The Octonauts have moved in at the National Sea Life centre in Birmingham. Yes, that’s Captian Barnacles, Kwazii, Peso, Shellington, Tweak and Professor Inkling. Have I forgotten anyone?
As you probably guessed from our Kwazii and Gup B Octonauts birthday cake we are huge fans. The boys (3 and 7 years old), especially, love the series for all the fast moving adventure, just the right level of excitement and fun characters. As a parent I love how it teaches the kids all about life in the seas and oceans of our world.
Combine this series with the Sea life centre and you have a winning combination!
The Sea life centre is an amazing educational facility. We come away each time having learnt more facts about life in the water. Our visits have really made us think about rubbish- especially plastic rubbish- in a different way. We pick up plastic bags that are drifting in the wind, even if it is not our own. Since our first visit, I refuse to part-take in any balloon releases: why would anyone want to throw rubbish in the air and endanger animals that mistake the rubbish for food is beyond me! Anyway, I digress!
The Octonauts are, sadly, only at Birmingham for a short 3 weeks till the 7th of November 2015.
During this time, however, young and old can take up the Octonauts challenge: a series of quests introduced by one of famous 8. Whether it’s learning facts from Professor Inkling, daring to touch starfish in the rockpool on Kwazii’s request or observing the smaller details with Shellington, the Octonauts help children slow down through this labyrinth of learning and discovery.
As we embarked on the quest, we got little A5 sized cards, with a set of stickers. I asked to hold onto all three sets of stickers and as we found each character and completed the task set, the kids then got the relevant sticker. This worked very well for all of my 3 – aged 3-8 years old.
Angelina skipped ahead or lagged behind as she read a lot of the information points.
With Hugo we practiced reading as we moved along.
Max was hard to hold back; he loved it so much, that he was keen to rush ahead and find each Octonaut. The stickers and having to complete the tasks helped slow him down.
I was repeatedly surprised by the vast knowledge my kids have of the waters and it’s inhabitants: we approached one of the Amazonian tanks and Max exclaimed:
” A catfish, Mummy!”
I had to look up whether it actually was a catfish on the info board. And it was! He was right!
At the end we knew we had a little something awaiting us: Octonauts medals and our certificates to prove we are now honorary Octonauts.
Max’s favourite section of the whole Sea Life was the starfish zone. He really enjoyed going through the tunnels and gaining different perspectives, depending which way he looked.
We all really enjoyed the 4D cinema- a journey 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in the Jules Verne classic. The film was reiterating the conservation message, but through a fun, action-packed adventure. The 3D visual effects worked well and the glasses we were given stayed on for all of us.
In the tunnel we were lucky enough with our timing to hear one of the talks. It was fascinating learning about Molokai, the Giant Green Sea Turtle, who was actually found in a lady’s handbag at Heathrow airport and whose favourite pastimes include snoozing on the 360 degree ocean tunnel and snacking on sprouts. Or the nursing shark who befriended Molokai and turned vegetarian for a while.
All in all, we spent 2.5 hours at the Sea Life Centre and could’ve easily stayed another hour. Unfortunately, the parking we paid for was running out (there was only the option of 3 or 6 hours parking and although I felt 3 hours wouldn’t be enough, but 6 hours just seemed too much to stay and to pay. 3 hour parking costs £3.50. The carpark is a 5 minute walk from Sea Life)
My only other gripe at SeaLife centre itself, was the lack of a cloakroom. Carrying around 4 coats is not ideal. Although the temperatures do fluctuate, as there are outdoor areas too, most of the time we were too hot wearing our coats.
Overall, however, we loved our experience and would recommend it as a family day out.
…Especially those with little Octonauts fans should go!
At the end, we lost Max for a minute or so. It turned out he’d run ahead and found one of his heroes: Captain Barnacles.
A photo posted by Monika (@mumonthebrink) on
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