The Rainbow Factory is an interactive adventure for children that brings stories to life. (If you haven’t been to the Rainbow Factory before, read my previous post about it here.) This weekend we headed back to there to explore the new theme that has just launched; SPACE.
When we arrived, Emilia immediately became shy and nervous (her confidence has been knocked by a recent event) and I worried that we might not get much out of our visit this time. The staff arrived to take us on the tour of the Woodland Tales section, but Emilia clung on to Mr M, refusing to talk or to even look up. We began the tour though, in the hope that things might turn around.
The space theme has been well integrated, with The Cat in the Hat (who I love) helping us to discover the planets in our solar system. Emilia also got to practise her letters, gathering one at a time on the tour to finally spell the word SPACEMAN.
The staff were incredible. They remained relentlessly positive and encouraging, chatting with Emilia but never pressuring her. Slowly, Emilia emerged out of her shell and uncurled from Mr M, to look up, smile, and eventually start answering questions. With the praise and positive interaction from the staff, her confidence grew and grew, until she was fully immersed, laughing and exploring. It takes real skill to turn children around like this, and to know just what level to pitch questions at, regarding age, and personality etc. By the end of the tour Emilia had designed, drawn and named a whole new constellation; Great Sally Star of the Sky!
After our tour, we went through to The Goldilocks Creative Kitchen, where Emilia made a spaceship (manned by an alien called Pasta, naturally), a picture of a rocket, and then some pink alien slime (which feels bonkers).
By this point she was completely engaged and at ease. So much so, that Mr M and I snuck a cup of tea in the cafe, with Robin who was taking an all important snack break.
Emilia and Robin then sat by the story tree and were read Aliens in Underpants before having a balloon play break.
After this, there was an interactive theatre performance about an alien coming to earth, who then invites the children to go and explore their planet. They help to build a spaceship and head off into space …
The Rainbow Factory engages children with stories and themes in an exciting, and immersive way. The staff members bring stories alive for all their visitors (parents included), and the experience is completely unique. It’s so much more than that too though. Children are challenged to explore their imagination, and are encouraged to share their ideas and emotions in a whole manner of ways. The experience builds up confidence, skills and self expression. The staff entertain, teach, encourage and develop children, whilst also giving them an incredibly fun experience, and all this is done within the magical framework of storytelling.
If you think that the entrance fee is high, remember all that you’re getting at the Rainbow Factory. You’re not just paying for entry to a play centre, you’re paying for all the sessions the staff members deliver inside; the tour, craft making, theatre performances, story telling, and more.
The Space theme is a lot of fun (that slime is brilliant, if a bit freaky!), so make sure you head down to the Rainbow Factory in the next few weeks to check it out. After our rocky start, Emilia said before leaving “Can this be our home now?” – I think she liked it.
You can read more about the Space theme on the Rainbow Factory’s website here.
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