People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is putting the play into placards with a half term activity that will inspire creativity and encourage families to think about changemaking ideas.

Designed for ages 5 to 12, Playful Placards is a free Family Friendly activity taking place at the national museum of democracy from Sunday 26 May to Sunday 2 June 2024.

Placards are one of the simplest, most effective and often most instantaneous ways to draw attention to a protest message. So the young activists taking part will be given a chance to create their own placard carrying a message of the change that they’d like to see. Each placard will be added to a piece of collaborative artwork that will take shape across the holidays and there will be placards to inspire ideas and cast your vote for.

There are a number of famous placards held in the collection at People’s History Museum including one created in 2017 by Caroline Dyer.

Caroline used tester paint pots and furniture packaging to hastily create a placard to which she added the now iconic words ‘From The City Of Pankhurst With Love’ as she got ready to attend the Women’s March in Manchester, which was part of a global response to the news that Donald Trump was to be President. At the time she had no idea that her placard would go on to become a favourite piece in a museum collection!

Playful Placards also includes the chance to take part in a fun game that quite literally draws on the themes of politics and protest. In it children will be challenged to select a politician and to draw the person using the hand they don’t normally draw with.

The creative connection between placards and People’s History Museum is something explored in a piece of illustrated artwork created by Manchester makers The Sculpts, as part of their Northern Alphabet series. Available as a tile, fine art print, mug, tea towel, tote bag or postcard, the black and white image features historical figures carrying placards and banners outside the museum. Prices range from £1 for a postcard and are available in PHM shop.

Family Friendly food choices will be available in Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at PHM which will be serving sandwiches, pasta and pizza priced from £3.50 that is ethically and locally sourced. For those who want to bring their own lunch there is a dedicated picnic space inside the museum.


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