10 Feb 2015

On the High Seas at The IWM North

The Imperial War Museum North is gearing up for February half-term and we were lucky to be invited to take a sneak peak at what's being planned. The theme is life on the high seas, so families will get the chance to explore the past 100 years at sea through storytelling, craft activities and displays in the museum.

Our day started with a story session. We were sat under the Harrier in the main hall, and while we were waiting, I happened to glance up. Above me sprawled the belly of the Harrier. Not a view you normally go for when admiring this mean machine. That's what I love about visiting museums. You could visit every day and still discover something new each time.

Under the Harrier at the IWM North


We started with a bit of history about the architecture of the building itself and how the IWM North represents a world shattered by conflict and pieced together again. Then we heard all about Wally the sailor and his adventures travelling around the world. The puppets and the interactive nature of the session meant that both children and grown-ups got their thinking caps on to come up with imaginative solutions faced by Wally on his travels.

Story time at the IWM North

We then moved down to the Learning Studio where all the children got creating a message in a bottle. J knows about the postman and letters, but had no idea what this was all about. Once I had explained the concept, he got going with great gusto. Till the lovely people at the IWM handed him a toy telescope. All he wanted to do after was peer through it and spot things including those up his Mummy's nose!

At the Learning Studio, IWM North

Back on the main museum floor, J was happy to wander around the exhibits, asking questions about everything. As a little boy, it was the larger exhibits that caught his fancy. So it was more about the aeroplanes, tanks, cars and boats rather than personal memorabilia that were the focus of our day. He was especially fascinated by the large sea mine, wanting to know if it would explode and we would have to call Fireman Sam. I hoped not.

IWM North

The IWM North has a variety of hands-on exhibits and it is these that J really liked. What nearly 4-year-old would not like thumping buttons and pushing switches to make lights glow and whole trays of artefacts appear. The symbol-making panel was a huge hit, not just with J, but M as well. I must admit, I had a go at it myself. It felt like solving a giant puzzle, not unlike those they used to have on The Crystal Maze.

At the IWM North

As always, the IWM North proved to be a wonderful family day out. M would have liked to spend more time taking in a bit of the history, but all that will have to wait for another day when J is a little older and understands the concept of war.

I dearly wish by the time my little boy is old enough, he only need know the concept as part of history. I keep my fingers crossed and continue to hope.



Disclaimer: We were guests of the IWM North as part of their blogger preview event. All opinions are my own.


20 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun day out, glad J enjoyed it x

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  2. Looks like a great day out. Wrong side of the country for us

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  3. this has been on my list of places to visit for ages and more so now reading your post! .. although maybe it might be best for Joshua to be a little bit older so he understands too .. or go more than once lol

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  4. This looks like an amazing place to visit - so varied and great at engaging all the different ages.

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  5. It looks great there, I know that my other half would love to visit and after reading your post I think my kids would love it too :)

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  6. looks like a fun educational place to visit x

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  7. My children enjoy visiting museums, what a really fab idea of the message in a bottle.

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  8. What a great experience and a lovely day you all had. I can see my big boys loving this place xxx

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  9. This looks a fab place to go and visit.Looks like you have a good day.

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  10. Looks like a fantastic day out for the kids! xxx

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  11. Looks like such a great interactive day for the kids - shame I live down south! Luckily our local musuem do run some great activity days which we always try to attend when possible!

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  12. The Imperial War Museum here in London is brilliant x

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  13. I do love the IWM and plan to spend more time there as soon as I can!

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  14. We went there recently and had a great time. x

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  15. Mine would love some of the event I have seen advertised here.

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  16. I genuinely didn't know there was a branch of this museum outside of London. It looks great too... and I have a lot of family up that way. I'll definitely, definitely be paying it a visit.

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  17. Looks like a fabulous day out. If only we were closer

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  18. Looks like a fun day out. I've never visited it but who knows.. maybe one day...

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  19. It looks like you had such an amazing day. I should go with the boys!

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