I’m Claire, I’m married to Richard (behind this camera 🤣) and we have a little girl Lila. Baby number 2 is on the way in February so anticipating very busy times ahead! 🙃
My background is museum education – I did a B.A. in History and a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies, and I started out my career in education facilitation in Kerry County Museum. I had the pleasure of being Education and Outreach Officer in EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre. ❤️ I had so much fun developing and teaching the education programmes there, and running workshops: I met so many fantastic groups, from families with toddlers to school pupils and teachers. One of my favourite projects was setting up Tiny Tots Tuesdays in the museum – I got to meet so many amazing early years facilitators! I also spent time working at Giddy Studios Dundrum, which enabled me to get to know a lot of incredibly inspiring people: it was a safe-haven to encourage creativity and playful painting in families and it always holds a special place in my heart!
During my maternity leave with Lila it became clear to me I wanted to focus more time on family and carve out my own path using all the things I loved about my job. So Mucky Picnic was born! I ran a few outdoor messy paint sessions but with Covid it sadly had to be shelved for a while. 🙈
I can’t wait to get back to running my workshops when the time is right, but for now I’m enjoying sharing messy, creative and playful activities, and of course my new Mucky Picnic Boxes! Christmas was just the beginning of these craft packs, and I have so many new boxes and projects to share with you! 🥰
It’s lovely to meet you all and thanks for sticking around! 😊
Notable Programmes/Professional Background
I love coming up with ways to blend a lot of different subjects, particularly ones that seem conflicting (arts and science, crafts and code). Every child learns things differently – I don’t believe there is ever just one way to achieve something. This is why every programme I have developed follows VARK learning styles (Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinaesthetic). Maybe a child learns more visually, other children may learn by reading, or listening. Kinaesthetic learning is all about hands-on activities and learning by doing. Each programme has incorporated different elements of VARK, to ensure children can learn at their own pace and in their own way.
I was Education and Outreach Officer for EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre. While there I developed a number of programmes, including the hugely popular Tiny Tots Tuesday; Techxbit: Coding Culture (a STEAM programme focusing utilising code and creativity); Pick Up the Past (a handling collection programme); and the myStory programme with the Irish Family History Centre, which encourage children to research their own family’s history. I had a lot of fun developing these programmes and it was wonderful to see children and families interacting with the museums in new ways. In 2020 EPIC received the Sandford Award, a prestigious museum education award. I was incredibly proud as the programmes I had developed while working there were included as part of the application. I’ll always look back on my time at EPIC and the IFHC as a hugely rewarding experience.