Friday, August 15, 2008

Museums - old and crusty? No way!

I've had a life long love affair with museums. It began with trips to Auckland and the Auckland Museum where I was in awe of the stuffed elephant, and completely freaked out by the mummy - I loved all things Egyptian, but that was the first time I'd gotten to look at a real live dead person. That fueled years worth of nightmares!

I love the Otago Museum and the Otago Settlers Museum, and one of the reasons for this is the amazing programmes they run for school children. I've been fortunate to be parent help on a number of visits to these fun places (including a sleepover at the museum - every big kids fantasy.)

On this stunning Dunedin morning I got to walk down to the Otago Settlers Museum with 24 eight and nine-year olds and enjoy a brilliant educational programme on the Chinese immigrants to the area. The museum has a number of displays timed to coincide with the opening of the neighbouring Chinese garden.

The kids got to draw Chinese characters from the displays, we cut them out and then screen printed them onto fabric - they looked amazing and you can imagine how excited and chuffed the kids were to see their work reproduced in brilliant red ink on fabric.

After lunch we had a guided tour of the Chinese Garden, which are stunning, and as trees and plants grow are only going to get better.

So a fun and entertaining day, but man, after all the noise and energy that many kids can produce - I'm knackered!

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