Thursday 7th May Keighley and I took Oliver and Leo to the Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford for a morning of fun and games. It was for Oliver more then Leo but Leo was as good as gold the whole time, he seemed to love watching the older kids do the bits they were doing.
When I booked it over a week before we were given the choice of times to go and chose later in the morning so we knew Oliver would be more receptive to the stuff going on. We arrived around ten minutes before it was all due to start and after we’d paid our entrance of £2 we were told we could have a look round as they were waiting for the last of the kids to turn up. As we moved past the entrance we were greeted by a small museum that was part of the basement of Essex Police Headquarters. This however gave the museum a feel of intregue that some museums pay a fortune to get. The museum is laid out in two largeish odd shaped rooms with the first one having a tiny room off of it which was a recreation of a cell that was used in Essex which included a door used for over a hundred years in police station in Essex. There was also an original mockup of a pelican crossing which was used to teach children road safety in the 1950’s which still works and we could press the button and wait for the green man. In the other room was a giant wooden police box with a working phone inside the three other sides of it were magnetic boards with puzzles and letters on. Finally there was a crime scene set up set in the 1970’s and you had to discover the evidence of the crime.
Once the last of the people had turned up the curator got under way with a nice game of cops and robbers, there was a poster of a town with cops and robbers in and the kids had to find the robbers in the picture, at first Oliver was a bit shy but started to participate towards the end of the activity. The next task was a fun one and one Oliver was very good at. Around the museum there had been put a load of robber pictures stuck to various exhibits and the kids had to go round with a bucket and find them and stick them in their bucket. Oliver loves hide and seek at the best of times so this for him was fantastic. He led his mum round the museum and found a fantastic nine. The next task was a hand eye task within which the kids had to match the keys to the locks on a chest with ‘stolen goods’ inside. Oliver tried his best but needed mummy’s help with this but managed to match his key to the correct lock.
Inside the chest was a bag of ‘Swag’ which was used for the next game of over and under. The kids had to pretend they were robbers and then take the bag of swag over the police tape then under a piece of string with a bell on it. Finally the curator read a story to the kids. It was then time to go.
To be honest the £2 entrance fee was so cheap that it was a fantastic morning out for Oliver he came away with a cops and robbers poster and so sheets to colour as well as his fingerprints on a sheet with the date we went on so that will go in the family album soon.
The Essex Police Museum is open on Saturdays from 10 am till 4 pm and is free entry but they seem to do numerous events through the year aimed at children and adults.
If you live in Essex and drive it is well worth a visit to one of these special events.
Has anyone else been to a museum that is good for kids? If so we’d love to hear.