On days like the one we’ve had this week, I think a lot of parents feel a bit apprehensive. Wake up to a gloomy weather and you will only be able to spend a little time doing another puddle jumping session in the park.
So we were so excited when we invited to spend the morning at the beautiful Be Weird, Be Wild, Be Wonderful – it was the perfect day for that.
Based in Longwell Green, it is a women-owned business that has a play center for children up to five years old.
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Jo and Claire both have education and early childhood training and are extremely passionate about learning through play.
Transferring this passion to create something strange, wild and wonderful, the play center opened in October 2019.
The center is full of authentic and natural open resources that encourage children’s curiosity with creative and imaginative play, with resources and plenty of space for babies and toddlers to explore and discover.
The ladies have such a warm and welcoming environment that it’s easy to see how passionate they are about children’s development and play.
Speaking to local mother, Kate McManus, “The toy-free approach to play is perfect, my little one can play with ‘cell phones’, wooden shapes, he especially likes bottles filled with glitter.
“He can crawl around their large space while watching the other children, explore the sandbox, roll balls and use their furniture to practice standing.
“There is so much room to do all of these things and I can see he is learning so much.”
The hub is fully ‘Covid safe’, all sessions are booked in advance, hand sanitizer is provided as well as wipes and all adults are required to wear a mask.
This space is unique and looks like a little haven of peace for children.
They have seats built into the play space for a comfortable play environment, so you can quietly sip tea or coffee (provided in their reusable cups with kid-safe lids) or eat some of their delicious baked cakes. home with the comfort of knowing your child is in a safe, quiet space filled with open resources.
They have a lunch menu and lots of homemade goodies from the wonderful Bristol-based Yummy Scrummy Catering.
Their kids’ meal trays are awesome, served in a muffin tray, you can choose six different items from a long list, there really is something for everyone, even the most picky toddler!
I spoke with a parent who is a regular with their child to find out what keeps them coming back.
Sammi Stephens comes every week and her toddler loves it because “it’s a calm and relaxing environment and my little one can always find something to do.
“With the soft play you end up stressing about where they are, but here you have the opportunity to relax and do some imaginative role play!” An eye on them and an eye on the cake! “
As I walked around, I noticed that the walls were filled with beautiful artwork, trinkets, and gifts that had all been made by small local businesses. I spoke with Jo, the founder, who said, “Here at the Play Center we love to champion local businesses, so we want to share the little love for wonderful brands, created by brilliant minds. “
“The majority of these brands are local and independent companies, driven by the same passion: to create what they love.
Great memories, happy kids, delicious food and more. It’s a helping hand from us!