Children from Barton Junior School ‘took over’ Dover Museum as part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day.

Children from Barton Junior School in Dover “took over” Dover Museum, as part of Kids in Museums Takeover Day on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 November.

As part of the visits, the year five pupils found out how a museum works and met members of the team, before designing their own gallery tours, artefact-handling sessions and art workshops inspired by the town’s historic Maison Dieu

They also took over the Maison Dieu’s social media channels to share stories about their action-packed days and to encourage people to visit and get involved.

Most excitingly, for many, they took over the museum shop – designing and selling child-friendly product lines, including big badges inspired by favourite artefacts, Christmas tree decorations featuring Dover Museum’s much-loved polar bear and colourful bookmarks. They also designed a Christmas shop window display.

In preparation for the event, Maison Dieu Engagement Officer Martin Crowther and artist Hannah Bryan spent a day in school, meeting the children, briefing them about their roles and helping them design and make merchandise for the pop-up shop.

Alison Bowyer, Director of Kids in Museums, visited on Friday and saw the children in action. She enjoyed young curator talks on museum treasures, watched an artefact-based role-play about Victorian crime and punishment and took part in a fun art activity to create a William Burges inspired design. She was even interviewed by the children about her own role to help make museums more family-friendly!

Alison commented: 

“I had a great day and was so pleased to see how much the children enjoyed themselves. Thank you to the museum for creating such a broad range of activities.”

The day went down well with the pupils too. ‘Happy, inspired, amazed, fascinated and the best day ever,’ were just some of the many positive comments.  

By Ed

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