YOU can learn a lot from children. And it was lovely watching Ruaridh (5) and Flora (3) use their imagination and enjoy acting out roles we adults take for normal every day.
The care and pride taken as they acted as chefs, shop assistants, postmen, bank workers and as they filled their pretend cars up with petrol, made their old mum swell with pride.
But that’s what the Eureka! Children’s Museum in Halifax is all about, learning through playing. The aim of the national curriculum in nurseries is just the same and its great that like minded people are working hard to make sure our investment for tomorrow is well looked after.
The museum celebrated its 20th year in 2012 and has hundreds of interactive and hands-on exhibits to keep children aged 0 to 11 interested. And it runs a Helping Hands Project which allows free Saturday and Holiday Club access to disabled children and their families from nearby areas.
But it is not resting on its laurels, for the museum is due to unveil a new look Me and My Body Gallery in spring this year.
In the meantime there is plenty to keep everyone occupied. Eureka! is easy to find, being right next door to Halifax Railway Station and there’s an on-site car park for the drivers.
Adults and over three’s pay £9.95, with one to two year olds charged £3.45 and under one’s free of charge. And the fee covers not just one visit, but as many as you want within the year if you upgrade your ticket (free of charge) to an annual pass.
And an annual pass is what’s needed if my two are anything to go by. We visited during the holidays, which meant it was pretty full. But that did not stop Ruaridh and Flora having fun. They spent nearly five hours and never once complained they were bored.
For Ruaridh it was the Mr Maker workshop which caught his eye. While Flora played with the imaginary fish, Ruaridh painstakingly chose his art materials and spent an hour creating his masterpiece. Flora liked the interaction of the make believe Marks and Spencer and kitchen, while Ruaridh had a ball in the garage and pretending to be a bank manager and gas engineer!
The Sound Spacewas a big hit with both Ruaridh and Flora who had great fun trying out the strange sounds and the highlight, adding make up to a photograph of themselves!
As well as the usual displays, Eureka! always has something special on and our visit co-incided with the Interstellar Cinderella pantomime which was a twist of the usual story taking the audience into outer space.
This month sees Glasgow Science Museum on tour at Halifax with a Body Vision workshop and to celebrate Burns Night, a McEureka! Event including a hunt to find the Loch Ness Monster.
As George Bernard Shaw so wisely said: “ We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old, because we stop playing,’’ so long live Eureka!
For more information on Eureka! and its opening times and special events, log onto www.eureka.org.uk