I mentioned in a previous blog post that my 9 yr old recently attended a fantastic holiday workshop at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD). The toys he and the other children created there are currently featuring in MoAD’s The Right to Play exhibition.
With my parents and my sister’s family down last weekend we grabbed the opportunity to go and check the exhibition out as a family clump.
The space and the feel of the new kids’ area- Play Up, where the exhibition features is bright and inviting. The bigger kids (17 and 19) ‘ooh ed’ and ‘ahhed’ politely at the 9 yr old’s toy on display and then drifted over to the baskets crammed with foam blocks and began a battle to see who could build the tallest tower from them.
(all the images were taken with my iPhone. I am pretty impressed with its panoramic feature)
Play Up encourages interaction.
A large whiteboard full of colorful magnetic letters is irresistible and there is chalkboard table laid out with large blocks of colored chalk. I have ever seen one of these before. Isn’t that a great idea!!
There are cushions and beanbags scattered around and several listening stations, which the kids sat down in front of right away.
After perusing all the interactive parts of the room, we discovered the a ‘crack the code’ hunt that not only engaged the tribe of kids for the rest of our visit but cleverly enticed them to every corner of MoaD.
Many of MoAD’s rooms have a variety of interactive media stations, which makes its story so tangible and relatable for kids. Dress Up is just down the hall from Play Up. I am impressed with the range of outfits the kids (and kids at heart) can try on.
(Below are a few of the outfits they ended up in. Thanks to my dear sister for these pics. The 9 year old seems rather fond of that handbag!!!)
As we meandered through MoAD doing the Crack the Code hunt, (and while the adults in our group were doing a tour), we encountered a lovely staff member. This gentleman encouraged the kids to be hands-on and dress up as Speaker of the House. He gave them background information about the Speaker of the House’s role as the kids posed for photos.
Our informal guide went on to show us through a couple of the rooms and on hearing that it was the eldest’s birthday he insisted that the birthday boy also have a turn holding the Mace (or The Golden Swag Stick as the 19 year old called it) in the House of Reps.
( House of Reps)
I really appreciated the interaction that this staff member took time to have with the kids. It was lovely to have an unofficial tour. He was obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about his political history. My elder two boys who love history were enthralled by his tales and the way he brought the walls of the historical building to life.
The rest of the family had by now finished up their official tour and after collecting their prize for completing the HUN, we left feeling rather accomplished.
A visit to MoAD is a great morning out and at $5 for a family, unbeatable value! Tours are free and take place frequently.