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Posted by on in Imaginosity Events

Our 7th Birthday Party on August 10th was a huge success! Seven years of achievements were celebrated in one BIG BASH! We were delighted to welcome so many new faces to Imaginosity on the day and to allow everyone to experience a little bit of our magic. Young and old joined in the festivities with go-karting, mad scientist shows, magicians, acrobats, giggles, learning, games, bubbles, arts and crafts and much, much more. The feedback was really positive on the day and afterwards with comments such as: "it was just fantastic, the whole family loved it", "thank you for allowing us to come today, we had a ball," "the energy in the building was phenomenal, thank you for working so hard today," and our favourite one that we always like to hear: "we will be back to see you again soon!"

Thanks to everyone who came; to our performers, magician, acrobats and jugglers, our Mad Scientists Fizzy Lizzy and Lovely Lolly, our little candle-blowers and cake eaters and everyone who took part in our social media campaigns to be part of our day. We hope you will come back and see us again :)

Our 7th Birthday Party1

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Boys with signs

For all parents anticipating the phrase "I'M BORED" this summer, help is at hand! Here at Imaginosity, we've been pulling together a summer full of fun and learning to keep the family entertained.

For the Tiny Ones!

First up, we're keeping the old favourite "Wobbler & Toddler" mornings, but mixing things up with the introduction of the "Sensational Sensory Room" on Wednesday and Thursday sessions. This room has been developed by facilitators Mireia, Liz and Aga to provide our smallest visitors with a journey through the senses. In this room parents and toddlers can burst bubbles, dig their hands into a variety of gooey-ooey materials and dance away to the melodic music while bubble-wrap pops beneath their feet!

Wobbler & Toddler mornings through the rest of the week include magical puppet storytimes in the theatre, cosy teddy bear picnics and art workshops that are fantastic for the development of fine motor skills.

Big Fun for the Big Kids!

It's a Summer of Science at Imaginosity! Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the 3.30pm session we'll be opening up the "Experimentation Station" to kids aged 5 years plus. There'll be fizzing, foaming, cloud creating – and even a Mad Scientist Show! As a Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) centre, Imaginosity recognises the importance of nourishing enquiring minds and encouraging young children to question, challenge and examine the world around them.

The Art Studio will also be a hive of activity in July, with "Get Arty" sessions taking place every Tuesday and Thursday for kids aged 5 years and over. So if you want to while away those summer days painting, weaving, printing and crafting, come and get arty with us!

Dora, Wally and Woolyward's Farm

We've decided to go all out with a series of themed weekends this July, so that no matter when you decide to visit us, there's sure to be something fun and interesting on.

On the 5th and 6th of July ( this weekend! )our annual "Where's Wally Day" is taking place – or rather the annual opportunity for staff to dress like lunatics and play a giant game of hide and seek in the building! There'll be Wally themed art workshops, the Wally Hunt and also loads of great spot prizes up for grabs, courtesy of Walker Books. You can join in the fun by dressing up as Wally too – everyone who dons the stripes and hat will be guaranteed a prize!

As soon as we say goodbye to Wally, it's hello to Dora; Staff member Mireia Lopez will be donning the Dora costume and asking us all to grab our backpacks, jump in and go on a Exploration! The art room will be hosting Dora workshops and we'll also be playing some games through Spanish. The Hola Exploradores weekend was developed as a result of our incredibly popular Thursday Spanish class, part of our After School Programme.

Finally, on Saturday the 19th of July in the 12pm and 2pm session, Woolyward's Mobile Farm will be paying us a visit, complete with sheep, chickens, rabbits and much more! This interactive animal show will introduce the children to a variety of animals, asking them to help Lonely Bunny find his ideal pal. This event is not only guaranteed to be great fun but it has also been proven that experiences with animals can contribute to a child's strong emotional development, and so this activity is a winner on more than one level.

Summertime Playful Pop-ups

Throughout July we'll be adding extra value to your visit – that's extra fun, extra creativity and extra learning! What does that mean? Well, in addition to the scheduled workshops we'll have a surprise "Pop-Up Workshop" in every session! That could mean building competitions, balloon modelling, face-painting, supermom and dad competitions – maybe even a short movie, a science demonstration or a dance off? So ask at reception on arrival – you may be getting more than you bargained for!

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Posted by on in Imaginosity Events

On the 3rd of February Imaginosity launches its 2nd annual “What’s The Story” competition – a BIG competition for little storymakers! The competition is open to individual children from 3 to 8 years and classes from pre-school to second class. Thanks to our very generous sponsors the winning entries will receive fantastic prizes which include bikes, Imaginosity memberships, class trips to the museum, Construction Toys, Arts and Crafts materials, puppets and more! Last year I had the privilege of being chosen as the Imaginosity representative on the judging panel and I am thrilled to be granted the opportunity once again for this year’s competition.

The first time venturing into unchartered territory is always daunting and the launch of the inaugural “What’s the Story” was no exception. The press releases were sent, leaflets and posters printed and distributed – and so the wait for entries began! The stories came through the door in gentle drifts and flurries at first – one or two a day in the beginning, the flow gradually building momentum until eventually, in the last week, the poor postman was quite literally weighed down with packages, envelopes and giant parcels. From every corner of the country children from all walks of life had picked up pens, pencils, cameras and paintbrushes to reveal to us their stories, ideas, imaginings and memories. There was something incredibly special about being a part of this drive to tap into the creativity that is evidently brimming over in children across the land.

