Discover is a story building play centre in Stratford, East London. I have been going there with my step-son Joshua since me and his dad started dating about 5 years ago. Joshua used to love Discover, there was always some wonderful fun to be had. It has a brilliant play area outside with the highlight for me being a slide that looks like a monster so you climb up his back and slide out of his mouth and down his tongue.
Inside there is a river to cross, a lollicoper to fly and a cave to hide in just to start with. There are events on almost every time we are there, from workshops to story-tellings. I always love seeing what they have done with their downstairs space. It is transformed several times a year with amazing results. It can be a monster city, a whole galaxy of different planets, a pirate ship to name just a few of the places we have been transported to in the past. What I really love is the standard to which this is done. No half measures. As a teacher I also have to admire the many opportunities they create for fun and interesting writing within that context.
Today as it was beautiful weather we decided to go to Southend for the day. However, amazingly Caleb and Joshua both slept in today and there was no way we were going to wake them up. By the time we were ready to go it was already 12.30 so it was going to be pointless trying to get to Southend while the sun was still high. We decided on the Natural History Museum instead. Joshua has always loved the giant moving T.rex there. We were just about to leave when Caleb’s hungry cry began and then after feeding him he vomited all over me and him! By then we were too late to get to the museum too! We needed somewhere close. We hadn’t been to Discover for ages as Joshua had been feeling a bit too old for it but it was pretty much the only place close enough for us to get to.
We had such a great day. I can’t wait for Caleb to actually be big enough to appreciate it. Although Discover is often full of young children, it has a lot to offer older, junior aged children. At the moment the down stairs area is the home/ lab/ hideout of an evil villan. Luckily the children are all spies and can save the day by collecting clues and cracking a code. Joshua had a great time dodging lasers, deciphering codes and basically running around with intent.
While we were there we went to a book reading of Mungo and the Picture Book Pirates, Mungo and the Spiders from Space and Mungo and the Dinosaur Island. The books were read by the author Timothy Knapman and the illustrator Adam Stower drew a monster using the children’s ideas. It was great fun and we bought Joshua and Caleb a signed book each.