Great kids activity booklet from QM’s ‘Hidden Treasures’ Exhibition

I only caught up with the ‘Hidden Treasures’ from Afghanistan exhibition this week.  While the destruction of the Kabul Museum is quite disturbing and a big loss to world heritage, the recovery of items by the museums’ staff is inspiring.  It is a story the sparks many questions and lines of inquiry, since it was done in secret, and many thought these treasure were lost for quite some time.   I wonder about the tough decisions the staff might have had to make about what was possible it retrieve and get to safe keeping.

As with all QM exhibitions, there is an activity booklet for kids.  It has some great features I thought I’d share.  I had no child with me to test it out, but I noticed quite a number around the exhibition sprawled on the floor fully engaged in the activity.  The exhibition trail  was written and designed by Qld museum.  Photographs in the booklet are copyright National Geographic Society and Musee Guimet/Thierry Oliver.  I have just shown a couple of exerts of the activity booklet below, to give a sense of the style and approach.


Cover of the activity booklet – the trail can be followed by looking for the horse symbol next to items in the exhibition


The booklet is a fold out card – A3 width, divided into 10 pages of 18x12cm.



The opening activity is a great way to set the context for the exhibition.  It shows a simplified map, and photos of five objects.  The challenge is to match the objects to the location, then trace the trade route back to Afghanistan.  It is a clever way to depict the main theme of the exhibition – the cross cultural influences that the objects show.


Opening activity does a great job of setting the context for the exhibition.


Other activities included:

– identifying Greek Gods on a plaque

– identifying and shading in shapes on a simple sketch of one of the gold bowls

– drawing a costume decorated with some of the items of jewellery found in a grave

– finding objects in the merchant storerooms, based on a simple description

A favourite activity was finding and matching objects to a description – then crossing out any words that don’t correctly describe the item.

The exhibition closes next week. More information about the exhibition itself can be found at the QM site, click here, or the National Geographic site – click here.


Author: Janis Hanley

Janis Hanley creates education programs for museums. She has a strong interest in digital engagement. Her programs have received several Queensland National Trust awards. Janis is the Queensland representative of the Museums Australia Education committee, and founder/coordinator of MAEdQ - a Queensland Network for Museum Educators . Janis is currently researching the value of digital story telling in community museums.

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