“Play is the work of the Child” – Maria Montessori
For over 10 years the Abbey Museum has run Roman Family Fun Week. It has proved to be a great success with families as it caters for children from 3 to 12 years of age. It’s a fun, hands-on day filled with activities inspired by different aspects of life in ancient Rome.
Albert Einstein stated “Play is the highest form of research”.
This hands-on engagement with ancient history brings it to life in a physical, colourful and creative way.
Why ancient Rome? The legacy of ancient Rome is still evident in western culture today. Rome’s influence can be recognised today in language, law, art, architecture, and government. Exploring our history gives us a better understanding of our cultural origins; this, in turn, can further an individual’s understanding of aspects of their identity.
The Abbey Museum has cleverly designed activities to engage a broad range of learning styles; auditory, visual and kinaesthetic using fine and gross motor skills. The activities include practicing Archery, training as a Roman Legionary, excavating ‘Roman Artefacts’ and learning to play Roman board games. Children also get the opportunity to paint a Shield or a Roman Column, learn about the ingenuity of Roman engineering by creating their own edible road, create a Mosaic image and more!
So, unlike watching a documentary or reading a book, participants literally ‘embody’ the understandings they gain. Engaging children in history at this age can stimulate a life-long interest in history.