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Wellbeing in our Wee Museum

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Increasingly, Glencoe Folk Museum have been working closely with local schools in the Lochaber area through the work of their Learning and Engagement Officer, Parris.

Every year Kids in Museums - a charity which leads significant change in the museum and heritage sector, with family friendliness and the active involvement of young people - run a Digital Takeover Day. This event empowers young people to make their voices heard by sharing their thoughts via social media accounts. For 2022, it landed on Friday 1st July which is the first day of the Highland school summer holidays, so Parris has gathered their work and created this blog to share with you.

The theme for Digital Takeover Day in 2022 is wellbeing. Museums can play an important role in supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing. After the challenges of the last two years, it is more important than ever to help uplift young people, provide meaningful experiences and support their creative ideas.

The NHS has launched a five-step programme that leads to better wellbeing, the five things to do are: "connect", "learn", "be active", "take notice" and "give". For children, this could include them inviting a family member or friend over to play; deciding to join an after-school club; making time to go for a cycle, swim or walk; playing games like Simon Says and I-Spy at the dinner table or in the car; fundraising for their school or volunteering at local litter-picking events.

Parris invited the P4-7 class from Glencoe Primary School to visit the Museum to do specific activities around wellbeing in the Museum; the main task was to browse the collection and select objects on display which matched the five steps of connect, learn, be active, take notice and give. Parris was impressed by their creative thinking and critical reasoning, and wants to say thank you for their enthusiasm and well done for their good work! So, without further ado, here are their ideas matched up with photographs of the objects.

Erin, Sophie, Isla, Mila and Skye thought the old Fry's chocolate bars were a good example of "give", as chocolate is a great gift to give someone to cheer them up!

They also thought that our transport photos linked to "connect" as the different modes of transport literally connected people from one place to another when cars hadn't been invented.

Rowan, Amber, Noah and Keelie picked the shinty objects and linked them to "be active" as this sport includes a lot of movement!

For "learn" they picked Barbara Fairweather's 'Highland Heritage Book' which you can read to learn more about the history of the area.

Interestingly, for "take notice" they liked the iron and door knocker interactives in the Museum which have "please touch" signs by them to encourage our visitors to handle them! Interactives in museums are a great way to take notice, learn and have fun no matter your age.

Blair, Samuel, Eddie, Reuben and Jackson chose the postman's bicycle for "be active" and "connect" as the postman would need to be very active to cycle around all day posting letters, which in turn helped connect people in rural isolated areas before phones and the internet.

This group picked the massacre diorama for "take notice" as they thought it made the sad story of the massacre seem more real and made you appreciate the comfort and safety we have right now in Scotland.

Francesca, Ellie, Mia and Lily picked the 'Kilted Yoga' book in our gift shop which is a fun way for you to "be active".

For "give" they chose objects from our medical collection centred around local legend Dr Grant. In this photograph you can see him giving a vaccination to a baby!

Finally, for "learn" they picked an old spelling jotter that belonged to a 7-year-old boy, noting how different it is to what they use nowadays in their classrooms.

Next time you explore a museum, why not challenge yourself to see if you can do the five activities to better wellbeing during your visit? It is a great way to get a lot out of your visit, to explore the site fully and create a memorable experience with whoever you are with. Or additionally/alternatively you can check to see if they have any resources online or any events that promote wellbeing which could include mindful colouring-in sheets, creative writing workshops, talks or tours.

If you have any suggestions or ideas about what you would like to see happen at Glencoe Folk Museum then feel free to email Parris at

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