Play is widely recognized as an essential component to a child’s development that contributes to their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. And, as the early years of a child’s development set the basis for learning, behaviour, and health that last a lifetime, it is important to allow a child the freedom to play and be engaged in activities that maximise their development potential.[1]

 

Recent studies have highlighted the positive trend of children in the UAE spending more time playing – with much of this play time expended in physical activities.

However, experts note that there is still room for improvement when it comes to encouraging creative pastimes among children. Instead of relying on structured programs and learning, specialists suggest that engaging in problem-solving and role-playing activities can go a long way in optimising a child’s creative potential.

Given this backdrop, the recent announcement by Meraas, a Dubai based holding company, to launch Mattel Play! Town is certainly timely. The new attraction will offer children in Dubai between two and 10 years of age, a safe indoor ‘eduplay’ attraction where they can enjoy playing and learning important life lessons in a relaxed setting.

Mattel Play! Town will leverage the ‘eduplay’ concept – a play-based education model that highlights the importance of stimulating children’s imagination and love for fantasy to facilitate the development of social skills. The hub is set to captivate children’s senses and allow them to step into the world of their favourite animation characters.

Across five themed play zones, children can join Barneyᵀᴹ, Thomas & Friendsᵀᴹ, Bob the Builderᵀᴹ, Angelina Ballerinaᵀᴹ, and Fireman Samᵀᴹ, in a variety of activities that have been carefully designed to enhance communication, self-sufficiency, and adaptive skills. In addition, children will also learn inter-dependence, team building, and problem-solving.

Each play zone has been tailored to fit different age groups and provide diverse eduplay benefits. For instance, toddlers and pre-schoolers will learn that sharing is caring and develop social skills with Barney, while Bob the Builder will help children hone their problem-solving skills and ability to work as a team by building his way through challenges with his Can-Do Crew. In addition, an on-site café serving healthy and nutritious meals and snacks will teach children the importance of wholesome eating habits.

Parents can also play alongside their children at Mattel Play! Town and join the excitement of engaging with characters they themselves loved as kids.

 

[1] Source:  Canadian Council on Learning (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre, “Let the Children Play: Nature’s Answer to Early Learning”, Lessons in Learning (Ottawa: CCL, 2006), p. 2

 

Source: APCO Worldwide