We may have stumbled across THE best space for kids! If you absolutely must visit the Early Start Discovery Space, located on the campus of the University of Wollongong. It’s Australia’s only dedicated ‘children’s museum’ and is a brilliant hands-on creative learning space. It has been designed specifically for children from birth to 12 years to provide valuable learning experiences through play-based learning.
My boys (aged almost 2, 4 and 6) had a total blast! The could not pick a favourite activity. They could barely contain their excitement! Here are some of our highlights, there’s plenty more to explore!
The Shipyard Experience
The boys are pirate obsessed and loved everything about the life sized shipyard. There were shouts of ‘ahoy’ and lots of playing pirates. The boys wheeled crates of fish around the loaded the net with fish, scrubbed the decks and steered the boat. I loved watching them really immerse themselves in their play. I also loved the attention to detail, like the rats aboard the boat!
I didn’t dare venture into the cave, but the boys grabbed a torch and went exploring. They loved crawling through the nooks and crannies in the dark. There was a lot of shrieking with other kids!
My boys we’re absolutely thrilled about the construction site. They wore the protective gear, tested out the measuring tapes, spirit levels and other tools. They really immersed themselves in pretend building work and loved constructing a brick wall.
I adored the mini market place, with the kid sized trolleys and check out. There are lists that the kids can use and then scoot around the market place collecting things from the list.
A little gripe, please restock the market place when you are done, or while your kids are shopping! The biggest lad got really involved in putting abandoned trolley loads of food back on the shelves. It’s all part of the play.
The Tummy Tour
The tummy tour is basically an inflatable intestine. I’m told the tummy tour mimics the experience of a piece of food travelling through the digestive system, complete with digestive sound effects! I guess technically if you’re food you should enter via the mouth but the boys went in via the intestine,
You really must visit the Early Start Discovery Space
There’s so much for busy kids to explore in the Discovery Space, it’s a must visit for families with kids under 12. I loved that the boys were learning through play and the boys loved all the wonderful new experiences.
It’s probably best to visit the Early Start Discovery Space on a week day. It was busy on the weekend, because there are rooms used for parties. There was more space to play and less noise (and I’m pretty comfortable with plenty of noise) when the party kids disappeared for cake!
Where: The Discovery Space is located in the Early Start Building at the University of Wollongong. It’s building 21 on the UOW map. We entered and parked in the western car park which was the closest to the entrance.
When: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am – 4pm.
Cost: Adults and Kids over 12 months: $15.
What else? Not only is there a parenting suite for feeding and changing babies, there are also child-sized toilets and sinks in the children’s unisex facility.
Have you been to the Discovery Space? We’ll absolutely be visiting again!