We Rhymed Our Way Through Sydney At The New Alphabetical Exhibition

  • Mums & Bubs

By: Kylie Purtell, ellaslist explorer

This is our Sydney, the brightest and best of it,
North to the south to the east and the west of it.
Bats and cicadas, lawn bowls and the zoo,
This is our town. Let us share it with you.

The Museum of Sydney is one of the lesser-known, but no less interesting museums in the city. Located on the site of the first Government House just a block back from Circular Quay, you’ll find more information about the early days and history of this beautiful harbour city than just about anywhere else.

Easy As A-B-C

We found ourselves at the Museum of Sydney to visit an exhibition called Alphabetical Sydney. Designed specially for kids, the exhibition is based around a rhyming story book written by Hilary Bell and illustrated by Antonia Pesenti, celebrating all places and things Sydney.

When we arrived at the museum the girls were each given a Lab Kit with everything they needed to get the most out of the exhibition. We headed up to level two and as we stepped off the lift we were greeted by the smiling face of Luna Park and a small display featuring interesting things about the history of the park.

Letters Have Some Fun

We then walked into the exhibition proper and the girls were beside themselves with excitement when they saw all of the things to explore. The first stop was the Word Play area, a giant magnetic wall filled with letter magnets that the girls could use to spell out whatever words they wanted. While the girls played with the letters I read through some of the poems on the adjoining poetry wall, written by other visitors to the exhibition. After having a play with the letter wall we then went and sat at the activity tables so we could look through our explorer pack and decide what to do next.

The girls really enjoyed drawing a picture of where they dreamed of going to hang on the wall, and putting together their bats to hang in the Sydney at Dusk room. They also loved the Sydney at Dusk room, and were so excited that they could add their own bats to the installation.

Books In The Nook

As well as the poetry, letter wall and dusk installation, the girls enjoyed listening to the sounds of the city and talking about the murals and interesting Sydney artefacts around the room. They both enjoyed sitting down under the Moreton Bay Fig mural and reading through the book that the exhibition is based around. We all had a good laugh when the girls found the dress-up clothes and pulled faces in the fun-house mirror on the wall.

My eldest girl (6) and her Dad had a great time folding and making paper sailboats while Miss 4 and I explored the letters and rhymes of the book on the iPads set up near the artefacts. All in all it was a really cute exhibition and the girls really enjoyed it.

Exploring The Museum

After we finished exploring the Alphabetical Sydney exhibition we then spent a good hour or so exploring the rest of the museum and finding the things in the Museum's “treasure hunt”. This was particularly fun for Miss 6 and she had a great time roaming the displays and hunting for the different things.

At the opposite end of the museum from the Alphabetical exhibition is the viewing cube which has an area set up for the kids to continue creating and crafting. The girls particularly loved this area and we spent a long time there. Another highlight for Miss 6 was the First Fleet display on level 1, featuring model replicas of the ships that sailed with the first fleet, with interactive screens allowing you to go right in to the ships and learn about what life was like for those who sailed on them.

Fun For All Ages

All in all we had a really great day and I would highly recommend the Museum of Sydney as a great place to visit with your kids. The Alphabetical Sydney exhibition was a real highlight and has been really well designed to cater to kids of all ages. While we were there we saw kids as old as 12 & 13 having just as much fun as those children that were only 2 or 3.

The Details

Where:     Museum of Sydney, Cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney 
When:      Now until – Sunday 12 August 2018
Cost:        Exhibition is free with museum entry. Adult $12, Child $8, Family $30
For more:  See here.