The Children’s Discovery Centre Is Opening On May 23rd – But They Need Your Help!

Have you heard the exciting news? Toronto is getting a brand new Children’s Museum this May! The Children’s Discovery Centre is set to open on May 23, 2015. The 20,000 square foot building is located at 45 Strachan Avenue, next to Liberty Village.   This hands-on “museum” is a place where children six and under can play – at their own pace, in their own way – exploring these ten unique discovery zones. This is a five month pilot, hopefully moving to a permanent facility in the downtown core as early as 2016.

Check out the amazing themed zones:

  1. Mini-City:  a small scale “city”, complete with painted roads, street signs, tricycles, construction and a gravel pit.  Kids get active here!
  2. Art Hive:  crayons, clay, paint, easels, paper, squeegees.  Kids get messy here!
  3. Make Believe:  costumes, puppets, a stage, mirrors and mats.  Kids build characters and dance here!
  4. Boom Room:  drums, mallets, bongos, bells.  Kids make ‘music’ here, sometimes with household items!
  5. Pet Vet:  stethoscopes, doctor toys, lab coats, ‘x-rays’ and your own stuffed creatures.  Kids love animals and learn empathy here!
  6. Eat Street:  a mini-grocery store with shopping carts and produce PLUS mini-kitchens with stoves, pots, pans, aprons and utensils. Kids play with food here!
  7. Campground: rocks, logs, a canoe, magnifying glasses, tents and a ‘campfire’. Kids explore nature here!
  8. Imagination Station: kid-sized large foam blocks in amazing shapes that lock together.  Kids build and create here!
  9. Storyland: books, colours, pillows and nooks.  Kids learn words and listen here!
  10. First Discoveries: bright colours, soft textures, easy landings. The smallest kids crawl here!  Caregivers and parents share and connect here!

Kids will get messy, be creative, and learn about the world and themselves, as each zone is thoughtfully designed by early childhood education professionals and parents.  It is different than the ROM and Ontario Science Centre in its focus and appeal for kids under six – like the KidSpark area of the Science Centre, but exponentially more.  It’s a local mom’s dream to create something for our youngest citizens…something to compliment all the condos!

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What makes this space even more special, is the story behind it’s development. Unlike Toronto’s other tourist attractions, Toronto’s Children’s Discovery Centre is a grassroots initiative. It’s not a charity, not government funded and not corporately backed.  It’s the brain child of a local business woman and mom, Jeanhy Shim. She is operating at lightening speed to bring this much-needed centre to fruition, and she needs your help. While the location is already secure, she’s launched a crowd funding effort to raise $80K for the tools, materials and equipment needed for each of the ten discovery zones.  That is, all the fun stuff the kids will actually explore, touch, paint, ride, crush, stomp on, and generally play with:  $8K for each of the ten zones.  Crowdfunding requires momentum, and we need to get this word out to ALL the parents living in our great city.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles too!  Everyone can be a city-builder – even if it’s just a $10 boost.   The full details are here(along with a fun video).

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The founder describes the Discovery Centre as “like the ultimate mash-up of the ROM, Ontario Science Centre, and Zoo for children 6 and under to play, explore, learn, create, get messy, dress-up and use their imaginations.” Help make this vision a reality!

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