In most museums, exhibits are often displayed as “you can look, but don’t touch.”
At the Layland Museum, children are encouraged to touch and even create their own historical artifacts during this summer’s “Hands On History” exhibit.
In this family-friendly exhibit, Layland Museum Manager Stephanie Montero said visitors will find activity stations next to each exhibit.
“For example, there is a quilt square craft near a display of friendship quilts,” she said. “And bead lacing and pattern activities near the Native American beaded objects and a packet of Job Hunters cards to match with objects needed for those particular careers.”
Montero was recently named manager of the museum after Jessica Baber resigned in February.
“It’s my first exhibit as manager, and I wanted to have something very family friendly for summer visitors,” Montero said. “It has been very popular and we have decided that rather than close on Aug. 10, it will be open an additional month through Sept. 7. This keeps it up through Labor Day weekend.”
Friendship quilt projects bring people together to create something beautiful and have fun.
The museum has several friendship quilts on display, and children can help create a Friendship Wall at the museum by gluing paper squares and triangles to quilt block patterns.
Once completed, children sign their quilt square and it is added to the wall, which can also be used as a photo backdrop.
The museum asks if parents post photos of their children and their artwork to use #handsonhistory and #laylandmuseum.
Take home tin
Since metal is strong and resists fire it is often used for roofs or ceilings. Many old buildings in downtown Cleburne have tin ceilings made of patterned metal tiles.
For this craft, children carve a design into a rectangular tile and choose a piece of yarn to make a hanger. Children can take home their tile or hang it at the museum.
What kind of jobs did people in Cleburne have 100 years ago? Or even 50 years ago?
For this game, children are given a packet of cards to match them with something in the museum that is on display. For example, a doctor card matched with a doctor’s bag.
For hundreds of years, people around the world used colorful beads to create designs, either by stringing them together or by stitching them on fabric or leather.
At the museum there are displays of beaded items made by Native Americans.
Children can create their own beadwork by stringing wood beads together or they can make a bead design using a magnet.
Sounds of history
In every culture, people use music and rhythm to express themselves and communicate.
The museum has instruments on display, some so old they are handmade.
Next to the exhibit and replicas of some of the instruments that children can play with.