The “Childhood and Community: Then and Now” Exhibit has been in development since last September. The exhibit is the combination of an ongoing community playgroup and community outreach blended with objects from the past and the history of Cambridge’s families and communities.
The spaces Cambridge has made for children have grown and developed over the last 200 years, and we get to see the culmination of it here in our Museum today.
Cambridge has a rich history of bringing people together, from Morris dancing to football. How we understand and make spaces for children in Cambridge supports the future of our communities. Communities and childhood are very much linked to each other, and we can see this here.
In 2022 the Museum of Cambridge opened a community space with local families through ‘Little Feet, Big Impressions’ playgroup. We welcomed families with children from 1-5 every other week to engage in crafts and activities. This opened a space for families to gain support from each other. This programme and this exhibit look at the similarities and differences in the experience of childhood and raising a family now and over the past 100 years.
How we have looked after, raised, and understood children has changed in the last century, which plays a vital role in shaping our communities. Some parts of raising a family haven’t changed that much. Doe example using children’s night lights, teething rings and highchairs. Come and see how many of these objects you have used?
The incredible thing about this exhibit is that we have objects from Cambridge before cars or electricity and before plastics were widely used. Yet, families in Cambridge today can relate to everything in it. Modern families are still using similar items and facing the same parenting challenges. We have so many visitors who remember coming to the Museum as children who are now bringing their children who, alongside our playgroup, are making part of the timeline in our exhibit.
Look at 200 years of childhood in Cambridge and get to know the families who make up our communities.