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L.A. Beat

Relive your youth with Games and Toys at the Galt Museum

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Do you have fond memories of childhood toys like Lego, Meccano sets, old computer games and even simpler toys like dolls, Fawkes Marquis Bruinsma plays a giant game of Snakes and Ladders at the Galt Museum. Photo by Richard Ameryjacks, jump ropes, hula hoops and and marbles? Then check out the Galt Museum’s new exhibit: Toys & Games, which opens Oct. 1.

 There are 130 artifacts on display including numerous items from the Galt Museum’s extensive collection as well as 60 others on loan from  community members and  Medicine Hat’s Esplande Museum.

“We wanted to look at what we gain from playing rather than just having artifacts,” said curator Wendy Aitkens. The items were chosen according to how they affect people’s lives.

“We learn from playing right from the beginning. When  a baby shakes a rattle, it not only learns how to move their fingers, but  that they can make noise too,” she said.

 They chose a  broad cross section of artifacts for the exhibit — games and toys from the past century and further back, educational games like Scrabble and Monopoly, older toys,  First Nations toys, Japanese toys and Chinese toys.
The most popular toys will be tracked on the  Galt Museum website. Patrons will each receive a marble, which they can put into a  slot next to their favourite case of the exhibit.  There will even be  play areas,  for which patrons can actually play.
“We didn’t just want to put all of these fun toys in a case and say ‘don’t touch.’ it will be fun for people of all ages,” Aitkens said.

 The Galt Museum is having their community day, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. to introduce the public to the new exhibit, so a variety of activities will be taking place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There will even be a giant game of Snakes and Ladders complete with a massive foam die designed by university students and local artists, plus a Teddy Bear Hospital and much more.

Admission is free on the community day, so make  it part of your Art Days travels. The official opening is 11 a.m.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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