After some excited months in anticipation about the new Medieval Exhibit at the QLD museum the children, NannyO and I headed off to check it out. After what felt like ages trawling the internet for some kind of review on the exhibit (and finding none) I thought I would write my own. Enjoy! Oh and I should say I receive no incentive from anyone to write any of this :)
To begin, they do not allow photography of any kind. Which is why I am very light on the images for this post! There are lots of museum staff walking around to make sure everyone is enjoying their visit, and not using a camera. So I kept my phone in my bag until we got outside. Such a pity but understandable as there are so many wonderous things inside! As we walked in we were told of the rules and each given a pencil and a little work book.
This was a great little exercise to have all the children looking for the answers to the puzzle and the bonus was they engaged in the whole exhibit much more than they normally would have if they were just there to look. Zoe did most of the reading (with Lily correcting her!) and when Henry wasn't cracking a wobbly he helped find the quest answers. The quest lead them through the exhibit at a much slower pace than I think they wanted to go, but it meant they had to stop and listen (or read) to most of the exhibits' description.
The children (mostly) took the quest seriously and got a kick out of the leather shoe and especially the broach for quest stop 2 - it is tiny! You may have noticed that it is used for much of the signage for this exhibit and for some reason we were all expecting it to be much bigger than it's tiny, real life size.
As we made our way through the exhibit, we talked about the type of technology that was available to the medieval people. We also talked about what poverty meant as we discovered that the vast majority of the population lived in poverty and much of the wealth was in the church. At the end the girls focused with NannyO to reveal the final riddle by using a specially marked chess set. Note to self - get them using code breaking exercises to learn other concepts! It was great! Then each child was handed a small gold sticker reward (which they promptly gave me to to look after) then we were in the gift shop. After a few moments of 'I really like this Mummy! This is really interesting! Can you look at this Mummy? How much money have you got Mummy?' (they are not allowed to ask for anything in any shop but they are allowed to tell me when there is an item that takes their interest) I sent them out into the craft area where they could colour in some pre cut crowns. We also took a few home because they are pretty cool
Inside the gift shop, I bought them all new tshirts (a new tradition for every exhibit we have seen), an awesome catapult and a book with pop out castle pieces. We made the catapult last weekend and have used it for a maths lesson on averages already. It was not cheap but the four of us really had a good time putting it together using the instructions. It is really going to come in handy for lots more maths lessons! Stay tuned for the cardboard castle.
Overall I was really impressed with the Medieval exhibit and half wished I had bought the season pass as I think it is worth a second visit (the season pass is twice the price of the single entry). Perhaps a visit sans children because there was so much to see and read and I missed most of it due to the limited attention span of my monkeys. The museum offers an After Dark viewing (adults only) of the exhibit and I am thinking about taking NannyO with me on the last night the museum has it open. There are also really cool activities on the weekends for those of you who can't get there during the week. We try to avoid Southbank on weekends due to the crowds
I would certainly suggest you head into the museum and check this one out before it ends :)
Thank you Katie for this link - it is a great audio from Naomi Speakman (the curator of this great exhibition) on the splendour and terror of medieval Europe!
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