A “magical” role play centre where children can explore the real and imaginary world is to open in Altrincham town centre later this month.
Little World for Scholars is the brainchild of mother and daughter team Diane Aurie and Nicola Aurie-Smith and is thought to be the first play centre of its type in the region.
Aimed at children aged between walking age and seven years old, the 1,500 sq ft unit on Stamford New Road is located opposite the Altrincham Clock Tower, in the space formerly occupied by Soda.
Play areas will include miniature versions of a vets, shop, airport, a digger land, garden and a fairy house.
Co-owners Diane and Nicola both have an Early Years educational background and Diane said they were inspired to set up Little World for Scholars by children themselves and the way they create stories through their play.
She said: “Children create stories through their play; creating characters and events, using the real and imaginary world. Understanding the importance of children’s play and their learning has led to the creation of this little play den.”
Diane added: “The bedrock of the concept is language and literacy and the area of play where children act out the world around them – whether that’s making dinner, caring for animals or relatives, or doing the everyday routines of their lives.”
Little World for Scholars will be open six days a week for four play sessions a day, with each session lasting 90 minutes. Entry is £6.25 per walking child (inclusive of an accompanying adult), with additional children costing £3 each.
It’s currently being fitted out and will open later this month. There will also be a coffee shop serving hot and cold drinks, cakes and snacks, and a Little Shop for Scholars selling fairy wings, builders’ tool belts, dinosaurs and other products for small world play.
“We’re so excited to open,” she said. “Altrincham is a great place to start a business – it’s so vibrant and very much a destination these days.
“Magical is the right word for Little World for Scholars. It’s been designed very much with children in mind – it’s their world and it’s for their stories. We are sure they will love it.”