Playful Museums Festival – Fun for under 5s

Published: 26th January 2017

Fermanagh County Museum (part of Enniskillen Castle Museums) is one of 17 museums across Northern Ireland taking part in an exciting initiative, Fun for Under-5s, as part of the Playful Museums Festival.

Events and activities for young children and their families will take place in February at all 17 museums. The aim of this new festival initiative is to show museums as valued places for enjoyment, fun and learning, especially for the younger visitor.

‘Playful Museums’ is a programme for children under 5 years, their parents and carers, linking them with their local museum. The project is organised by the Northern Ireland Museums Council with funding of £99,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Beth Frazer, Playful Museums Programme Coordinator said, “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 – 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, the Playful Museums-NIMC Facebook page or call 02890550215”.

Enniskillen Castle Museums has arranged a variety of activities for children under 5 and their families. Each week in February on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning from 10.30 am there will be a special activity – from Storytelling, Jo-Jingles and Arts and Crafts. Should you wish to attend call the museum at 028 6632500 and speak to Catherine Scott.

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.”

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