Young children became new fans of Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery after taking part in the Museum Explorer scheme funded by Warwickshire County Council’s Smart Start programme.
On 26 April a group of nine children aged under five, together with staff from their local Children’s Centre, visited the museum and spent a morning finding out what a fun place it is. They took part in activities designed to improve school readiness such as searching for animals and people in paintings to develop their emotional awareness and recognising similarities and differences between people. They listened to stories, sang nursery rhymes and helped tell the time on the old clocks whilst talking about their daily routines.
Feedback from the day included: “The visit was a great success. We were all made to feel extremely welcome and the staff produced some lovely, engaging activities for the children. The museum is a very wonderful place for children and families to visit and these types of activities will definitely encourage families with younger children to attend.”
As well as benefiting young families, the project sparked a new relationship between the early years staff and the museum. The family event days, storytelling sessions and other informal learning opportunities have opened up a new world of opportunities for our youngest residents and their families.
Matt Johnson, Museum Outreach Officer at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, said: “We now have a huge amount of excellent material and feedback to work with in order to make our resource for under 5s even better and hope to launch this late summer. We are delighted to have received the support from the Smart Start team without which this project would not be a success. We are also thankful for the expertise and enthusiasm of the Local Communities Officer and the Early Years team. Their input has been invaluable and we will continue our cooperation.’
Cllr Jeff Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said “It is great to see that funding from the Smart Start programme has enabled the Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery to create new learning opportunities for under 5s. I hope that more children and families will visit the museum to benefit from this learning activity which will help to improve school readiness in Warwickshire.”
For more information on the Smart Start programme please visiwww.warwickshire.gov.uk/smartstart , email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 413788.