Exhibition Explorers is now midway through. We’re having a fascinating time exploring museums and galleries from toddlers’ perspectives. Between sessions, everyone’s been embarking on a ‘Family Adventure’ and coming back with tales of what they discover. We add these to our big ‘Exhibition Explorers Encyclopaedia’ and do a storytime with a difference, sharing tales of where everyone’s been. When planning this we thought it’d mainly be for the parents and the children wouldn’t take much notice of tales of other museums and galleries – but as you can see from the photo below, the children are always eager for this part of the session.
Here are some of the families’ latest adventures and a few ideas for museums and galleries to visit:
Discovery Museum was a really fun day out for Elias, who returned with a beautiful drawing of the ship Turbinia which he saw there. During the visit he enjoyed dressing up, playing on the soft play and splashing about at Play Tyne – an interactive waterplay area depicting the River Tyne. Mum noted that remembering a change of clothes would be a good idea next time though!
Isabelle also enjoyed Play Tyne at Discovery Museum, and brought us a fab picture of her splashing about beside the model of the Tyne Bridge. Isabelle’s other favourite parts of the visit were looking at her reflection in the mirrors, and playing the soft play. The family took lunch with them and ate it in the indoor picnic area. They told us, ‘Rating: 10 out of 10 – we loved it!’ The Great North Museum: Hancock they found slightly less suitable for Isabelle’s age, although she enjoyed the light up box room and soft play in the Mouse House.
Explorer Zoe went to Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books. There were more nautical adventures to be had, in the Rhyme Around the World exhibition. Zoe and her family gave it 10 out of 10 and rated the café as having ‘best hot cholcolate for kids EVER!’
Euan also enjoyed Seven Stories, especially the Maisie Mouse themed activities, celebrating the character’s 25th birthday! There was a dragon egg hunt at Easter, and Seven Stories’ famous train set was a hit. Looking out of the big windows was also a highlight of the visit!
Beatrice also went to Seven Stories for Maisie Mouse’s celebrations, and brought us two beautiful artworks she made there.
Molly went to Woodhorn, and told us there was ‘lots to see, lots of galleries to explore, and lots of open space to run around’. As well as a snake exhibition and craft activities during the holidays, there was a narrow gauge railway to ride on, which Molly loved. The family combined their visit with a walk around the park and feeding the swans and rated the visit 9 out of 10.
Sophie went to Baltic and enjoyed making some artwork inspired by the exhibitions. At Baltic there are sessions for little ones such as Toddler Time and Busy Bees. Sophie’s family rated it 8 out of 10.
Alex explored Seaton Delaval Hall where there was ‘lots of outdoor fun and safe spaces to run around, with a lovely little adventure playground that Alex struggled to leave. The hall made Alex say ‘Wow!’ and he enjoyed relating the fireplace he saw to the Stickman book he has at home. The family loved the dark, spooky cellars and also having a run around outside collecting sticks.
Evie went to the Alnwick Garden for Easter Sunday. ‘Having just found her feet it was the perfect wide open space to explore!’ the family told us. The sound of the running water and occasional spray from the fountain proved fascinating, and there was lots of splashing to be done in wellies.
We’re really looking forward to the next session where we’ll discover more places the families have explored!