Surprising what a chance encounter and chat can do. Some time ago I bumped into Elaine Bates who is Early Years and Family Learning Co-ordinator at Manchester Museum and we got talking about her work with mothers and young children. I mentioned in passing that there was an ancient Greek pot depicting a crawling toddler in the archaeology collection. I later sent a photo of it to Elaine and she said she’d have a think about how she could use it and I forgot all about the matter. Until earlier this afternoon that is when a very proud Elaine came into my office to show me one of the new self-guided discovery bags. They have been designed with a label and the image they chose was that of the crawling ancient Greek infant.
Here’s the pot in a bit more detail. The infant is crawling on all fours, there is a string tied around his middle and there appears to be some sort of toy in front of him. The technical name for the pot is a chous. It comes from Alan Rowe’s excavations at Cyrene (M.1300). The rim would have been trefoil shaped and there was a rod handle originally. It was found in a a child’s grave.
The Baby Explorer sessions at Manchester Museum are designed to engage babies (who are not yet walking) and their parents and carers with our unique spaces and collections using sensory play and interactive storytelling.
Our latest session is themed around our new Ancient Worlds gallery. We have developed a treasure sack for parents to use in the session and to help them explore on the gallery. The sacks contain a range of fabrics, household items and special things with different colours, textures and materials for babies to explore with all their senses which reflect the richness of the collections.
Baby Explorers is on every other Tuesday @ 10.30, 12.30 and 1.30 and lasts for 45 minutes
Find out more about Baby Explorers and take a look at our film to see Baby Explorers in action @