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Fun for under 5’s at the Tower as Northern Ireland Museums Council launch ‘Playful Museums’ festival

24 January 2017

The Tower Museum is joining forces with seventeen museums throughout Northern Ireland in the coming weeks to bring a selection of specially tailored events and activities for young people and their families.

The ’Playful Museums’ festival, organised by the Northern Ireland Museums Council is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is designed for children under five years and aims to showcase how museums can be enjoyable and fun learning spaces, especially for the younger visitor.

Betty Doherty, Assistant Education and Access Officer at the Tower Museum said, “The Tower Museum is delighted to be part of the Playful Museums Festival. We are hosting a number of workshops throughout February and early March including; Tiny Tots at the Tower every Wednesday from 1st February until 1st March from 10.00am until 12.00 noon; 1st February, Children’s sing-along and activities for developing senses; 8th February, Storytelling using the Museums old toy collection, 15th February, Baby yoga, massage and Reflexology (toddlers); 22nd February, Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs with various activities and stories and finally on 2nd March, Who am I? Where do I live? – Decoration and handkerchief toys.

“These events and activities will keep young children entertained while providing a real educational value. Spaces will be limited so ensure you secure your place on any or all of the above sessions by ringing the Tower Museum on 028 7137 2411 ext 8256 as soon as possible and requesting a registration form.”

Beth Frazer, Playful Museums Programme Coordinator added, “I am very happy to be leading this exciting new project. It has opened up local museums and their collections, showing them as inspiring places for young children. We hope that the Festival will encourage even more parents to bring their young children to enjoy the museums activities on offer”

Beth added, “The festival will last from 1st until 28th February with free, drop in and bookable events for 0-5 year olds. Programmes are designed to encourage early years learning and development, but most of all its fun. For full details and to find out what’s on in your area visit nimc.co.uk, the Playful Museums-NIMC Facebook page or call 02890550215”.

Prof. Elizabeth Crooke, Chair of NIMC, said “Playful Museums not only supports local museums in developing services for a new audience, but it enables museum staff to increase their knowledge and confidence so that the benefits of the programme will be sustained in the future. This project is a first step and NIMC is seeking to build capacity to ensure that children continue to use and enjoy museums for years to come.”

Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund NI added their endorsement of the new project “Museums and young children are the perfect combination. One group has a treasure trove of material and the other has creative, inquisitive, open minds ready to explore. We were delighted to use money raised by National Lottery players to fund this new project and we look forward to seeing all the imaginative fun activities that spring from it”.

For further details on Playful Museums project visit http://www.nimc.co.uk/playful-museums or for further details on exhibitions and activities at the Tower Museum visit www.derrystrabane.com.