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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: activities (2)

There Once Was An Irish Kids Fest…

Author
by Siobhan
Publish date
30 January 2013
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There Once Was An Irish Kids Fest…

On Sunday 18 January we hosted 1,952 people here at Immigration Museum for the Irish Kids Fest, and what a fabulous day it was!  So much of the dialogue around the Irish diaspora at the moment is focused on the harsh economic conditions that make a life away from home more viable, but this was a day to revel in what we love about being Irish and to share the fun of Irish culture and arts.

Céili and set dancing workshop Céili and set dancing workshop
Image: Justine Philip
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In the courtyard, dancers of all ages from the Christine Ayres School of Irish Dancing displayed their intricate footwork and helped children find their feet during céili and set dancing workshops.

Learning céili dance moves Learning céili dance moves
Image: Justine Philip
Source: Museum Victoria
   

Throughout the day, children and families heard Irish tales from storyteller Oisín McKenna, found the lost treasure of Ireland during interactive theatre performances with Jack and Molly (Vince and Margie Brophy) and also had fun playing our Federation handbells, making Claddagh crowns and illuminated bookmarks.

Irish storytelling session Irish storytelling session
Image: Justine Philip
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Here at the Discovery Centre, Simon and I helped people to get started on their family history journeys, using the resources available through the National Archives of Australia and the Public Records Office of Victoria.  But best of all, we hosted a limerick writing competition, with a sweet or sticker for every entry, and hourly main prizes for the best ones.  There were LOTS of amazing entries, and it was really hard to choose between them!  We displayed the rest of our favourites on our board for the rest of the week for people to enjoy.

  One of the fantastic limerick competition winners One of the fantastic limerick competition winners
Image: Phil Morrissey
Source: Museum Victoria
 

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that we had a few limerick entries from grownups – they certainly made us laugh, but I’m afraid I can’t share them here.  My favourite was about a young sailor and his predilection for dancing. I’ll leave the rest of that one as an exercise for the reader! 

  Learning to play the bodhrán (Irish drum) Learning to play the bodhrán (Irish drum)
Image: Justine Philip
Source: Museum Victoria
 

A busy day full of great craic – can’t wait to see you all again at the next Kids Fest!

School holiday programs

Author
by Adrienne Leith
Publish date
13 July 2011
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Comments (3)

Adrienne is a Senior Programs Officer at Melbourne Museum. Adrienne, David, Bernard, Tim, Beth, Alexandra, Lisa and Sonia can be found in the Mysteries of the Nile room these winter school holidays. Come visit!

Where do you find six kilometres of antique gold thread? 9,000 fake jewels? A printing company that embosses gold onto paper and is affordable? Egyptian palm trees? How do you make ancient Egyptian costumes when they really wore very little?

Being a materials expert and quantity surveyor should be on the job description for Programs Officers who develop and deliver the school holiday programs at Melbourne Museum. Once the team has done the fun bit of thinking up what will be educational and fun, it’s a nail biting time searching for materials, doing lots of calculations, working with designers, talking to suppliers, writing requisitions, praying for timely arrivals of the orders, training our wonderful volunteers and communicating to everyone else what’s coming up. And that’s before the holidays begin.

D-day arrives. Or is that H-day? From the start of the holiday period, there are day-by-day questions – will we run out of anything? Should we reorder and when? Can we afford it? Why are so many people turning up? Why is that little girl back again – wasn’t she in just yesterday? (How many pendants has she actually made so far?)

Sonia's pendants Beautifully coloured and bejewelled pharaoh pectoral pendants made by holiday program participants.
Image: David Perkins
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Last holidays our visitors made 7,000 postcards. In summer, 11,650 earth capsules. We’re planning on 9,000 pharaoh pectoral pendants being made these holidays. And for every 3 – 12 year old that makes a pendant, there will also be grandparents, prams and babies, mums and dads, big sisters and brothers, all  in the school holiday program space. The Mysteries of the Nile room is packed, with kids busy writing hieroglyphs and creating their pendants, donning costumes and posing Egyptian style, reading books and playing games, watching a mummification show and even wrestling Nile crocodiles.

Kids in holiday program Kids enjoying the school holiday program.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Is it worth it? Do we love it? More importantly, do they love it? We’ve been asking people what they think. “We come here every school holidays at least once because the kids love doing these activities. They are just great”.  They can reel off all of the things they’ve made in the past few years and it’s satisfying to hear. “What you’ve done is provide people with something to do, somewhere to sit if you need to be quiet, a fun corner for costumes and an educational show”. The parents 'get it’ and the kids love it.

Links:

Melbourne Museum school holiday programs

Immigration Museum school holiday programs

Scienceworks school holiday programs

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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