Entertaining and educational puppet shows. Arts and crafts with a marine theme. A place to sit and watch the rockhopper penguins swimming by.

A hive of excitement and energy

The AfriSam Children's Play Centre buzzes with the excitement and energy of children as they are entertained and informed through puppet shows that have an important environmental message, as well as arts and crafts activities.

Puppet storybooks

We have three puppet shows a day: 10h30, 13h30 and 15h30.

The puppet storybook is the initiative of Marguerite Venter, the Aquarium staff member responsible for supervising the operations of the AfriSam Children’s Play Centre and the author of the puppet shows. Aware of her responsibility to turn the Aquarium experience into a fun and healthy one for children, Venter realised that the puppet shows had the power to easily captivate large groups of young children: “I have watched and performed over 3 000 puppet shows and have learned from this experience that, with the perfect balance between fun, fantasy and fact, puppet shows are one of the best educational tools for young children.

“I’ve always had it as a goal to develop educational material related to our puppet shows, material accessible to everyone, which teachers can take back to school and parents can take back home. Knowing that youngsters learn best through repetition, I wanted them to be able to take the puppet show home as a whole,” says Venter.

We have two puppet storybooks, available directly from the Aquarium for R49. Members of the Aquarium will receive a discount of 10%. They can also be purchased online.

Keep the Beach Clean

Beautifully illustrated by Marguerite Venter, the book introduces children to Sally the seal, who inadvertently swallows a plastic bag left on the beach by Beauty. Not only does the story have a happy ending, but it also includes important environmental messages such as “Please don’t litter”, “Reduce, reuse and recycle” and “Say no to plastic bags”.

I Love Turtles

In our second puppet storybook, we follow the adventures of Hatch the turtle, and learn about the dangers of marine litter – especially discarded balloons, which look like food to turtles. Hatch encourages kids to have balloon-free birthday parties at the Aquarium. For more information about the book, please contact puppetbooks@aquarium.co.za.

Arts and crafts

Kids are also encouraged to create fishy artworks – such as marine mobiles, fridge magnets and glitter cards – from recycled materials, to take home to their families.

The centre also features a small tuckshop and visitors can enjoy light refreshments here. This is a great place to sit and relax while the kids are entertained.