I love it when somewhere new opens up so I was really excited to pop down and review the brand new Dragon Sensory centre. They’re based in Holmer Green, about 10/15 minutes from central High Wycombe. It’s in an old Doctor’s surgery, set over two levels. Sessions must be booked online in advance. There’s a maximum of 18 children per session. When we visited it was a quieter session (which is why we picked it so I could get some good photos for you) but the previous session was fully booked. I think with 18 kids it’s not going to feel overcrowded, but there’s naturally going to be a greater element of the children playing together than if there’s only a few people there.
The sensory rooms
There are three sensory rooms at Dragon Sensory; outer space, under the sea and in the jungle. Each of these rooms is packed with things to explore, different lights, sounds and textures.
Under the Sea has got a ball pit (Smallest Child dived straight in there!) two bubble towers with fish in, a treasure box, various sea animals and other bits. There’s lots of hands-on stuff for the little ones to explore and things to climb on.
In the Jungle has got lots of books to read, a cosy reading corner under a canopy and lots of animal and musical toys. Smallest Child and I snuggled up under the canopy reading and it was really sweet. Until she attacked me with a giant Orangutan that is!
Outer Space was my personal favourite. There are some awesome paintings of the Solar System on the walls, a Jupiter beach ball and a crawl tunnel. There’s also a rocket that I didn’t realise you could wear on your back until I saw someone else’s review of Dragon Sensory. I thought it just went on your hand! Such a plum. It’s a bit darker in there which makes it atmospheric, plus some cool lights. I could have stayed in there for ages!
The Messy Play Room
This changes with each session (I believe, but certainly it’s constantly changing). When we visited there was a jelly tea party set up. Smallest Child would have been all over had I let her in the room. I’d forgotten about the messy play and she was wearing a really pretty dress so I didn’t let her do it. I basically just took a photo and ran out the room. It’s horrid being the child of a blogger!!
The Role Play Room
AKA Smallest Child Heaven. To make up for not letting her get messy, I took her into the role playing room. We loved this room so much. She’s got a little kitchen at home and at nursery she basically lives in home corner. It’s no surprise she went straight to the kitchen area! There’s lots of really good props in there and I know there’s plans for some more stuff to be added soon.
The other half of the room was set up as a vets. There’s various animals in need of urgent medical attention, including a dog that needed no less than 10 separate injections! They had something I’ve not seen before; a dental hippo. The poor thing has some nasty looking cavities but don’t worry, there’s a drill, mirror, toothbrush and working toothpaste to help him out. I spent more time than I probably should have done playing with this. Smallest Child made me dress up as a nurse! I look terrifying, maybe like I’m being overzealous with my infection control!
There’s also a rack of dressing up clothes and hats for the kids to try on.
The Music Room
This is where the Moo Music sessions take place (bookable separately from sensory sessions). When a sensory class is taking place it’s used as a general music room with various props. If you’re lucky Gaby will crack out the bubble machine! When we came to do the review of Dragon Sensory they had a Valentine’s theme in here and there was a letter box and love letters to post in it. Somehow it’s not in the photo though! The theme will change regularly though, usually related to whatever theme it is in the main Moo Music classes.
If it’s all a bit much then there’s a break out area with seating for the kids, books and games. It was a nice way to wind down towards the end of the session.
Our Dragon Sensory Review
When we visited, Dragon Sensory had only been open for a few weeks, and Gaby has some big plans for things to do in the garden. She is clearly very passionate about this project and genuinely enjoys spending time with kids. She was great playing along with Smallest Child whilst we were talking. During the session she goes from room to room, making sure everyone is ok and playing with the kids which is nice to see. The setting is something a bit different and it’s a really good idea. I imagine it’s going to appeal most to pre-school aged children, but if you’ve got an older child that still enjoys role playing then they’ll be happy upstairs. Smallest Child and I both really enjoyed ourselves. I ended up with a happy but tired toddler; what more can I ask for?
It’s £7.50 per child, per 90 minute session. The time just flew by for us. There are four sessions per day (two on Saturdays), including some SEND sessions. Must be booked online in advance. Follow their Facebook page as the will be offers and discounts available occasionally.
Parking / How to get there
Parking is a little bit crap currently. There’s only a couple of spaces but you can park on the streets nearby and walk back.
Address – 35 Browns Rd, Holmer Green, High Wycombe HP15 6RZ
I did get a little bit lost. It’s in what looks like a large house (because that’s what it was originally built as) and it’s behind a big hedge. I totally missed the massive sign outside saying Dragon Sensory and didn’t find it straight away. It’s very close to the junction with Copner’s Drive.
Toilets and baby change on-site
No food or drink is allowed. I wondered if this would be an issue as we went for the 11:30 – 13:00 session. I simply gave Smallest Child a snack in the car on the way there, and she ate her lunch in the car on the way back to Aylesbury. She was too busy playing to really care about hunger.
What else is there to do nearby?
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook