Daily Drudgery - or - Life is Sweet

March 3, 2016

Teeny Town is a Teeny bit Awesome!

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I hadn’t heard of Teeny Town until a friend posted about it this week. And when I investigated, it seemed I was the only mother in Portsmouth who wasn’t aware of this little gem of a place. Now, Kidzania in London is Teeny Town on a gargantuan scale, and actually Daz and I have talked about setting something up like this for a wee while now, so I snapped up the chance of getting in on the action this week, and booked the session online. This seems fairly essential as you are likely to be turned away if you arrive without  booking. At £3 a head including adults, it’s a reasonable price tag for 90 mins of role play. I found myself making excuses for the size of the place to Indi when we pulled in to this tiddly little hall round the back of St Mark’s church on Derby Road in North End. I had already prepped him that it was going to be full of pre-schoolers, and that chaos may reign over each room, and this was not something he’d be able to exert his power over.  How wrong I was to assume that size mattered, and that it might not be accessible to him! He LOVED it. Sadly, as a home schooler who would be in year 1, he is a perfect candidate for role play, he is fantastic at it, and had an absolute ball, but his experience would have been on a different level completely had he been amongst a similar age group. I’m keen to organise a home ed group trip so that some older children can enjoy the experience together. It makes me keen to establish this kind of place on a different level, geared more towards ages 5-8, as well as having a preschool devoted ‘street’.
Teeny Town is a lovely idea, and it works, despite its small scale and simplicity in design. Once you’ve signed in and dropped your coats off in the cafe area (not quite enough tables for the allocated parent numbers) you and your children can work your way through shops and services available in Teeny Town – fire station….

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Hairdressers…

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Doctors…

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Cafe…

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Construction  site…

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A dress shop ( costumes for littlies, and a dress dummy which is sadly too big to fit any costumes, as Indi was keen to dress her up!), and their favourite area, the supermarket…

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Indi loved playing shop, and was happy to have customer after customer coming through, and was old enough to organise the goods that were misplaced about the store. He was great at organising the little ones!
The staff at Teeny Town are friendly and not at all over bearing, just quietly placing role play items back into their areas once discarded. Despite the simplicity of the decor, the items and costumes are superb, particularly in the construction section, where they have rubber bricks and breeze blocks, cement mixer and some lovely costumes. The addition of vehicles may be a slight issue, particularly motorbikes, as they can be freewheeled into stores and I saw several instances where some lovely role play was literally steamrollered by some unconventional driving! Perhaps an allocated road role play area might solve this issue, but there isn’t the space! Also, to suggest on the website that you can relax and have a coffee in this environment really isn’t a possibility. I saw one girl get walloped squarely in the face by a young lad over ownership of an item, and unlike a soft play area, there are many more opportunities for scuffles related to turn taking, and for little ones, this does require one eye from a parent.
We had some slices of cake and drinks, all reasonably priced, and the cake portions were enormous. However, we had to squeeze onto someone else’s table, so a few more tables might solve the issue. Saying that, it certainly wasn’t overcrowded as there is a maximum number of individuals that can be in the space. Indi left asking when we were going again, and I’m certainly planning a return trip!

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