Of course as the entries piled up in the office, I was cruelly barred from sneaking even the tiniest peek as the readers trawled through the many colourful pages. As a judge, my first glimpse of the stories was to only be after the arduous task of shortlisting was completed – a task which was valiantly (but admittedly with great delight!) taken on by Marketing Manager Ciara and General Manager Jenny.

When we eventually got there, the judging process was fun and rewarding but TOUGH – we had 5 shortlisted entries in each category and every piece of work was so different, each with its own individual strengths and merits, that we debated, discussed, yelled at each other and threw chairs full force across the room (ok, that’s an exaggeration - but as our young authors would certainly agree, what’s a story without a bit of colour?). We eventually managed to whittle down to our winners and runners up but it wasn’t an easy process! In the end the winning entrants were a mix of poetry, biography, illustrated stories and comic strips – we had tales of adventure, everyday family life and visitors from outer space to name a few.

Both Imaginosity and the competition entrants were lucky to have each and every piece of work considered and studied by a judging panel studded with such bright stars and big brains of the creative industry. It was interesting to observe the style preferences of each judge – RTE presenter Blathnaid Ni Chófaigh understandably had a grá for the entries we received as gaeilge just as Illustrator Chris Judge was a valuable commentator on the animated stories that made it to the shortlist. We are sincerely grateful that many of our judges will resume their seats this year and are also honoured to be joined by new faces such as Paul Howard of “Ross O’Carroll Kelly” fame and Irish Times journalist Roisin Ingle.

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Posted by on in Imaginosity Events

Mireia Website

Hi! My name is Mireia and I came from Barcelona to Dublin two and a half years ago… on holidays! However I fell in love with the city, the extraordinary kindness of Irish people, the culture and the amazing personal experience that I am having since the first day I landed… and that is why I decided to settle here (even if I don’t really get to see my very missed sun).

I have a bachelor in Primary School Teaching and a Masters in Educational Psychology, and I just got my certificate as a Spanish teacher as a foreign language. I was teaching in Primary School in Spain for one year before I came here, and that’s what I like the most. I have been working in Imaginosity since one year and a half ago (I mean, since my English is good enough to attend all my responsibilities with the maximum quality). I love working here because every day is a surprise, children make your everyday exciting and that motivates me to keep learning, growing and sharing experiences and knowledge with all my colleagues and, specially, with everyone who comes to Imaginosity.

This year I wanted to go further and I started teaching Spanish in Imaginosity. It’s a great environment for learning a new language, due to all the possibilities that the real context of the exhibits offers to the students. They don’t even notice they are studying a language as they are having so much fun learning Spanish through games, art and drama. The main objective is not being perfect at Spanish, but about loving this language when they realize how important it is in the world, to become confident with it, to understand our culture, to learn the basics and to create motivation to keep learning it along their lives.

HOLA EXPLORADORES SPANISH LANGUAGE CLASSES AT IMAGINOSITY

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Posted by on in Imaginosity Events

Imaginosity has chosen to support the charity Crosscare’s urgent Christmas Food Appeal this year. We were so struck by their desperate plea two weeks ago for food donations for families throughout Dublin. We heard that in the week that they made their appeal, Crosscare’s ‘Food Bank’ had received requests for food from 120 individuals and families, but could only meet 40 of those requests; in essence their food reserves are dwindling. Isn’t it shocking to think that 80 people and family members potentially went hungry? The agency now needs urgent help sourcing food supplies or more people could be turned away in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. We knew that we would like to get involved in their food drive when we heard such stark statistics.

Crosscare's Food Services were established in 1941 to work with those affected by poverty after World War II. Over the past 71 years these services have been developed to meet new and emerging needs within Irish society. Meals on wheels for the elderly or those with mobility issues, food banking to redistribute food and goods to other charities and those locally in need, food centre provision for local groups in need, food provision for those affected by homelessness and breakfast clubs for local schools.

Today the face of poverty is ever changing and Crosscare knows that Food Poverty affects over 10% of those living in Ireland: they simply can't afford to eat the recommended daily amounts of necessary healthy, wholesome foods. Those at high risk of Food Poverty are those living alone, families on low income, single parents and families with three or more children (findings from Safe Food, September 2012). According to Crosscare, two years ago they were providing 280,000 meals but this year they will be providing close to 500,000. I guess it’s not an exaggeration to say that their situation is dire.

So, how does the food drive at Imaginosity work? Well, we are appealing to our own visitors, those that are simply passing by, those who work in the area or residents from the surrounding areas to drop in a food item or a number of food items, to our collection point in the reception area. Crosscare have suggested the following items for donation: teabags, coffee, soup, tinned meat and fish, pasta, rice and sugar, along with personal hygiene products. Even if you can afford to purchase an extra food item in your weekly shop that would really help our appeal. All items donated will be gathered and collected by Crosscare over the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

The food appeal is a great way for kids to learn important lessons on life. Teaching a child about the needs of the most vulnerable is an education that will stay with them for their lifetime. Wouldn’t it be nice for our children to grow up with hearts filled with generosity and compassion? Donating to the Crosscare Food appeal is a simple activity that could begin to shape that.

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