Young explorers find world of activities at museum club

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by Alexia Johnston

Lessons in history and nature are being embraced by South Canterbury children these school holidays – and badges are being earned for their efforts.
The South Canterbury Museum’s holiday programme, called “Buzz into Spring”, has been popular over the past two weeks, attracting dozens of children to each of the programmes offered, including those who are members of the museum’s Explorers’ Club.
In August this year, the club signed up its 1000th member. As of last week, membership had reached 1150. At least 50 children had signed up over the holidays.
The club, established in 2008 by the late Davina Davis, has been developed over the years with the aim of giving children a chance to take part, free of charge, in various activities while learning about topics and exhibitions on display in the museum.
Once children have completed the necessary requirements, they receive a badge specially designed by museum staff for the particular programme.
In the past two weeks children have added “Pieces of the Past” and “Spring Programme” badges to their growing collection.
Among those collecting the badges are siblings Georgia and Lachlan Todd, who have at least 17 each.
Their mother, Karen Todd, said they joined the club about two years ago.
“They love coming in to the holiday programme and also, they enjoy doing the treasure-hunt style activities.”
She said they took part in the holiday programme at the end of every term.
Georgia enjoys the activities on offer but has one particular favourite, she said.
“Just making the crafts.”
However, the events and activities were often just as educational for the accompanying adults as they were for the children, Mrs Todd said.
“[Last week] we went on the walk and it was just so great learning about the past and what the town looked like then and now. It was really interesting.”