Tag Archives: education

Sea Life London Aquarium Review

Yesterday we got the train into London up to Westminster to go to the Sea Life London Aquarium on the South Bank with my parents. It’s in a great location surrounded by other attractions such as The London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure and The London Dungeon plus loads of lovely restaurants. The South Bank is always such a fun place to visit with amazing street entertainers and musicians.

We arrived at around 11am and had we were booked in on one of their new ‘Behind The Scenes Tours’ at 11.30am so we made our way to -2 in the left and started our Sea Life adventure. Oscar and Archie also had a Mission Pack each on a lanyard (don’t forget to get your Sea Life pop badge) and contains all you need to be Junior Ranger. It includes Ranger accessories, a pencil, magnifying glass, Shark height chart, Activity book and Ranger Cards. Within the explorer book are different missions to complete on your way around the aquarium, these are also marked around the aquarium so you don’t miss them. The Mission Packs are a great way of getting children to really engage with the fishes and read all the information and learn as much as possible. Also with the rest of the bits in the pack, learning can continue at home. Each Mission Pack is £4.

The aquarium is so well laid out with plenty of space to manoeuvre a pushchair or a wheelchair. Each tank has information for the respective animals inside. Oscar was fascinated by the sea urchins and how they move and the newborn tank had the cutest smallest starfish I have ever seen. One of my favourite exhibits has always been the Ray pool, I just love how elegant they are gliding around the pool. The tank is huge and you can get a great view of them beneath the water too.

We then met our Behind The Scenes guide Dom at the big sign located by the Ray Pool and then were taken through a staff door into the workings behind the aquarium. In one huge room there are so many different species. Some that can’t be exhibited as they are so sensitive to light and sound, some that are in breeding programmes and some that have been rescued. Listening to Dom it was unbelievable to hear that in the last 30 years we have lost half of the World’s Coral and seeing what organisations like Sea Life are doing to help the situation is marvellous. The Behind The Scenes tour is a really informative way of seeing just how much hard work goes on at aquariums like this and how much they are doing to save our planet! My favourite thing I learned on the tour was how dangerous two of the smallest animals were; The Mantis shrimp has such a punch on it it’s like being shot. They move up to 23 metres per second and accelerate faster than a bullet! The other was a Scorpion Fish, these are found in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. They blend in with their natural surroundings and if you stepped on one the venomous spines would likely kill you. To go on the Behind The Scenes tour it is £8 each or £7.20 if you book online beforehand.

Afterwards we visited the rock pool where you can touch a few of the animals. As the boys had their Mission Packs on they were also given game cards to take home. Opposite the rock pools is the huge central tank that can be seen from all three floors with the sharks in it, amongst other fishes and turtles. The turtle in the tank is absolutely huge! You can then walk through the tank tunnel to get really up close to the animals.

We then went through the Rainforest Adventure, which has everything from piranhas to poisonous dart frogs. If you dare you can even put your hand in a ‘Piranhas’ mouth! We found out on our behind the scenes tour that in the rain forest there is a type of Piranha that is vegetarian and has human like teeth so they can eat nuts and fruit that fall into the water from the trees.

Next up was the penguins. They are just so adorable, some huddling together others were diving in and out of the water. There is a viewing globe where you can go in and be amongst the penguins.

On the top floor there is a shark cage that you can get a great view of the sharks in. Sea Life also now offer an amazing experience from £130 where you can swim with the sharks. You get to have a 15 minute snorkel with magnificent sharks including Sand Tiger Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks. Oscar is desperate to this so we will bring him back so he can have ago. All participants have to be 1.3 metres tall or above. If your feeling really brave you can even propose under the sea!

We then went through the Jelly Fish section. They are so amazing to watch. I found it fascinating that Jelly Fish have no brain or heart. The biggest ever recorded Jelly Fish was a whopping 37 metres! I don’t fancy being stung by one of those!

We had such a lovely day at the Sea Life London Aquarium. There is so much to see and do and more importantly so much to learn about. Oscar and Archie absolutely loved it and its a fantastic day out for the whole family.

Admission ticket prices are £26 but if you purchase online before they are from £21. There are fantastic deals that you can purchase so you can visit Sea Life and other Merlin attractions at a discounted price. For instance you can book Sea Life plus one other attraction, you can choose from The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds London, Shrek’s Adventure! London and The Coca-Cola London Eye and you then have 90 days to visit again and use your voucher. You can also purchase an annual Merlin Pass from £139 per person which gives you unlimited visits and access to 32 major attractions such as Thorpe Park, Lego Land and many more. You can make a huge saving!

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We were gifted entry into the Sea Life London Aquarium but all opinions are honest and my own and we loved it and had a fantastic day!

What you can do now to help prepare your child for the future?

What you can do now to help prepare your child for the future?

Whether you’re thinking about the next five years or the next twenty, preparing your child for the future is one of the most important jobs you have as a parent.

From teaching them basic life skills like cooking and cleaning to helping them become rounded individuals and think for themselves, equipping children with the tools that they’ll need to thrive is every parent’s responsibility. I want to make sure Oscar can clean and cook and fend for himself so one day he makes a great husband and father!

Ensure they have a great education

One of the best things any parent can do for their child is to get them the best education possible. We spent a long time researching our local prep schools and wanted Oscar to be happy and thrive wherever we chose for him. Not only will this stand them in great stead when it comes to higher education and career development but it will also help to give them a good work ethic and provide access to the most rewarding and challenging sports and activities.

Look for a school like St Faiths Prep School Cambridge which offers a challenging curriculum as well as a range of activities designed to provide an all-round education.

Boost their self-esteem

Being confident in yourself is an important part of growing up and is something that will help your children to succeed in education and in the work place. One of the best ways to do this is to enrol your child in a range of extra curricula activities. When Oscar starts school in a couple of weeks we have signed him up to a gymnastics class and I would love him to learn different languages from an early age.

By encouraging them get involved in various sports, clubs and organisations, you can help your kids meet new people, make new friends and learn new skillsall things that can really boost self-esteem and confidence.
Teach them good communication skills

Being able to communicate articulately and effectively is an important part of growing up and will help your child throughout their life. In order to teach good communication, you have to be able to communicate well yourself so if your skills are a little rusty it may be worth doing a little research to brush up on various techniques.

As well as helping your children to thrive as they grow up, these skills should also make it easier for you and your children to communicate through difficult teenage years and other awkward periods.

Though there are no hard and fast rules for preparing your children for the future, getting them a great education, boosting their confidence and encouraging them to think for themselves will all play a large part in providing them with the tools they need to thrive.

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with St Faiths Prep School, Cambridge