What is Mucky Picnic?
Here at Mucky Picnic I like to encourage imaginative play and creative expression through messy arts and crafts. Whether it’s a birthday party, a session for a mum and baby group, or a themed event at a cultural venue. Messy canvas workshops have always been my most popular events, but I also do a variety of other creative workshops for children and their families, from paint-making to playdough. So, have a look around, and let’s make a mess together!
Mucky Picnic came from a combination of many things. I have been working in education, particularly museums/heritage and arts education, since 2011. It was work that allowed me to try out so many different projects, combine a lot of themes and have a lot of fun in just about every discipline! I’ve developed and facilitated programmes for Kerry County Museum, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and the Irish Family History Centre. I also worked in the gorgeous Giddy Studios in Dundrum for a year and a half, which involved creative work with children and their families. I decided to embark on my own creative journey, so when my maternity leave came to an end, Mucky Picnic was born!
Lovely to meet you!
I’m Claire, and I’m based in Dublin with my daughter Lila and husband Richard. We live with our incredibly lazy greyhound Wren.
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. 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.