New Learning Garden at Normanby


We have been working to build a new garden for all our learning activities at Normanby. After many months of hard work, it is ready just in time for this beautiful weather!

The new space is designed for groups to learn about gardening through hands on activities, conducting scientific experiments and making observations.

We have developed a new garden workshop  called “Science in the Garden”. It is suitable for KS1 and 2 children. This workshop encourages children to explore the gardens and discover the Normanby Park potting shed. Then conduct scientific experiments to learn about soil, growing conditions and plants. Record observations and use the evidence to present findings to the group. Children will use gardening tools in this hands-on practical workshop.

We will also offer bespoke sessions for groups of older children or adults.  There is lots of evidence that suggests gardening is beneficial to our wellbeing. See our ‘about’ page for contact details to book.

The plants are ready to go in, the new garden is ready now. There is a potting shed, raised beds, poly tunnels and a greenhouse to work in. Your group will also get to do some gardening inside the walled garden and tropical greenhouse.

Rachel Holmes, Learning Officer


Creative Families Award


During April we invited three families to help us pilot a new programme for families with children aged 1-4 years called the Creative Families Award.

We worked in partnership with Cape UK and Dr Abigail Hackett, with the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth to develop the award. They also supported us in piloting it at North Lincolnshire Museum and across the Humber Museum Partnership.

Creative Families is a precursor to the Arts Award programmes for older children and young people and is a wonderful first step for young children to engage with the arts and express their creativity.

There are four strands that run through the award:

Discover arts all around

Making and creating

Experience artists work

Share what they have experienced with someone else

At North Lincolnshire Museum we explored the museum on an art scavenger hunt looking for big, shiny, beautiful and noisy things.

We explored our current exhibition featuring the work of artist Harold Gosney, looking for animal sculptures, making animal noises, pretending to be animals and exploring materials like feathers and horse hair.

We experimented with air drying clay to make our own sculptures and also enjoyed making junk models of the children’s choices of two ducks and a T-Rex!

Our families worked hard to complete their own log books documenting their experiences during the sessions with notes, photos and children’s artwork.

We thoroughly enjoyed running these sessions and are excited about how we can develop this programme in the future.

Rosalind Macaulay, Learning Officer Under 5s

Magic Carpet for under 5s at Manchester Museum


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 bird houses, bugs displayed in underground peep holes and badgers and hedgehogs displayed in a tree shaped cubby hole.

The session was built around a bespoke story all about a grandfather and grandson in each season of the year doing jobs in the garden and finding different animals that linked to animals in the gallery.

The story was wonderfully interactive with lots of opportunities for every child and their grown up to join in. Weaved throughout the story were music, singing, movement, looking for animals, exploring natural resources and sensory experiences.

One of my particular favourites were the children curled up acting as seeds with their grown up patting them down into the ground, pretending to water them and shine sun on them before the children uncurled and grew like plants.

Another was playing with tissue paper autumn leaves blowing them like the wind and burying a hedgehog in them.

This story was just one of six stories that have been created for Manchester Museum.

It was wonderful to see families so comfortable in the museum environment and enjoying joining in with the story. I left feeling inspired by the creativity and uniqueness of the session and excited to start developing new stories for our Tots sessions at North Lincolnshire Museum and Normanby Hall Country Park.

Rosalind Macaulay, Under 5s Learning Officer