Trains, boats and dragons: some of our latest adventures in museums

As part of our research into Exhibition Explorers we’ve been chatting to some parents about their experiences of the ‘Family Adventure’ aspect of the project. This is where families are encouraged to visit a cultural venue between sessions, and bring back a scrapbook page about it. Parents tell us it’s been great for giving them ideas of places to go and things to do. One mum told us, ”It’s made me realise that often the space is the most important aspect of a museum visit. I used to plan based on what was on display, but now I know that running, hiding and exploring are the most important things to my toddler, and the project’s given me the confidence to see museums as places for exploring”. Another parent told us, ”We used to think the activities at museums were just for older children, but now we take our two year old along to join in. It’s helping her to learn that museums are places for her.”

So, where have the Exhibition Explorers have been getting out and about to this month?… These are some of the places the children loved hearing about via the Exhibition Explorers Encyclopedia…

Claudia sharing the Exhibition Explorers Encyclopedia with the children - photo: Mark Savage

Claudia sharing the Exhibition Explorers Encyclopedia with the children – photo: Mark Savage

The Grace Darling Museum was described by one family as ‘A tiny museum packed full of things!’ Alex enjoyed the Museum Explorers Backpack and spent a while sitting in a corner looking through its contents. He also loved climbing the stairs and coming back down again – proof that exploring the museum environment is often as important as its displays, for young visitors.

Elias visited BALTIC, where he enjoyed the viewing deck, especially the boats. The mirror at the bottom of the stairs was exciting, as were the fast lifts! Elias’ Exhibition Explorers scrapbook page reads ‘My favourite work of art was a sculpture featuring a feather duster – just a shame I wasn’t allowed to touch it!’ We think forthcoming exhibition ‘The Playground Project’ where children can hide, run and climb will be great for the Exhibition Explorers!

Molly visited Warkworth Castle where St. George’s Day celebrations including a dragon battle. Molly loved exploring the Castle, listening to her voice echo, and spotting dragons out of the windows. There was lots of space to run around and explore, leading this family to score it 8 out of 10.

Freddie visited Washington Wetlands Lego trail where he particularly liked the Lego otter. Mum rated it ‘A great family day!’

Sophie and family went to Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, where there were trains to ride on. Sophie liked meeting Thomas and gave him a big wave.

Ewan is also a big Thomas fan and recently had a train ride at Saltwell Park. He also enjoyed digging the ground near a sculpture, with a big stick! Ewan’s also been to a few art galleries this month – the Laing Art Gallery, where he liked the mirrors, and BALTIC where he enjoyed running, the lift, the art and the play space. Ewan also had a ride on the Shields Ferry on his way to the Bug Life exhibition at South Shields Museum.

Watch this space for what the Exhibition Explorers get up to next time!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *