This week’s theme:
Adventures through a museum
This week’s colouring in sheet:
Download and print this week’s colouring sheet here.
Activities for the week…
Fact of the week: A museum is a place that stores and cares for a collection of artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits.
The first thing many people do when they arrive at a museum is pick up a map to work out how best to adventure through the space without missing anything. Make map for a Purple Patch museum – what departments might be in the museum – is it a natural history museum, a science and technology museum, a historical museum, a costume museum, a museum of childhood, a maritime museum, a railway museum, an armouries museum, etc. Which different museums have you been to – what can you remember seeing there – you could note some of the specific artefacts on the map.
For example, the National Museum of Scotland’s map has areas for ‘Animal Kingdom’, ‘Discovery’, Kingdom of the Scots’, etc. The Natural History Museum’s map shows sections to find out about ‘Volcanoes’, ‘Mammals’ and ‘Earth’s Treasures’.
Imagine we’re spending a night at the museum where there’s no other visitors, and everything is quiet and dark. Grab a torch (real, or imaginary), and look high and low around the empty museum. How will you move through the museum. What shadows will the exhibits cast on the walls with your torches? What went bump behind you?
In the TV show ‘One Night at The Museum’, children get to explore a museum at after hours without any adults or museum professionals to guide them, or to tell them exactly what all the exhibits are – it means that the visitors get to imagine for themselves what artefacts are and how they might have been used. Use your imagination and play a game of ‘this is not a pen’ – for example, this is not a pen it’s a medieval tool for getting wax out of the ear; this is not a pen it’s the tooth of a sabre tooth tiger; this is not a pen it’s a Viking arrow, etc.
Some museums allow special sleepovers where you can bring a sleeping bag and camp out with the dinosaurs or whales or big cats over night. Which exhibits or animals would, and wouldn’t you like to go to sleep next to? Act out what it would feel like waking up next to a shark/bear/dinosaur/Viking/Elizabethan queen.
Will any exhibits come to life at night like in the adventure film, ‘A Night At The Museum’ Draw or act out what exhibits you’d like to see come to life.
Grab your torch and let’s head to the Medieval section of the museum. Dr Alice Blackwell, a curator at the National Museum of Scotland has discovered that many medieval artefacts in the collection at the museum share patterns with the designs found on kitchen roll! See here. What patterns can you find on your kitchen roll at home? Can you copy and draw any of the medieval patterns that are in Dr Alice’s kitchen roll? Or draw them with your finger, arm, and nose in the air?
Let’s head to the Natural History’ section of the museum…
One of the objects shown in the first ever public museum collection was a stuffed Dodo – and the remains of this specimen is still on display today!
Try drawing what you imagine the Dodo to have looked like just from its skull. Clue: it was a big beaked bird, but it couldn’t fly!
Let’s stick around in the natural history section…
The Natural History Museum in London has a huge hall called the Hintze Hall. Over the years the hall has featured huge skeletons of animals – a sperm whale, an African elephant, the cast of a Triceratops, a Diplodocus, and currently, a Blue Whale.
These are all huge creatures. Can you move, sound, and act like them with big actions? Can you draw any of these creatures? Which of these creatures is the oldest? Which do you think is the biggest?
Let’s move our own skeleton, your bones, around. Start at the top with your skull, your jaw bone, your neck bones, and create actions with them all. Carry on down your body moving all of your bones until you reach your toe bones (your metatarsals). Create a dance with all your skeleton movements to one of these songs with a skeleton theme – Boogie in my Bones, Mueva Los Huesos, Shake your Bones.
Let’s head to the local history section of the museum… Leeds Museums and Galleries have recently put part of their collection online. Have an explore around the different collections, then write an acrostic poem about the collection, with something you’ve seen standing for each letter of the word ‘MUSEUM’. It could be:
Unusual vacuum cleaner
Signatures on old letters
Let’s head to the conservation and restoration department of the museum that works to make repairs to objects, and to ensure that objects that are 100s of years old stay in good condition. Watch this video of an 18th century porcelain lion being repaired. Try your hand at being a restorer, and mix paints to try to colour match different colours of objects around you. Can you colour match the exact red of a kit kat wrapper, the exact green of your apple, the exact blue of your facecloth, etc.
Museum exhibits can change and move around, but that can involve a lot of work as things in museums are often rare, precious or very breakable! Watch this video to see what happened when ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus was being moved from the Natural History Museum.
How would you carry something huge? How would you hold and move something very delicate?
Try moving individual grains of dry rice from one bowl to another, being very careful not to drop any delicate grains. Imagine the grains were precious objects in a museum – carefully does it!
Imagine you’re balancing an ancient artefact on your head (you could use a book, bean bag, or pillow), can you transport it from one section of your museum to the other without dropping and breaking it?
There are some very specific museums in the world, for example: a watering can museum in Germany, ‘Gnomesville’ in Australia, ‘Cuckooland’ in England, a toilet seat art museum in Texas and The Butter Museum in Ireland. There’s also museums for lawnmowers, pencils, crochet, and biscuit tins!
If you had to open a museum about one specific thing, what would it be? Design an invitation for the grand opening!
The National Museum of Scotland has created some Yoga videos, where the poses match some of the artefacts in their collection – see if you can try any of the moves, or the breathing exercises.
Find an interesting object in your house that could be found in a museum – how would you show and tell it to visitors? If you don’t have any actual artefacts just use your imagination… The chewed up pencil on my desk is actually from the Jurassic era, and was the first pencil ever to be removed from a T Rex’s mouth!
Why not take a photo of any of the activities you’ve tried this week and share it with us? You can share it on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put it online for you!