{Kids in Museums} Klingenmuseum für Kinder

April 28, 2015

Kids in Museums, Germany

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Deutsches Klingenmuseum (German Blade Museum) in Solingen, a city famous for producing and exporting blades and cutlery all around the world. I mentioned that the museum also includes a children’s gallery, but since the post was already quite long I didn’t go in to much detail. Since I took quite a few extra photos in the children’s gallery, I thought I’d do another separate post about it. In the photo below, you can see the main museum building on the right- the smaller building on the left behind the tree houses the children’s gallery, the ‘Klingenmuseum für Kinder‘.

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As I mentioned yesterday, the  children’s gallery is fairly small, but there is lots to do. When you come in, the open plan room on the left is a dedicated space for arts and crafts activities, though when we visited there was a pre-booked group making sushi and rice paper rolls as part of the Easter holiday programme. They had been looking at other ways besides using knives and forks, that people around the world eat their food. The ladies running the session kindly invited #MuseumBoy to join them, and he happily rolled up some rice in sheets of seaweed and munched away on his ‘sushi’ (I didn’t take any photos because of the other children).

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Off to the right hand side when you come in, are two open plan rooms with lots of hands-on activities, all focusing on various different kinds of blades and how they are used. #MuseumBoy was immediately drawn to the giant puzzle blocks, which featured four characters – such as a knight and a pirate – using different kinds of blades. Those four blades – I’m not sure if they were real versions that had been made blunt or just replicas – anchored between the floor and ceiling, which children could stand behind and hold (and pretend to be a knight or pirate), but #MuseumBoy wasn’t tall enough to reach.

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Behind the puzzle blocks was a large case displaying lots of different blades. There were two rods that you used to connect each blade to a description (as demonstrated by #MuseumBoy and his dad above), and if you connected them correctly, the light in the middle would come up. This was a great activity for them to do together, with dad reading out the descriptions and each holding a rod, with dad responsible for matching the blades #MuseumBoy couldn’t reach.

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In the room next door, there was a series of feely boxes fixed along the wall. Each featured a kind of blade in a case above, and you had to feel the clues inside and guess what the different kinds of scissors and tools were used to cut, e.g. hair or flowers. The feely box for the nail scissors contained a hand (not a real one, of course) with a finger missing – we had to assure #MuseumBoy that the scissors were meant for cutting nails, not fingers! (which explains the expression on his face below)

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One activity I though was quite clever, involved a readjustable magnet. Not sure why the little gnome, but he sat in the middle of a circle with descriptions of various blades round the edge. You turned him around until his sword pointed to the blade you wanted to find, then moved him to sit in the middle of the display case (see above) next to the descriptions, and he would swing round until his sword pointed to the matching blade. We had great fun with #MuseumBoy, reading him the descriptions and then guessing where the gnome was going to point his sword.

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In relation to the cooking session I mentioned earlier, there were also some spinning blocks that you could turn and find out how people around the world eat their food. We all agreed that the Sunday roast looked quite tasty!

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Next to the feely boxes, there was also row of audio guessing stations – when you pressed the buttons, each station would play a different sound of a blade in action and you had to try and guess what it was. Afterwards, you could slide up the panel to look under the question mark and see if you were right. It was actually quite tricky identifying the different sounds, but #MuseumBoy loved it and spent quite some time listening to them over and over.

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There were a couple of other games and activities, and also a little booklet for children with questions, activities and interesting facts, which you could pick up at the ticket desk in the main building for a few Euros. As I mentioned yesterday, I think it’s a shame and a missed opportunity, that they’ve segregated this in a separate building instead of integrating some of these activities in to the main exhibitions as they would be a great way of getting children to engage with the actual collections. But nevertheless, it’s great that the children’s gallery exists. All in all, #MuseumBoy – and the rest of us – had a great time in the children’s gallery. If you plan on going here, I’d definitely recommend going to the see exhibitions in the main building first though, as once we were in the children’s gallery, #MuseumBoy didn’t want to leave!

Opening Times: Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays (check for up to date times on the museum website)

Admission: Admission to the children’s gallery is included in your admission to the main museum – 4.50 Euro for adults (at time of visit in April 2015), with discounts and family ticket available, and free entry for ICOM members (check for up to date prices on the museum website)

Pushchair Policy: It was no problem bringing the pushchair in to the main building, and there was a lift to get to the top level. At the children’s gallery it was a bit tricky to get up the front steps, and inside the space was fairly small so we left the pushchair by the door and carried #MuseumBaby round. There wouldn’t be space to park more than one or two pushchairs, but if it’s crowded there’s a cloakroom in the main building that you could probably lock up a pushchair.

Photography: Photography for personal use is allowed without a flash or tripod. Obviously, in the children’s gallery you should use your common sense and not take photos of other people’s children.

WiFi: No WiFi

Food: There is a cafe area in the main building next to the ticket desk, which serves coffee, tea, soft drinks and a few baked goods. We were also welcome to sit here and eat the packed lunch we had brought with us.


Edit: I’m linking this post to the monthly #CulturedKids linky over at Nell Heshram’s The Pigeon Pair and Me. Each month, anyone can link up a post on her blog, about a culture related family experience they’ve written about. Additionally, Nell will be highlighting upcoming ‘not be be missed’ events or featuring other arts and culture bloggers. (09/03/2017)

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One Response to “{Kids in Museums} Klingenmuseum für Kinder”

  1. Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) Says:

    I’m very impressed they managed to create so many touchy-feely displays in a museum about blades! This sounds like a fascinating place. I particularly like the sound of the section playing the sounds made by different blades. It looks like lots of fun – the picture of your son with his hand in the box reminds me of Struwwelpeter! Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids

    Reply

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