We were recently invited to ThinkTank in Birmingham for the press preview of the new mini city space for children, MiniBrum. We were really looking forward to visiting as we had heard MiniBrum would be an exciting, interactive child-sized world where children can immerse themselves into the world of pretend play whilst dressing up and learning about STEM-based activities. We couldn’t wait to have a look around.
MiniBrum is situated on the third (top) floor of ThinkTank next to the recently renovated 4K Planetarium and it’s a mini city that is built based on the local city, Birmingham. Created in collaboration with local schools and families, it features recognisable landmarks such as the Old Joe Clock Tower at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham canals, Selfridges and the train station.
The 900m² space is open plan which is ideal for letting little ones roam around from area to area seamlessly whilst having fun. Although it’s all open plan, there are different zones including MiniBrum Street which included the post office, a car workshop, a salon with wigs, hats and dressing up outfits, a home set up complete with all the things you’d need to build dens; cushions, pegs, blankets etc (just like they would at home), a shop, a museum, the clinic, a construction site complete with site office and a climbing tower and slide. There’s even a race track with timers, seasonal scenes from the parks as well as and burrows for children to explore.
My boys really loved MiniBrum. They loved being able to run about and look at things and ran straight into the canal barge to take a look inside.
The attention to detail is fantastic and there’s so much for children to do. There’s also specially designed sensory areas for babies. MiniBrum is aimed at children under the age of 8, which is perfect for my two aged 6 and 1.
The workshop is also great fun. Olly loved pretending to play with the cars engine and trying to put the wheel back on like a real mechanic. Freddie loved playing alongside his big brother and it was just really nice to watch them both play freely without me having to intervene.
Olly loved the construction zone complete with bricks, hard hats and hi-vis jackets. He also loved the bully-system built to send up bricks to the top of the tower and then the chute for sending them back down again. I love how he could pretend to be a builder and create something. They even had windows and doors to build around.
For grown ups, there’s seating dotted around and there’s a coffee corner where you can get coffee and refreshments. The space has been designed with children in mind so there’s also a buggy park, lockers, accessible toilets and baby change facilities. We didn’t use the toilets during our visit but there’s an important reminder played to children in the toilets sang by Benson Community School to wash their hands.
MiniBrum is a fantastic place for little ones to explore, play and learn. The STEM-based learning activities encourage children to have a go, be it role-play with outfits and props or imaginative play as they immerse themselves into the mini world of Brum.
MiniBrum opens to the general public on Saturday 25th May 2019 and I think it’s going to be very popular. There’s nothing similar around here to this interactive space and I think people will travel to visit it. We really enjoyed the afternoon and my boys can’t wait to go back again.
To find out more and secure your tickets to play, visit the ThinkTank website.
Disclosure: We were given press tickets to attend the press launch but all words and most images are my own. Images are credited if not my own.