Thursday, January 21, 2016

Museum...with Children

On Sunday, I finally grabbed the chance to go back to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. I hadn't been there since before I'd had children... which means, this visit was different.

I'd love to give you an all-encompassing summary of this huge and fascinating museum, filled with historical artefacts and art. But to be truthful, being there with two children translated into speeding through some exhibits, dragging them through others and making sure they didn't kill each other any time in between.

So here are some highlights, willy-nilly, all from completely different collections in the museum.

Martin Behaim's Globe
Created in about 1492, the same time Columbus sailed, it is the oldest globe in existence today. It is more or less round, but North and South America are missing. It was apparently created to encourage investors to fund more travel across the Atlantic. See here for better pictures (click the "i" next to the Globe, description is only in German). 

There were several beautifully crafted chess games, but none of my pictures turned out. So instead, you can see the Naked People Dice (which you find more interesting anyway, right?).

Before there was TV, there was a Guckkasten (literally Look-Box). The pictures didn't move, but they were created in layers to have a 3D effect. I can imagine parents telling their kids to quit wasting their time looking into that idiotic Look-Box.

Both children were fascinated by the Prehistoric Burial Sites. We have a lot of pictures of bones (*searches*) ...which I can no longer find. Huh. Instead, I present a treasure equally interesting for the children: the Golden Hat, worn by a bishop in 1100-800 BC. It is really as tall as it looks.

One of my favorite things in the prehistoric and early history exhibit was the jewelry. Especially some gold earrings from the 8th century, so beautiful and perfect, I'd happily wear them today (no picture due to the aforementioned children. Grr.)

The museum currently houses a temporary exhibit on historic clothing. I particularly like the Fake Potbelly (Gansbauch) that was so popular, even children's clothes were given them. I kind of wish bellies were "in" now. No photographs were allowed, but you can click the top left of the picture here to enlarge it for an example.

Obligatory Creepy Puppets from the toy collection.

Finally, I'll leave you with a lovely Dragon Chandelier. I obviously need one of these at home.

All pictures taken by me or my children.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

International Book Giving Day

image by Ben Newman
Next month is International Book Giving Day – on February 14, to be specific.

I first found out about it from Catherine Friess via Story Snug. She has a huge list of suggested ways you can take part here.

My family just donated picture books to an organization that supports the refugees located in our town last month, but since the kids are getting older, I went through all the books they no longer read (and mine too!). So this is what we're planning for International Book Giving Day:
  • Donating used English-language chapter books to a local school.
  • Giving a few used German-language books to our hairdresser – so kids have something to look at while they're forced to sit still.
  • Donating English and German books to a local dual-language pre-school.
  • I'm also going to give away some books for adults at work.
For more information, see the IBGD website, twitter account or facebook page.

What are you doing for International Book Giving Day? Feel free to share below, on twitter (hashtag #bookgivingday) or other social media sites, or blog about it yourself! The more people participate, the more books can be shared!