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Key facts

  • Suitable for: Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1
  • Subjects: Understanding of the World, English, History
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: Merseyside Maritime Museum
  • Free


A fun interactive workshop exploring holidays at the seaside, in great (great) grandma's day and the present day, for early years and key stage 1 pupils. The session includes costumes, activities and objects to touch and handle.

Further details

young visitors enjoying traditional seaside activities at the museum

© Paula Parker

Years ago lots of people from Liverpool would have taken a ferry ride to get to the seaside at New Brighton. Grandma would have worn her best clothes, because going for the day was a very special treat.

This fun workshop begins with a warm welcome as experienced education staff discuss holidays with the children and compare their experiences with those of families 100 years ago.

Themes covered include methods of travel, getting ready, picnics, the fun of the fair, penny licks, Punch and Judy, promenades, paddling in the sea, end of the pier acts, donkey rides and bathing machines.

Using original domestic objects, costumes, activities, songs, images and toys we explore the similarities and differences between holidays then and now. The session ends with free time for the children to play.

Curriculum links 

Early years

Early years learning concentrates on seven areas split between prime and specific areas of learning. This education session covers communication and language personal, social and emotional development.

The specific areas of learning are literacy and understanding the world

Teaching is often done through play, where the child learns about subjects and other people through games.

Key stage 1 History 

Pupils should:                  

  • Develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time.
  • Know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and  differences between ways of life in different periods.
  • Use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms.
  • Ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events.
  • Understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
  • Understand changes within living memory. Where appropriate, these should be used to reveal aspects of change in national life
  • Develop an awareness of significant historical events, people and places in their own locality.

Key stage 1 English


  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will: 

  • Understand the difference in transport between 100 years ago and today.
  • Recognise that people’s clothes, food, activities, and toys were different between then and now.
  • Understand that people’s lives and experiences differed.
  • Know a holiday may only have lasted one day so ordinary people holidayed locally  


Pupils will:

  • Join in discussion about holidays today compared with those in the past.
  • Try out domestic appliances from 100 years ago.
  • Compare food eaten on holiday today to 100 years ago.
  • Learn new words and their meanings.


Pupils will:

  • Grasp the key importance of recognising things that happened in the past.
  • Appreciate the importance of the similarities and difference in holidays now compared with the past.


Pupils will:

  • Empathise with the children’s experiences in Edwardian times.
  • View Merseyside Maritime Museum as an enjoyable and interesting place to visit.