 times... she is getting brave. Our little daredevil was unable to go on, as she was too small.
As the temperatures were warm despite the Yorkshire breeze, and it was several hours after our picnic, I was tempted for an ice cream. However the girls were not, and was drawn in by the colours that the fair ground style snack shop had to offer..
It was soon back to business with the heavy machinery, taking them up 50ft high into the sky to get a better view of the park, whilst I could see up through the bottom and watch the girlies reaction. S truly loved it, her smile when she got back down said it all.
J obviously hadn't had enough of being spun around, so as the park got closer to closing and quieter, we started to make our way back to the entrance, where we saw another ride that S could be spun around on too, without supervision. The imagination for these rides are amazing.
Before finishing the day on digging holes. One of the true purposes to a JCB.
There we have it... two girlie girls enjoying Diggerland. Proving that girls can enjoy Diggerland too, and its not just for boys. We all thoroughly enjoyed our day. Made even more enjoyable as the queues were pretty much non existent, due to the amount of machines for each activity.
Diggerland has four parks across the UK in Yorkshire, Durham. Devon and Kent. They have another due to open in February 2016 in Worcestershire. To find out more visit the Diggerland website here.
Is it worth the entry fee? In my opinion yes. We arrived just before lunch, was able to bring our own picnic (Lots of picnic benches around) and stayed until closing. It is cheaper then other theme parks, and zoo's, and is a very unusual, but still a fun family day.
Have you ever been to Diggerland? Would you like to go?
*We were given free entry to Diggerland Yorkshire, in return for an honest review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.