Festival fun for children at museum activity morning

Children's activity day with Steyning Museum as part of Steyning Festival
Children's activity day with Steyning Museum as part of Steyning Festival

It was a cold, very wet and windy morning in late May and 14 brave volunteers gathered to wage war (well it felt like it) in the Big Tent for Steyning Museum on behalf of the Steyning Festival.

And what a morning it was! We set up nine activities for children, had a practice, took a deep breath, smiled sweetly and off we went. Two and a half hours and 62 children later we surfaced to a still cold, wet and windy morning, hoping that the children, parents and grandparents had been duly entertained, hopefully had learnt something and would visit us again in Steyning Museum.

As you can guess we had a really busy time. Once the children had decided what to do they got stuck in. Sometimes parents and grandparents would sneak off to the Co-op cafe, within the tent, and have a hot drink, then return and carry on playing!

We had set up tables consisting of two very different costume periods, brass rubbing, design a crest, colour a century, puppets, toys, games and a floor based archaeology activity (to make it a more authentic experience). The children were kept occupied with one or two staying for a very long time at the colouring table, others being very imaginative designing a family crest based on their surname or likes and dislikes, onto a shield shape. The ever popular brass rubbing was very busy with many boys rising to this challenge. Also the boys proved adept at handling the string puppets, whilst both boys and girls enjoyed wearing the historical costumes. Once again bagatelle was the most popular game and all ages enjoyed using the toys, with grandparents showing younger family members how some of the older toys worked. The archaeology corner was kept busy with children carefully digging up their finds. The morning ended with a puppet show in a traditional puppet theatre.

We could not have achieved all this without our wonderful volunteers who worked patiently with the children all morning, so a great big thank you to them.

Looking forward to seeing you in Steyning Museum at our next Children’s activity morning in October half term.