Magic Carpet for under 5s at Manchester Museum

North Lincs Learning


Last week I visited the Manchester Museum to check out one of their early years sessions for toddlers up to 5 years called Magic Carpet.

I had visited the museum last year to observe families in the museum and learn about the brilliant work they do, along with The Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery, with children under 5 and their families.

I had been looking forward to this session ever since and was eager to see how the museum collection was interpreted for this young age group.

The session took place in the Nature Discovery Gallery which is a space designed specifically for early years children where a wonderful variety of animals and birds from the collection are displayed in a meadow, den, treetop and forest. The display of the objects invites children to explore and hunt for animals as they would outdoors. For example birds displayed in…

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Nature Discovery at Manchester Museum

I just wanted to share with you….

Our New film featuring Nature Discovery gallery for under 5’s
and Magic Carpet our interactive story making and activity session for active toddlers (and younger siblings) parents, grandparents and carers.
It features some lovely vox pops from our visitors about what they enjoy about the sessions and visiting the museum.

For full details about our early years programmes and to check out our other early years films visit Manchester Museum website




What a great day!


Thank you to all who made it to Creating Captivating Spaces for Under 5s event at the Whitworth yesterday. It was a great day. We were totally overwhelmed by both your turn out and by your positive feedback.  Thank you!

We just wanted to share a few comments from the day…

Today has given me lots of ideas and the confidence to try new things. Great to talk to other attendees and share ideas too.

Thank you very much for an absolutely inspiring day. Will take away with me the importance of partnerships, openness and curiosity.

Informative, insightful… lots of ideas to take back to work and get cracking!

I am inspired to expand our early years offer – some fantastic work!

I thought the impact that a calming space can have on a child’s concentration and creativity is amazing. Definitely a place that our setting will be visiting more often.

And also share with you one of the challenges we were left to consider as a result of the day…

More glorious early years provision. The day celebrates the wealth of resource and provision for early years but also the refreshing child centred approach towards learning so sadly lacking in the rest of Primary education. The day has left me so frustrated at the direction KS1/2 are moving. Big challenge – how do we engage/ broker a new relationship with Early Years practice and the rest of the educational community to spread this upwards! We need cultural change…! Thank you-wonderful stuff.

It has been very inspiring to hear so much about curiosity, imagination, open space, child led. How can we carry this into primary/secondary schools?

We will be sharing more from the day over the next few days and weeks so keep following for updates.

Only 6 days to go…

…until our Captivating Spaces for Under 5s event here at the Whitworth.

We’re very excited and are just putting the finishing touches into what is set to be a brilliant day.

Here’s a sneaky peak at what we’ll be up to on the day.

Captivating spaces for under 5s Agenda FINAL[2]

There are still a few spaces so if you haven’t booked your place yet then book here now.


Creating captivating spaces for under 5s

Monday 25 January 2016, 11am-3pm, The Whitworth

Are you a EYFS teacher or nursery practitioner? Do you work with under 5s in a children’s centre, cultural venue or within the community?

If so then join us at the Whitworth for a day of show and tell exploring the role of culture and creativity in developing enabling environments for young children and their families.

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We believe museums and galleries are brilliant spaces for young children and their grown ups. They are packed full of amazing objects and artworks, have lots of space to explore and plenty to do to inspire curiosity, develop communication and build confidence.

Join artists, researchers, early years and museum professionals to explore why the learning environment is so important in the early years.

Special guests will include Wild Rumpus who will be doing what they do best; transforming our Grand Hall into a magical, immersive environment setting the scene for a day filled with ideas and inspiration.

We will also be joined by:
Iain Jackson, Research associate, Child Study Centre, University of Manchester
Rachel Holmes, Professor of cultural studies of childhood, MMU & Kerry Moakes, Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader, Early Years and Childhood Studies, MMU
Liz Hardy, Headteacher, Martenscroft Nursery School & Children’s Centre
Michiko Fujii, Atelierista, the Whitworth
Lucy Turner, Early Years Coordinator, the Whitworth
Elaine Bates, Early Years Coordinator, Manchester Museum
Sarah Marsh & Jess Wild, Family Learning Programme, Manchester Art Gallery

£25 per person includes lunch and refreshments.
Click here to book your place

BabyDay Belfast


The world’s first BabyDay was held in Belfast on 27th September. This is a great article in the Guardian from REPLAY theatre talking about why the arts are so important for babies and where the idea for BabyDay came from.

If those three years are so fundamental to shaping who we are, then shouldn’t they be filled with experiences which are beautiful, challenging, imaginative, soothing, musical, creative, exciting and calming? We reckon so.

Hmmm we think Manchester needs at Baby Day!