Ancient greek toys workshop at Cinquantenaire Museum ♥ (Brussels)
The first ancient greek toys workshop by Greektoys team took place on Sunday, 5th of February 2017 at the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels (Musée royaux d’Art et d’Histoire). Greek children living in Belgium had the opportunity to get to see ancient toys, to learn about how the toys were constructed and also, they have been taught how to make their own toys!
From theory to practice!
Greektoys children’s revolution® is an educational project, being developed since the past 3 years, focusing on the following main areas: creating the animated series “Greektoys”, writing articles and making research related to ancient greek toys, composing music and creating the 3D-virtual museum, where models of ancient greek toys are exhibited. All these created in a safe and children-friendly way. Now, we made a step further to add to these categories, the ancient greek toys workshops.
Sofia Pavlaki, Greektoys producer explains: “We use the toys to bring kids closer to ancient cultural heritage. We use the games because it is something familiar and instantly recognizable for children, used as a link from antiquity to the present day. It is a bridge to introduce children to the culture of antiquity. We consider that starting with the toys, kids’ interest will be triggered for all the elements of the cultural heritage”.
Guided tour + workshop
Children of the sixth grade of Anderlecht greek-language school had the opportunity to attend a guided tour in the Greek and Roman collections of the museum, with focus on the ancient Greek toys. Then, at the workshop space, they constructed their own toys based on what they have seen in the museum’s exhibition. This process helped them to understand the shape, the texture, and the material of the ancient toys. They had the opportunity to play with modern copies and to realise the differences and the similarities between ancient and modern toys.
«Modern games vs Ancient games: Comparing the skills required for PlayStation and the ancient knucklebones game (astragaloi), the children found “astragaloi” game far more difficult!»
Children’s impressions and comments
“I was very excited with the visit at Cinquantenaire Museum (Musée royaux d’Art et d’Histoire). The subject of Greektoys was very interesting. I believe that the children in Ancient Greece enjoyed their toys, similarly as we enjoy our toys today. I liked a lot the dolls from Ancient Greece, they had moving arms and legs! Some of the dolls were made by glass or ivory, but most of them are made by terracotta; these ones I liked even more. After the visit in the Museum, we went at the workshop place. There I could make myself an animal-shaped toy. I made a horse made of clay. I was very happy with the result. I would like to thank you all for the wonderful day at the museum” Vasiliki
“The visit at the museum was perfect. I liked very much the ancient toys. They looked similar to the modern ones, but they were a little bit strange. On the vessels, there were paintings that depicted the lives of the ancient Greeks”. Nandina
“On Sunday, 5th of February, we went with my class at the History Museum of Brussels to see the exhibition about “Greektoys”. I enjoyed this visit very much because Mrs. Sofia explained very well all about the ancient greek toys and we learned many things. We made ourselves ancient toys with clay. I would like to thank my teacher Mrs. Marianneta who has organized all this.” Anastasia
“I liked a lot the paintings on the vases. I did not expect that the dolls were made with clay. Even though it was difficult to make the dolls ourselves, I liked the process a lot”. Eirini
“On Sunday I went with my teacher and some classmates at the art museum. First, we saw some ancient greek toys. I was surprised that the toys in ancient times were not similar to the modern ones. Then we made our own games, horses and dolls made of clay. I liked it a lot and I would like to visit it again”. Nicoleta
We would like to thank Cinquantenaire Museum and the teacher Marianneta Nikolaou. Congratulations to all children; they were all very talented! You may find below pictures from this activity.