Family Activities at Home with Buxton Museum

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA

T: 01629 533540



Entry / Cost: Free

Buxton Museum have begun a series of imaginative online family craft activities since closing in March due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The activities feature lots of themes and as usual are suitable for all the family to join in and have some fun together whilst you’re all staying at home! They’re a great way for parents and children to channel their creative skills and keep children entertained during the current lockdown.

The sessions are hosted by their talented and knowledgable museum staff and resident artists who some of you will know and be familiar with.

Each video / blog post takes gives you a step-by-step guide on how to make your creations and what you need. All materials needed are generally items you should already be able to find at home.

Activities are posted on their YouTube channel, on their blog, or posted on both, and can be found here:  /

Latest activity sessions

Activity: Part 2 – Make Your Own Museum, Cabinets of Curiosity

Artist and storyteller Creeping Toad shows you once again how to make your own Cabinet of Curiosity!

In Victorian times, a Cabinet of Curiosity might have had drawers and more drawers, shelves and secret compartments. It might be small but was probably large. It might be a glass fronted cabinet full of dried butterflies or stuffed birds. It might be a beautiful case for your preserved mermaid. Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is full of small treasures and larger wonders from a collection of keys to a stunning (if rather grisly) display of butterflies (kept in the store it doesn’t come out very often). We even have our own mermaid but she is both Distanced at the moment and visiting the Natural History Museum.

Making a cabinet at home could be as simple as filling a cupboard with treasures (do check with someone before tipping plates all over the floor). I like making my own so here is a guide to making your own Museum Box for small delights and strangenesses

You will need:

  • a cardboard box – with a hinged lid or a loose one
  • a cutting mat
  • a craft knife
  • ruler
  • felt pen
  • colourful magazine
  • scissors
  • glue: you could use a glue stick but white glue/PVA is stronger
  • paintbrush for PVA
  • a small sheet of acetate: clear plastic film: hunt around, maybe a file cover from a stationery shop, the cover of a damaged DVD case
  • small boxes

Activity: Picture Mix up

Can you put together the pieces to reveal Buxton Museum’s famous bear?! Print the sheet, cut out the squares in the picture and put them in right place! You will need some sissors and some glue this week. Cut out the squares and rearrange them on the grid to make a picture of Buxton Museum’s favourite mascot.

Suitable for children aged 6-10 years old.

Activity: Art at home – make a scraper-board, Ashford Black Marble style

Here you can find out how to make your own scraper-board. You usually buy them in kit form in shops art or craft stores. Georgia from Buxton Museum shows you how to do this at home!

You’ll need:

  • Thick white paper or card (cereal box card is ideal)
  • Wax crayons
  • Black Oil pastel
  • Sharpened stick / cocktail stick / wooden skewer or biro
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Plate or something to draw around for the outer shape

Follow the step-by-step instructions on making your creation here:

Activity: Buxton ‘Diamonds’ – Colour me in Quartz

This colouring sheet with features some maths puzzles and you can of course then hav fun colouring them in!

Suitable for children aged 6 – 9 years.

Activity: Find the objects

Here’s a challenge for you – can you find all the objects and artefacts in the list that live in Buxton Museum?

This activity is aimed at children aged 6 to 11 years. Have fun!

Craft Activity: Make Your Own Museum at Home

Make your own museum at home! As part of their on-going series of activities you can do at home with all the family – once again artist Gordon from Creeping Toad hosts this session on the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery You Tube channel. This one of the museums’ most popular workshops and you can have just as much fun in lockdown doing this at home.

Do you collect small treasures? Do you find fossils or stones or shells on walks? Do you pick up feathers and snail shells in your garden? Do you find old coins, toys, cogwheels, ribbons and shoelaces? People collect all sorts of things!

Perhaps you have a collection of treasures that you cherish. Why not turn them into your own museum: store them, display them, write about them?

Gordon helps you plan a museum of your own that will fit on a shelf or maybe hang on your wall.

Suitable for ages 6+.

Here is a quick and easy step by step guide to the activity:

Make Your Own Museum

Art at Home: Pinata, made easy

As lockdown continues many will have birthdays during this time. Children especially will be looking for new ways to celebrate or create their own decorations.

In recent years pinatas have become increasingly popular at children’s parties with people usually purchasing them from supermarkets. But Spanish and Mexican pinatas were originally made to celebrate the onset of Lent and traditionally they were made from clay or papier-mache and elaborately decorated with fringes of ribbon or crepe paper.  The hollow structures are stuffed with treats and suspended from above, the children blindfolded and invited to take turns to beat the pinata with a stick until it breaks and the treats released.

Suitable for ages 6+.

Here is a quick and easy way to make your own pinata from household materials! Read the step-by-set guide here:

Make – Ancient Sea Creatures

Hosted by one their regular artists Gordon from Creeping Toad, this session follows on from the previous Trilobite making craft activity – this time, making more fearsome ancient sea creatures! This video shows you how to make fingerpuppet fish, shark and more.

Suitable for all the family but ideally for ages 6+.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

Monoprints Using Stryofoam

This is a fun and easy way to make colourful prints and is an ideal activity for children try. Suitable for ages 7+.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:\

Online Family Craft Activities

Make – Fingerfuls of Trilobites

Hosted by one their regular artists Gordon from Creeping Toad, make animals that lived in our ancient seas and where fossils are now often found in limestone – this video shows you how to make Trilobite and Ammonite finger puppets!

Suitable for all the family but ideally for ages 6+.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

Tinsel Painting

It was almost 100 years ago that Randolph Douglas opened the Douglas Museum – House of Wonders in Castleton, Derbyshire. This activity takes inspiration from the works of Douglas and is really fun to do for all the family.

Ideally suitable for ages 7+.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

Online Family Craft Activities

Stained Glass Window – Colour by Numbers

If you have visited Buxton Museum & Art Gallery you may recognise this piece of
stained glass by George Wragge. This gorgeous Art Nouveau window can be found in the foyer of the museum alongside other stained glass by the same artist – part of the original building from 1880.

This is an easy, colouring-in activity for all the family.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

Online Family Craft Activities

Make a Rainbow

Lots of rainbows have been appearing in peoples windows over recent weeks and kids and adults alike have been making them to share brightness and cheer after the idea went viral online. This activity shows us how to make a ‘textured’ rainbow using crayons to colour in the different sections.

Suitable for all ages and all the family.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

Online Family Craft Activities

Castle Making

Story Castles is hosted by popular Buxton Museum resident artist Gordon where he encourages you to use your imagination, exercise your scissor fingers and your colouring thumbs and join him to build a castle, build a tower, build a landscape where adventures might happen!

Suitable for ages 6+.

Read the blog post with a step-by-step guide here:

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