Monday, 17 August 2015

University for Toddlers

One VERY cold, windy and wet Friday my boys and I braved the horrid conditions that were battering the east coast of Australia to visit the new Early Start Discovery Space at the University of Wollongong. I'd heard great things about the centre and finally had an opportunity to check it out.

And we weren't disappointed - it is fantastic!!!!!! There is so much to do - and unlike your typical play centre where kids expel a tonne of energy and develop gross motor skills (and some problem-solving and social skills too), this experience is focused on providing valuable learning experiences for young children, and their accompanying older siblings and adults, through play-based learning activities that are "designed to allow children to take control and share their imagination and creativity with others" (UOW Early Start Discovery Space).

So what is there to do in this fabulous, first-in-Australia play-based learning, kids museum? Well...

The kids can become the Master and Commander of "The Ship"...
Lachlan and William at the helm
or they grab a torch and explore "The Caves".

They can crawl through the mouth, esophagus and stomach in the "Let's get Eaten" display, or...

don their builders hats, jacket and tool belts and 'build them up, build them up, build them higher' in the Construction Zone.

If your little one fancies themselves an artist, grab yourself some paper and colours in the creARTivity space...

or head on over to the Acheological dig site where you can use tools to examine what lays under the ground!

If you've got a budding star in the making, or a little one who loves lights and sounds then the Lights, Sounds, Action! space is just for them.

Upstairs there is 'Galileo's workshop' where children can explore the wonders of the world through some of Galileo's machines, or they can immerse themselves in some technology by making movies, posters and cartoons.

There is also the Discovery Gardens, the Market Place, The Pod and the Book Nook. There is also a cafe attached to the facility where you can grab a coffee and something to eat. I'd suggest bringing a picnic lunch and lying out on the grass while the kids have burn off any remaining energy!!!

So if you are in the Illawarra region, this is a must-stop-and-see destination if you got children aged between 2 and 12!!!!! Follow the links above to read more information about the facility and it's costs - we ended up purchasing the yearly pass as we thought it was such great value and a wonderful learning space for our boys to engage in!

If you're a teacher, this is a great excursion idea!!!!!

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