The Museum of Childhood Ireland were invited to the Harold’s Cross Village Community Council’s Age Well initiative and Festival. Their neighbourhood ( in collaboration with several Residents Associations and Dublin City Council) hosted an Age Well programme of activities for people who are older, who may have been particularly impacted by COVID, but also who generally benefit from local social and other neighbourhood supports.
The coffee morning connected with the Village Festival, and took place over the weekend of the 20th and 21st May. The Festival theme this year was Play, and Reconnecting through Play. By and large, though not exclusively, it focused around Harold’s Cross Park, and supported engagement across the community.
So at McGowan’s, Harold’s Cross, we focused on reminiscences from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, and 70’s, around toys, street games, celebrations and play, linking conversation on street games, with ‘hand-held’ items from the museum’s extensive collection to prompt conversation..
Our team members Majella McAllister first introduced the museum, followed by collegue Katia Tikhoniouk with a presentation on play based on her research, which got everyone talking.
The museum team then moved about between the groups with the handling collections, which helped stimulate powerful conversations and connections.
All participants were delighted to be asked for their opinions on the museum, enthusiastically, often passionately offering suggestions. There was genuine interest in the museum’s research and mission, with many offers to get involved with the museum, wishes to visit and for more outreach again soon!
Evaluations prior to the programme and outcomes were recorded and tracked by Maria and Dakota.