On Friday S and I tried the Mini Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery. From their website:
We...head up to galleries to explore and look for things related to the topic of the session - this could be autumn leaves, contrasting colours or faces. It's then back down to studio to explore materials and get messy. There are lots of materials to choose from and we encourage everyone to use their imagination to create something special and unique to them.
I had initially thought that he wouldn't be old enough to appreciate it as he struggled to concentrate at Creation Station recently, however I needn't have worried as it was a lot less structured in that there was plenty of space to walk around and play.
The theme for this week was Loops and Lace. First, we went up to the Craft and Design gallery where we were asked to look for the lace bowls; S preferred however to just wander around exploring every corner. Unlike normal galleries this wasn't a problem as there were plenty of tactile objects that children are encouraged to interact with as well as string and lace cuttings scattered all over the floor for them to pick up and play with.
After we'd had a good look around we moved back downstairs and into the first Education space where there were rolling pins, clay, more lace cuttings and string and trays of white paint with rollers, brushes, black paper and acetate laid out on child sized benches. We were encouraged to make prints with the lace and string and also to use them to make imprints on the clay. The room was a great size for a child like S who likes to be on the move as he was able to move around and explore all the areas with no restrictions.
The second Education space had most of the lights turned out and there were overhead projectors and light boxes laid out around the outside of the room. There was also lots of silver material and string making a type of maze in the middle and hula hoops for them to play with. The children were encouraged to put the string and lace onto the projectors, creating interesting shadows on the walls.
It was a messy session but great fun, we will definitely be visiting again!
As we were meeting S's daddy when he finished work we decided to pass the time at MOSI in the afternoon, there were no specific sessions on for S to attend but we just played in the soft play area and had a look around the Experiment gallery. We love MOSI, the soft play is great and I'm looking forward to S being big enough to interact with the exhibits fully. For now though, there are plenty of flashing lights and moving objects to keep him entertained!