Prior to having Isabella-Grace I spent an awful amount of time reading literature to her, singing to her and talking to her about everything. I feel that helped us to have such an amazing bond and not only that, but the fact that I am her main parent. The Gruffalo is a very popular book by Julia Donaldson and tells the tale of a cunning little mouse, other creatures in a forest and of course the big, "bad" Gruffalo - who actually turns out to be a little scaredy cat!
When I saw that Discover Children's Story Centre were featuring Gruffalos, Dragons and other Creatures I jumped at the opportunity to attend with Isabella-Grace. On arrival it was much different to what I had imagined it to be like, but I appreciated the easy access getting into the centre. I know that, that would have been the case considering the centre caters to small children with pushchairs and so forth.
The staff member who served me was a bit .... and I just took it that maybe she was having a bad day, but the other staff members were very friendly and welcoming. Although one sat in the room reading a book to herself, I was not sure if she was meant to be supervising or just there.
We were told to "go to the playroom," and I had no idea where that was, so I just took my own initiative and went searching for this playroom. There was a big pushchair space which was very accommodating for a number of pushchairs. I also noticed lockers above the pushchair area which I really appreciated in locking away my bags and valuables.
I would have appreciated being directed slightly more, being smiled at and made to feel welcome. I felt like I was just told to go to the playroom and I had no idea where it was as I had never been to this centre before. I could have easily asked her where it was, but she just did not appear to be very friendly at all. So, I left her to it and went to discover where the playroom was myself. I always say to family and friends that when people work in particular jobs especially ones where they are dealing with people, they should try their best to be welcoming and friendly. First impressions always count and that is what people will often remember you for. On the other hand I understand that we all have off days, so I let it slide.
In general this is not at all a post to bash anyone, because I do not do that, but on writing my honest review. I feel that I have to explain how the day went and what our experience was like here. So, as usual I will always be honest and give my readers an insight into what happened. This does not mean that your experience will be like mine, I do hope you are greeted appropriately and made to feel welcomed if you do decide to visit Discover.
After this we headed into the playroom where the fun really began! Bella had an amazing time rushing from area to area discovering what each toy or apparatus did. She appeared to enjoy climbing up the slope using the rope to assist her as she climbed.
She also was fond of the little cave with flashing colourful lights, whenever she jumped on one of the coloured lights it would go off, so she jumped on another and squealed with delight at the fact that the previous coloured light came back on. She also did some dancing, after all she would not be Isabella-Grace without shaking a leg as she does (very often!).
I felt that because we arrived very early we spent a long time in the playroom, but there was an outdoor space which was accessible for parents and small children also. We did not go into this part of the centre mainly because it was very cold on this particular day and I did not want Isabella-Grace to catch a cold.
Eventually we all made our way downstairs to the living room of Charlie Cook (Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book) where we all sat down on the sofa or the floor huddling together to find out what would happen next. I must say I did not like being in such a small space because I love to have my own personal space and I felt very uncomfortable.
Isabella-Grace loved the story and the storyteller was very engaging and fun, she really made the story a positive and exciting experience for the young children which I appreciated. The children were told to repeat a familiar refrain from, "Room on the Broom" and this resonated very well with Isabella-Grace who made sure that she shouted this refrain out at the top of her lungs, which meant she was centre of attention - as usual!
After the story the storyteller opened up a secret door way which led to a magical world of a few of Julia Donaldson's books; Room on the broom, The Gruffalo, The Smartest Giant In Town, Monkey Puzzle, Tiddler and etc. It was absolutely fantastic!
Isabella-Grace was thrilled and just did not know what to do with her little self. A lot of the children were very eager to rush off and explore and so were some of the parents! It was the best part of the day. The 3D world was really phenomenal if I may say so myself. It really did Julia Donaldson's books and Axel Scheffler's illustrations justice.
Upstairs in the reception there was also a book shop where Isabella-Grace got a few things with her spending money. One was a Gruffalo height chart because my daughter is literally growing so quickly! It is a nice way to measure her and also to have it as a keepsake for when she is older and wants to know how tall she was at a particular age.
Another item was "So Much" the book by Trish Cooke; I remember reading this book back in the day and it went down a treat with children all of the time! It was always funny when I would put on my Jamaican accent and tell the story to them, they always found it funny which made my day too!
She also got a book bag which I find quite useful for when she decides she wants to bring the world with us when we are going on our daily commutes. I can just put some of the things that cannot fit inside her toddler bag inside the book bag and off we go!
All in all, as mentioned above Isabella-Grace had a cracking time and that is all that matters to me. For Isabella-Grace I would definitely come back here - just for her to have fun. I actually found because she is advanced, she knew her way around the apparatus and the underworld rooms without me needing to coerce her. Isabella-Grace is very independent, so I allow her to explore ensuring that I am always very close behind her.
Have you ever visited Discover? How did you find it? Leave a comment below and let me know what your thoughts are!
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