Pre-school activities set to develop ‘life-long’ cultural interest in Sunderland kids


PRE-school activities are on track to help children develop a life-long interest in Sunderland museums and heritage.

The Railway Rascals is a weekly story, songs and craft session for pre-school children and their carers.

The session, led by local artist Sophie Beresford, runs from 1.30pm – 2.30pm on Thursday afternoons in the Children’s Gallery at Monkwearmouth Station Museum, North Bridge Street, Sunderland.

The term restarts on Thursday, January 7, and will run for 10 weeks (except February 18, which is half term).

The cost is £2 per child and 50p for additional children. The first session is free.

To encourage healthy eating, fruit is available to the children at snack time. The theme this term is trains and transport, linked to the Ian S Carr photography exhibition.

Railway Rascals has been running for over 20 years at Monkwearmouth Station Museum in Sunderland.

Started in the late 1990s, the group for pre-school children started as an art project, aiming to develop young children’s social skills and fine motor skills through art and play, while also spending quality time with their parents or carers.

Children attending Rascals from their youngest years develop a love for Museums, which takes them through life until they grow up and bring their own children to the places they loved as children.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture John Kelly said: “We have some fantastic museums in Sunderland, helping us to show our history. It is great to see people coming back again and again to see their favourite exhibits and engaging with the cultural offer of our city.”

“The Museum is an ideal venue for young children, having a dedicated Children’s Gallery with a play-train, construction toys and dress-ups, as well as a climb-on-bus cab model, enabling children to role-play being a bus driver or passenger.

“It is a fantastic way for whole families to develop a sense of ownership and pride on their local museums.”

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