You are here

Hands-on discovery sessions

Child and chair Wycombe museum

Our sessions, which are aimed at key stages 1 and 2, last two hours and comprise workshop led activities and exploration of the Museum's galleries. They are an ideal way to introduce a topic or reinforce class work and provide an interactive and memorable experience. Contact Wycombe Museum to discuss or to book a session.

Early years and foundation stage

A chair for baby bear

Introduces the importance of chair making locally. Which new chair will baby bear choose? Children help daddy bear learn how to mend baby bear's chair.


"Sploshy" fun in the old laundry room, meet the laundry maid, get dressed up and help with the washing, Victorian style!

Let's play

A creative carousel of activities that allows free play as well as a chance to handle old toys from the collection.

Key stage 1

Home sweet home

That's a plant pot not a chamber pot! In this fast-paced session pupils investigate objects from the Museum when its building was a family home.

Through a series of hands-on activities that combine costume, free play, object investigation and the use of photographic evidence, children explore and compare household objects from the past with those from a modern home. They discuss what objects were used for, how things have changed and what we use today instead.

Let's play

In this hands-on session children will be introduced to the concepts of old and new and will build up a picture of how things were different in the past, by exploring traditional toys and games.

In a series of workshop activities, children will investigate a range of real and replica toys, learning to place objects in chronological order. Pupils have the opportunity to make their own traditional toy to take home.

Where do animals live?

Through games and discussion, children will begin to understand that plants and animals in their environment have different needs and are found in different habitats. Children will work as a whole class and in smaller groups, using a range of fun activities.

Let's Play Special Christmas session

We are offering a special Christmas adaptation of our popular Let's Play session.

Discover what Victorian children would have found in their stockings on Christmas morning. Children are introduced to concepts of old and new and using our handling collection, learn to place objects in chronological order. Children also have the opportunity to make their own traditional toy to take home.

Christmas sessions run from Monday 18th November until the end of term.

Key stage 2

Take a seat

Do you know your stretcher from your splat? What about a Windsor from a Ladder back? Discover the answers to these and many more questions in this practical workshop.

Children will explore the different design features and components of a chair and how chairs in the past and today are designed to meet differing needs. This cross-curricular programme takes an historical approach and pupils will have the chance to investigate our chair collection, to gain inspiration for their own imaginative designs. The session includes making a prototype chair which students can develop back at school.

Bodgers and bottomers: chair-making in Wycombe

This session is the perfect way to meet the needs of the creative curriculum. Using chairs as a springboard for art, understanding the locality and extending the topic to incorporate a geography and Victorian local history study.

Through story telling and object handling children explore what it was like working in the local furniture industry and discover just how Wycombe became the chair making capital of the world in the 1800s.

Life in Roman Britain

What was life really like in Roman Britain? Where did people live? What did they eat? How did they write? Taking a Romano-Celtic perspective, the workshop leader will discuss the impact of Roman settlement in the Chilterns. Hands-on activities give children the chance to explore objects, piecing together evidence from excavations, investigating mystery objects and experimenting with writing Roman style.

Take cover

Using a mock air raid, children work together in family units to prioritise and select belongings to take into their air raid shelter. Once the all clear is given children can discuss and evaluate their decisions. Children will use a range of evidence to consider other types of shelter used during the war. The session concludes making a simple model Anderson shelter.

Victorian washday

Join Castle Hill House's laundry maid in the preparation and completion of the washing in the house's old laundry room. Taking on the role of laundry maids and stable boys, children consider some of the challenges of running a Victorian home.
Through a series of hands-on activities, children will have the opportunity to piece together evidence from the past, investigating objects and census material from when the Museum was once the family home of Castle Hill House.


What is a habitat and who lives there? Are the creatures from one habitat the same as from another.
Explore habitats within them looking for similarities and differences. Children will work as a class and in smaller groups to explore their local environment.

Life cycles

Learn and understand parts of a flower through a series of engaging activities that include sorting and comparison activities. You will benefit from a woodland ranger's expertise on a guided walk.

A Very Victorian Christmas at Wycombe museum

It's December 1877 and there's lots to be done at Castle Hill House ready for the big day. The town is full of excitement too, in anticipation of a visit from Queen Victoria herself. In this hands-on session children help in the household: washing the clothes, polishing the silver and preparing for Christmas in the newly popular "Victorian" way. Children will explore how some of the Victorian traditions of Christmas evolved: delightful decorations, fragrant food, cards and crackers, not forgetting parlour games. Will all the chores get done and allow time to get to town to see Queen Victoria on this exciting visit to High Wycombe?
Children will make their own Victorian style Christmas decoration to take home.

Christmas sessions run from Monday 18th November until the end of term.

Planning a visit

Hands-on discovery sessions

£3 per child
£65 minimum charge per session
Accompanying adults are free. We recommend that you have 5+ adult helpers per class.

Museum in schools session

£100 per session (maximum 35 children in a class)
Each additional session charged at £80.

Schools outside of the Wycombe District are charged travelling expenses.

School sessions are offered Monday-Wednesdays. We have limited availability on Thursdays and Fridays.

To Book

Contact us on the above telephone number or email address to book a session.

Please include the following details in your email:

  • Name of school
  • Teacher
  • Workshop title
  • Preferred dates
  • Year group
  • Size of class
  • If you require lunch at the Museum.

Please book early to avoid disappointment - at least half a term is recommended.

Schools booking a term in advance will receive a 10% discount on the booking.

If you cancel a visit within 3 weeks of the visit date, then the minimum fee will still be payable.

Trail sheets

The museum has a selection of worksheets and trails, some of which are available to download below. When you book a hands-on Museum session a suggested trail sheet will be sent to you.

Health and safety

You are welcome to visit the Museum before you bring your class. If you would like to speak to the learning officer, please contact the Museum on the details in the right hand column, in advance to arrange a convenient time.

A risk assessment is available to download below.

Documents to download

Contact information