What to do in the summer holidays?
Especially when your mum is working. Well firstly, have friends over, prevents boredom and therefore lessens the potential for squabbling, then perhaps go out. So we organised for a friend each to come over and a trip to the Horniman Museum, where I was working that afternoon in the Discovery For All session in the Hands-on Base.
The Hands-on Base in the Horniman Museum is exactly what it says it is. A gallery full of objects to touch. I armed the kids with a camera and was intrigued to find out what they got up to, what they looked at and and what exactly captured their imagination.
They began with the 'Teeth' Discovery Box.
Fossilised teeth, a mammoth's.
Photo opportunity teeth.
Everyone does this with the shark's jaw.
Next the 'Toys' Discovery Box.
Toys from recycled materials.
As a student I remember playing Mancala but have long since forgotten the rules.
However, another family hadn't forgotten and they taught my kids how to play. They sat and played Mancala for ages, two groups of visitors who hadn't met before. I love that!
This wasn't their only opportunity to meet and interact with other visitors. The Puffer fish often draws people together.
We learn from a family from Ecuador that in Spanish it is called a "balloon fish". "Cool!"
They swap the camera and take photos of each other.
...perform, on their own,
...and wonder how long this snake would had been were the head and tail still attached.
Of course a museum visit is not all about the objects.
"Mum, mum, I got to show you something."
"What's this doing here?"
They have expectations of what should be included in museum collections. And plastic halloween masks are not one of them.
The Hands-on Base is only open for the 'Discovery For All' sessions which are Sunday mornings and some afternoons in the school holidays.
Details on the Horniman Museum website, here.
Thanks to Miriam, Tom, Naomi and Roman for the photos and providing even more evidence that museums are not "boring".