Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Two Half Term Ideas - Journey to Space and Trash Robots

It's half term for most people this week, and seeing as the great British weather has taken a nose-dive I think that it is the perfect time for this post.

Going Out:

If you live in or near London and have kids then make a bee-line to Discover - Children's Story Centre in Stratford E15. It is a complete gem!

I blogged about it here at the start of last year and I still cannot recommend Discover enough - there are things to climb on and slide down, puppets to play with, outfits to dress up in, and somewhere to make and draw things too. And that's just on the ground floor! The outdoor playground is brilliant and although there is a small on-site cafe (that serves good coffee) there are tables and chairs for you to eat your own food if you wish. Other 'family friendly' places take note!

Downstairs they have a programme of changing visiting exhibitions; at the moment it is 'Journey to Space'. The children get to put on space suits, go in a 'spaceship' to a unknown planet and search for the missing Major Tom. Wiss loved it!

He made a paper rocket at the craft tables, which he played with all afternoon and the next day too. In fact, it's still in pride of place on his window ledge.

We booked into one of the (free) storytelling sessions to end our day. 'Where on Earth is the Moon?' was read aloud by one of the Story Builders while the kids sat on big cushions on the floor and were encouraged to help bring the book to life by using musical instruments. The beautiful illustrations were projected on the wall in front of us. The final stop on the way out has to be at the brilliant bookshop - they have a fabulous selection of some classics, some really original but all very cool books.

Staying In:

If you can't make it along to Discover then how about making something at home instead? Wiss was given this Trash Robot kit for his birthday but we saved it for a rainy day (!)

You get eyes, wheels and plenty of stickers to make at least two robots using whatever recycled packaging you have. As you can see we used a milk carton, and a shampoo bottle - it's a great way to start talking about recycling with kids. I had to help Wiss with the arms as they are made from folded paper but he enjoyed putting the stickers on himself. We then spent the afternoon racing our robots up and down the dining room, and perfecting our robotic voices!

Whatever you get up to this half term, I hope you have fun regardless of the weather! And if you go anywhere that you'd like to recommend then please let me know with a comment or link... Enjoy!

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