In Which the 9 yr Old Becomes a Mini Curator


Where: This morning the 9 yr old and I climbed the steps of Old Parliament House for our latest adventure. The building, you may or may not be aware is now home to the Museum of Australian Democracy.

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While MoAD is best known for comprehensively chronicling our political story- it actively seeks to engage and inform young visitors.
There is a new kids’ area- Play Up that is being launched as a permanent exhibition in August. Play Up celebrates children and the importance of play in their lives



To celebrate the opening of Play Up and commemorate 25 years of the  UN’s Convention on the Rights of a Child, MoAD is holding an exhibition in August called The Right to Play featuring art by the children who have attended their holiday programs this last couple of weeks.
The Activity: I am grateful to my friend Trevor for alerting me to the fact that MoAD runs a kids holiday activity.
The photography sessions that ran in the first week sounded great, but I was really intrigued by the Mini Curator sessions this week and signed the 9 yr old up.

Once the group had assembled and waved goodbye to the parentals, about a dozen excited kids followed Norrae from the learning team to the nearly-open-for-business Play Up. It already looks fantastic.

Kirsty, the visiting artist welcomed everyone and facilitated some great conversation about play; why is play important?

This is what the group of kids came up with.


-keeps us fit
-teaches us new things
-is a lot of fun
-helps us learn how to cooperate
-helps us learn what we are good at

I was at once impressed with their insight and acutely aware how privileged we are to live in a country where the right to play is a given.

Kirsty then explained that that each child would be first draw up a plan…



….and then go on to create a toy using the craft material provided.

Using the very cool Super 8 app they would make a silent vintage video showing how to use their creation.

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An hour and a half of feverish planning, discussion and  emerging brilliance ensued.  I did not take images of any of the other children in the group but everyone sort of looked like this:






Visual check:



Readability check:



Readability double check:



Balance check:



Stay-on-ability check:



Everyone helped each other to complete their toys and to make their Super 8 movies ..



The adult helpers did the tricky jobs:





To finish, each child had a video interview where they talked about what they had made and why they liked it.



The 9 yr old’s interview went the longest by a long shot and he had his back to the camera half the time  as he pointed out the many components of his toy.



All the toys, the Super 8 films and a little video interview with each child describing how their toy works will be part of The Right to Play exhibition. I am so excited to check it out!

Details: MoAD runs 2 hour holiday programs every holiday. It cost $2.

Such a thoughtful, resource-laden activity for $2!  I am gob-smacked!

There are other fun things kids can do at MoAD any day of the week. Check it out!



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