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Playful Museums Festival

Playful Museums Festival

Festival 2022

Summary Highlights: 6 grants, 2 engagement projects, 12 local musuems involved and over 1000 participated in NI Musuems Council supported activities.

Squiggles & Giggles came to Playful Museums Festival 2022

NI Museums Council has worked with Kelsey Carroll of Squiggles & Giggles and partnered with 5 local museums and their collections to find creative, fun and engaging ways to connect with under 5s and their adults.  This has resulted in a series of playful workshop videos which were launched during Festval 2021.  #NIPlayfulMuseums Check out the NI Museums council YouTube Channel to view the videos.  During Festival 2022 Kelsey delivered in person workshops at a selection of local museums enabling the musuems to re-connect with the under 5s audiences once again. 211 took part in these activities.

Armstrong Storytelling Trust came to Playful Museums Festival 2022

NI Museums Council is working with storyteller Liz Weir to produce a series of short story videos which were profiled during Festival 2021.  This partnership was furthered during Festival 2022  which invovled a range of storytellers from the Armstrong Storytelling Trust working with collection themes to tell stories for under 5s, their families and carers in local musuems across NI.

During 2022 437 participated in these storytelling workshops.

Grant support

NI Musuems Council grant supports local museums  in delivering Playful Museum Festival activity.  During 2022 6 local museums have received assistance to develop fun activities and make collections enagging for under 5s.  The museums are: NI War Memorial, Mid Antrim Museum, Causeway Coast and Glens Museums Service, F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Tower Museum and Armagh Robinson Library and No. 5 Vicars' Hill.


NI Museums Council has sought input  Festival planning from Playboard NI and Stranmillis University College Department of Early Childhood Studies as well as connecting with other developing under 5s programming in the UK museum sector through the Early Years Network and GEM.

Festival 2021 was supported by a student placement from the QUB Masters in Public History.  This placement student, Emma-Jayne Smethurst,  was involved in the social media promotion and the development and delivery of engagement activity with North Down Museum.  You can view the video Emma-Jayne created here  and visit North Down Museum's website for more details of the resources created


Local museums across NI are providing a range of activities targetted specifically at under 5s.  This work is spotlighted during the month of February each year with the Playful Museums Festival.  There have been annual Festivals since 2017 which illustartes the commitment of the local museums to engage with their youngest audiences.


For further information please contact:

Rachel McCance, Development Officer (Learning)