Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Half term fun at Danger Point, Talacre, North Wales

Over the last half term, we were lucky enough to win tickets to a great new style 'museum' on the North Wales coast. Danger Point is a state of the art, interactive learning centre for children (and adults!) of all ages. The centre was previously just used for educational group visits but has more recently opened it's doors to the general public.

Without giving too much away, you are firstly introduced to K-Os, a naughty little gremlin who LOVES to get himself into trouble and often gets up to some pretty dangerous activities. You can then 'follow' him around the exhibition as he leads you through the dangers of everyday life!

If you are visiting with a group, Danger Point can tailor your visit to what you and your group want to get out of it. For example, schools can have before and after sessions to track the increase in knowledge of the pupils and uniformed groups (Brownies, Cubs, etc.) can follow the syllabus of one of their interest or challenge badges. For individual visits, you get a clipboard and activity pack to work through as you travel around.

Teaching children about the often hidden dangers of life can be difficult as sometimes, I feel that they don't actually believe you that something bad could happen and you are just being a mean parent by not letting them have some 'fun'! At Danger Point the risks are shown to the children but in a measured and safe way. There were actually a couple of times that my youngest (6) was a little bit scared but with reassurance, he was OK but it did make him understand that there are dangers out there in the big wide world. Sometimes, a bit of controlled fear is a good thing as it really brings the danger and/or risk to life!

My daughter (9) loved all of the exhibitions within the centre, but her favourite was definitely The Co-Operative checkout! We felt that all of the sections were relevant to our lives, from the kitchen safety though to the beach and sea safety.

For me as a parent, the most useful part of the exhibition was the digital safety area. With so many children now fully proficient in the use of laptops, iPad's and other digital online gadgets, digital risks are now amongst the most dangerous and it certainly makes me as a parent stop and think about online safety. The way Danger Point explains these risks to the children is done in an excellent way. Using an online computer game as an example, they show how strangers can hide behind a 'friendly' character who quickly becomes your 'best online friend' and can lead you into real-life danger!

I would definitely recommend paying them a visit - we were there for a couple of hours so it was a lovely afternoon out. One good point was that there's no hard sell at the gift shop! This may sound a bit silly, but the gift shop is really quite small, situated near to the welcome desk. There's a nice selection of pencils, pens, stickers etc. but nothing extravagant that makes you feel that you HAVE to buy something!

Pop over to Danger Point's Facebook page here and you can also keep up with K-os and his friends here on Twitter. Why not have a little explore of their website too - there are links to useful resources covering all the different aspects of safety in everyday life.

If you do visit, make sure you say hello to K-Os for me!