We were really chuffed to be invited to a preview of what the Imperial War Museum in Manchester have on this February half term. We go to the war museum at least twice a year. With me being a history student I love it - it's always good to get my head out of the books and have a wander around the museum. I also think that it is important that the kids are aware of what has occurred, and is still occurring all around them.
War can be difficult to speak about to children. The way that war is remembered and commemorated is an area of interest to me in itself so I quite often stop to view war memorials. The kids do sometimes ask what the sculptures are and I explain in as simple terms as I can about soldiers, and fighting. I am completely anti-war, but at the same time I recognise how war has shaped us, and I think it is important to remember not only for the past but for the future too.
With the release of the new film Dad's Army, the museum have an exhibition about the real Dad's army. The kids were excited to go to the craft room of the museum and create their own little home-front figures. I'll let you guess which child did which figure!
We also sat and listened to a story telling about Dotty, a young girl in Manchester during the Blitz. Alice tried on an Air Raid Warden's hat!
Sometimes I like to wander around the museum and just think. The war museum is not a "fun day out" - I would never describe it as that. But at the same time, it is educational and there are plenty of action stations for the kids to learn, to listen to testimonies, crack codes and to be introduced to the past.
I love the museum shop, I'm collecting little postcards at the moment stuck on my wall so I always try and pick one up where I can. The museum also has the air shard - the lift takes you high up so you can view the whole of Salford Quays and even see Old Trafford - we love the air shard. We also stopped for tea and some food at cafe.
Overall, the war museum is definitely place to take the kids. There are plenty of hands-on activities to get them involved in, and the different exhibitions they have on are great for teaching them about the past and getting them interested in things that are a little bit different.
To read more about what's on at the museum this half term click here.