It’s hard to believe this week (as it seems like we’ve now entered ‘Real Winter’?) but a couple of weeks ago C and I walked in the blazing sun of ‘False Spring’ through Hyde Park to the Science Museum. We were off to try out Experitots, a new offering for children 18 months to 3 years run by the Museum’s Explainers.
Billed as an interactive play session where you can “find out what makes you who you are”, the sessions are an hour long, with about 40 minutes being self-directed play and 20 minutes being facilitated song and exploration of the gallery with the assistance of the Explainers (who are all delightful).
Overall we liked the session but didn’t LOVE it – C is now almost 3 and there were a surprising number of babies closer to 12 months. There are solid opportunities for dressing up and pretend play (which is fun, but there are a LOT of places in London where you can do this), but I felt personally like there was a missed opportunity for some ‘organised science’.
C is definitely in a ‘why why why why’ phase, and it would have been nice if there were some opportunities for the Explainers to explain in an age-appropriate way the ‘why’ behind some of the exhibits. Having said that, the program is completely new so will no doubt change and develop over time – it was a fun and affordable activity for a Tuesday morning!
Irrespective of how you feel about Experitots though, there is soooo much else to see in the Museum.
The Garden is a special exploration area designed for 3-6 year olds which gives children a chance to explore construction, water, light and sound. It is absolute mayhem over the weekends, but manageable on weekday mornings. C loves it and regularly asks to go back there to play with the flying saucer and water race in particular!
The Pattern Pod is an area which is sort of hidden near the back of the Museum – but still, visit as close to 10am as you can for a more relaxed experience. In this small area children can explore patterns with magnetic shapes, create symmetrical drawings on the touch screens, follow trails and look at patterns in the natural world. It is entirely interactive and learning in a low key and fun way.
We love the Science Museum (it’s now been 2 visits in 3 weeks…..) and the older C gets, no doubt the more we’ll enjoy the exhibits!!