This summer I was lucky enough to volunteer with the Museum during the weekly Discovery Days which ran throughout the school holiday. There was a wide range of fun activities which both parents and children greatly enjoyed, and I also loved getting stuck in!
Suzie Gutteridge linked her two art workshops with the Museum’s touring Egyptian exhibition Some of the activities on the first day included making a headdress, writing your name in hieroglyphics and turning cardboard tubes into golden bracelets. Everybody was really creative, and the glitter used lingers in the hall to this day! The clay cats made by everyone were particularly successful and very popular.
Later in the month the projects all centered around boats. You could make flags with your initials on, pictures with moving boats or add to a large decoupage picture. One of the main activities was making origami boats of varying difficulty. Whether they were simple, or the larger Egyptian long boats, everyone tried to get involved. Some children even added masts or decorated their ships to race on the river.
Additionally, Louise Luton linked her workshop to the Museum’s costume gallery and the ghost stories being told by Emma Carroll on the same day. Children were able to create their own ghostly silhouettes and figures or design their own Victorian costumes, although I did spot a couple of superheroes! Emma’s wonderful story telling went perfectly alongside this, and there were also people from Waterstones reading other children’s books in the King’s Room. This was absolutely perfect for younger children.
The Museum was also lucky enough to have Jane Hardstaff come and talk about her book ‘River Daughter,’ which centered on a polar bear that used to live in the Tower of London during the Tudor period. Her talk was very informative with someone lucky enough to win a replica Tudor coin. There was also quiz to get everyone involved, with some challenging questions that I didn’t even know the answers to!
However my favourite event over the summer was the ‘Dance like an Egyptian’ workshop held by Bridget Poulter. A brilliant event that was enjoyed by all that took part, I almost felt inclined to stand up and have a go myself! After a general talk about Egypt and what we know about their relationship with dance and music she was able to teach a number of routines that were performed very well. A special mention must be given to the one dad that took part, which was brilliant to watch.
Overall, each of the different discovery days were very well received and I really enjoyed meeting the speakers and helping the children with their creative projects. Hopefully next year’s events will be even busier.