Skip to content

By Helen Thackray on

A great big day for very small people

On Friday 12 January, there was the patter of tiny feet all over the museum as we held our second annual Tiny Takeover.

We invited children under 4 (and their grown-ups) to take over the museum and get a taster of all the great activities we have year-round for little people, plus a few special bonuses just for the day.

The Museum of Science and Industry is a big place full of huge objects, and we know that babies and toddlers love seeing all the trains, planes and automobiles in our galleries, but did you know that we’ve also got loads of things to make their visit extra special? Tiny Takeover was a great way for parents to see everything that the museum has on offer for our youngest visitors.

A young boy with a pretend oil can

In the Power Hall and the Air and Space Hall, you could pick up Power Packs and Pilot Packs. These rucksacks are full of fun! Kids can pretend to be pilots or engine drivers with the help of hats, flags and even a (pretend) oil can to keep our machines in tip top condition. The packs are usually available to borrow for free from the main entrance of the museum, so just ask a member of staff next time you’re here.

We closed our interactive gallery, Experiment!, so that little ones could have the freedom to explore in a fun and safe environment. As well as all the permanent hands-on activities, there were extra toys and experiments, as well as adventures like building the tallest tower and racing cars, and making the loudest noises.

For many families, the highlight of the day was seeing a show delivered by our team of lively Explainers. Together they sang about the wheels on the train, played with shadows, and explored surprises hidden in carriages. Once a month, families can attend the Experitots session in Experiment!, which offers the same exclusive entrance along with a show especially for families with young children—for more details and to book, check our website.

A young boy in a hard hat with a toy cement mixer

When it was time to refuel, families were able to eat their snacks in one of our picnic areas, or use their Tiny Takeover wristbands to get discount in our Bistro and Café. The Bistro at MSI has plenty of room for buggies and is equipped with highchairs, a microwave for heating baby food and a children’s corner for letting off steam. Did you also know that MSI is a breastfeeding friendly venue too? We encourage families to feed their babies wherever they feel comfortable.

A baby in a sandpit

Another special event for Tiny Takeover was a weather-themed messy play session. Babies and toddlers rolled in snow dough, squelched in jelly puddles and got blown away in the wind (produced by a fan—don’t worry!)

Down in the Textiles Gallery is another area that families with babies and toddlers can use all year round. My Den is a soft space with cushions and projections where our youngest visitors can relax and play. It’s especially good to test out a Treasure Basket—a basket of sensory play objects available to borrow from the main information desk all year round.

A baby and its mother playing with ribbons

It was lovely to see so many families enjoying the museum and discovering new experiences together. Lots of mums and dads commented on how much fun the day was and how their little engineers and scientists were having a great time. We were especially proud of our fabulous team of volunteers, who were on hand to ensure that families had the best experience possible. They gave directions, answered questions, gave out resources and joined in with all the fun of the day.

We really hope that those who attended Tiny Takeover will visit us again soon but if you missed out check our Families page for all the details on what we do for children under 4 and keep your eye out for our next Tiny Takeover day.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *