University of Cambridge Summer with the Museums offers family fun

PUBLISHED: 14:12 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:12 27 July 2020

The University of Cambridge Summer with the Museums booklet. Picture: Susan Miller

The University of Cambridge Summer with the Museums booklet. Picture: Susan Miller

Susan Miller

The University of Cambridge’s programme called Summer at the Museums, which normally promotes hands-on activities for families, has turned into Summer with the Museums.

The University of Cambridge Summer with the Museums booklet. Picture: Susan MillerThe University of Cambridge Summer with the Museums booklet. Picture: Susan Miller

While museums will be opening when it’s safe for each to do so, and collections will be reopening in phases, they are still offering museum-themed fun.

Some 8,000 print booklets are being distributed across the region. The Explore and Create 28-page pack for families includes activities from museums and partners which are linked to their collections.

The activities are suitable for a broad age range and can be tackled using basic resources from around the house. Learn how to make Ediacaran-themed sun catchers and plant based paint, or discover more about Bronzed Age pottery and creating miniature museums.

University of Cambridge Museums has also created 500 resource packs for families most in need. They have supplies such as glue sticks, scissors, card, string, pencils and stickers.

The booklet for the University of Cambridge's Summer with the Museums. Picture: Susan MillerThe booklet for the University of Cambridge's Summer with the Museums. Picture: Susan Miller

You may also want to watch:

This builds on the work museum educators have been doing throughout the pandemic. Since the start of lock down, the museums and Botanic Garden have made enormous efforts to help visitors, schools and families with virtual tours, online films, Twitter challenges and downloadable resources available.

As part of this, the Museum of Zoology moved their annual Zoology Live festival online. The Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard have been working with local community partners to ensure families who might not necessarily have ready access to the internet or craft materials at home are supported with printed activities and art-making resources.

Susan Miller, Summer with the Museums coordinator, said: “Six months ago, the University of Cambridge Museums was delivering one of its key large-scale family events of the year, Twilight at the Museums. One month later we were in lock down.

The booklet for the University of Cambridge's Summer with the Museums. Picture: Susan MillerThe booklet for the University of Cambridge's Summer with the Museums. Picture: Susan Miller

“We had to ask ourselves what an events programme would look like when so many of our museums would be closed. How would we offer families the opportunity to have fun and engage with collections remotely?

“How would this be different from home learning, which families had been doing for several months? Most importantly, how would we reach those families who didn’t necessarily have digital access?

“While we weren’t able to offer the usual range of events, we could still create a programme that fulfilled these objectives: creating a resource that was useful, fun, linked families to our collections and was not home schooling! Most importantly, it should be available to all families, not just those online.”

Summer with the Museums will be supplemented by a number of films, activities and digital resources. See www.museums.cam.ac.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter