This Stay and Play is great fun, with water and sand play, paint, jelly bath, dinosaurs, insects, ride along toys, all outside under the all-weather canopy. Opportunities for safe outdoor play like this in London are few and far between, but Bemerton manage it extremely well – they also have a Big Outdoor Stay and Play in Barnard Park.
The families and staff were all very friendly and encouraged play. Smaller babies were able to use the softer area inside, and there was also a play kitchen, colouring area and book area for children who wanted a less ‘messy’ time!
As the children’s centres go, this one was very clean and safe, with two locked doors between the playroom and the road. I was impressed.
- When: Messy Stay and Play is on Thursdays from 10-12, and there are other Stay and Play sessions during the week.
- Where: Bemerton Children’s Centre is on Carnoustie Drive, which runs parallel to Caledonian Road near to the Co-op.
- Getting there: any bus that goes along Caledonian Road (17,43…) or the centre is very close to Caledonian Road and Barnsbury Overground station.
- Cost: free!
- Website: http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/children-families/familyinformationservice/childrenscentres/centres_islington/Pages/bemerton.aspx