Volunteering with children

When I first came to visit the RE-THINK space it was last year as a student during my Museum and Galleries Curating Course. I would have never imagined to be selected as a volunteer few months later. I have been working at the Maritime Museum to engage the public for the Travellers’ Tails project during the theme of EXPLORATION.

 

ReThink space

RE-THINK Exploration space

During my time here I have had the opportunity to meet so many people of different age, provenance and culture. It has been fascinating to observe their approaches to the RE-THINK and their reactions when I engage them.

Some of them have been really nice and shared brilliant experiences, a few of them were slightly unfriendly showing no interest regarding my offer to discuss their ideas about exploration, but my favourite moments were spent with children.

During the week the RE-THINK space is mainly visited by grannies or parents with children; the museum becomes a safe and known place to come more then once and to have fun while exploring and learning a new activity.

Mark-making wall in RE.THINK

Mark-making wall in RE.THINK

 

 

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RE.THINK comment cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a great satisfaction with a little girl coming every week. The first time we met she didn’t even looked at my face while I was speaking with her Mum about our common experiences of living abroad. Day after day I gained her confidence and when I now call her by name she gives me back her best smile.

The “Make your own travel chest ” activity has been really enjoyed by the little visitors and when I gave them the opportunity to display their masterpieces in one of the glass cases, their amazed looks made my day.

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Having two kids, I well know the dynamics to get their attention and interest in doing activities. They need a target otherwise they get bored quickly.

I explained that the decoration of the chest was vey important. The ones with original adornments could be shown like pieces of art in a proper glass case. The idea of doing something special and to share it with the public has pushed their commitment.

A little boy spent almost two hours trying to do his best. He was really proud of himself when I let him open the case and position his chest in the best spot. The RE-THINK space got a nice chest and the little boy increased his self-confidence.

Besides the travelling chests there are further objects on display to be handled,And they have been chosen to support the theme of Exploration and to inspire the public to travel through its imagination.

Tahitian chief's collar in the handling collection

Tahitian chief’s collar in the handling collection

Travel chests in RE.THINK display

Travel chests in RE.THINK display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids grow up with the idea of “not touching” whatever is in a public space and more then ever in a museum! Here we are different and we want everyone to hold and feel what the curator chose to be a starting point for your exploration.