{Scotland} Early People Discovery Zone

July 24, 2017


Apologies for the radio silence. There have been some big changes happening at Museum Diary HQ – we moved house, and I was largely offline for two weeks until we got internet sorted in our new place. The exciting news is, we’ve moved back to Edinburgh!! We’ve been busy unpacking boxes and putting up shelves since we arrived, but this past weekend we finally made it to our happy place – the National Museum of Scotland. I swear, #MuseumBoy must be the only kid happy about rainy summer holidays, because it meant we abandoned our plans for a trip to the park in favour of the museum. He even has a pet name for the museum – “Roundy” (because of its round tower). Lol.


Since it was a weekend, the summer holidays, AND it was raining – three of the most popular factors for a visit to the museum amongst local and tourists alike – the place was absolutely heaving. So, after a quick reunion with some of his favourites, we heading down to the much quieter ‘basement’ level to explore the Early People Discovery Zone.


First up, was a puzzle of a carved stone. #MuseumBoy found this a little bit tricky, until I pointed out to him that he was standing right next to the original stone!


He then proceeded to hold up all the pieces to compare them with the original, and help him complete the puzzle.



Next, was another quick puzzle, matching pictures of Pictish animals to the right words. He said he found this ‘easy peasy’, lol, but it’s good that there are puzzles for different levels in the Discovery Zone.



He bypassed the dressing up – where you can transform yourself e.g. in to a Viking or a Roman – because he didn’t feel like dressing up that day, and headed straight for the Viking trading game. We had to play it three times, and he won every time. Luck of the dice, I say!


I had to help him with some of the more tricky words, but this game was great for his reading practice. For younger kids, parents could just read out the text. It was also a great springboard to talk about trading (and raiding), and to study the map and swot up on some geography.


Adjacent to the game, there were also some related objects that you could touch.



Next up, we ventured over to investigate some mystery objects.


You had to figure out which objects were related to armour, jewellery, keeping yourself neat and tidy, or eating and drinking. #MuseumBoy took his time examining each of them through the magnifying glass, before checking if he had guessed correctly.



We had to skip over the Roman fort interactive, as the magnetic piece for lifting the flaps was missing – I guess it will forever remain a mystery what is under those question marks…


One of #MuseumBoy’s favourite activities, next to the trading game (see above), was building an arch. This can also be a great team work activity, but he insisted on trying to do it on his own. As you can see, he was quite successful.




Finally, the last activity was another quick puzzle, to match the gods with their signature objects.


After we’d finished in the Discovery Zone, we took a little walk around the Early People gallery. We saw silver and gold treasures, a hoard of coins, and ‘cool’ (I quote) looking weapons. We learned about why some objects had only survived in parts, depending on what materials they were made from. #MuseumBoy’s favourite object was an arrow head lodged in a human vertebrae – he couldn’t wait to tell his dad about this once he got home!

All in all, we really enjoyed the Early People gallery and Discovery Zone. It may not be as popular among visitors as some of the other galleries, but we would definitely recommend it!

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5 Responses to “{Scotland} Early People Discovery Zone”

  1. Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) Says:

    I’d like to play the Viking game myself! They really were a mighty race (terribly brutal though…..) This looks like a fine way to spend a rainy afternoon. Thanks for sharing with #CulturedKids


  2. Trish @ Mum's Gone To Says:

    The National Museum of Scotland was a big hit with my son a couple of years ago when we visited and he was in his late teens at the time! It’s a fantastic place so I can see why it’s such a hit with your son.
    My husband is from Edinburgh so we try to come up to Scotland as often as we can. Enjoy your new home!


  3. Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays Says:

    I’m with Nell and would choose the Viking game brutal but brilliant. I hope you are happy in your new home. Thanking for linking up with #CulturedKids


  4. Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays Says:

    I prefer the quieter corners of museums, there are always treasures to be be found. I hope all the boxes are unpacked and you are snug in your new home. Thank you for linking up to #CulturedKids


  5. Kostadin Nikolov Says:

    That arc building puzzle is really entertaining. At least, that’s how it seems. I’m not a parent myself but your blog is making it look so much fun.


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