Dadu - Children's Museum of Qatar

Marked by Play

We are delighted to announce some exciting news about the soon-to-be opening children’s museum in Doha. Its name has been revealed.

The new museum will be called Dadu - Children's Museum of Qatar – and will become a truly unique space to help motivate and educate children in the values of compassion, generosity and trust by developing their creativity to help them thrive.

Behind the Name

Dadu means “play” in Arabic. The word is associated with other words like Dada, or “fun,” and Dwady, which refers both to swings and to the footmarks left behind from swinging and other the marks of play that children leave behind in their environments. Carvings on stones offer some of the oldest proof of the fact that play is a natural instinct in children, and has always been an essential part of childhood.

We at Dadu invite children to leave their mark while playing, and look forward to being part of children’s journey in learning through play.



Although the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 means we are not currently able to host in-person workshops and installations, there are still plenty of ways you can take part in lots of other activities with us.  


Follow us on Instagram for digital storytelling sessions and all the latest invitations to play! There will also be lots of activities and experiments using everyday materials for you to enjoy as a family. Activities are presented in Arabic and English. 

Activity eBooklets  

Download invitation-to-play ideas, activity worksheets and more here.

People use storyboards to outline their stories in a simple linear sequence. Storyboards are used in filmmaking, animations, theatre, books and more to allow the creator to organise the plot and present them in an orderly manner. This technique merges both creative and imaginative thinking with organisational and communication skills.
Use the storyboards in the activity booklet to kick off your own storytelling adventure! 

Create your own supercharacter
Characters are people who do the things in a story. The ‘Who’ of a story. So how do we create interesting and memorable characters? Good storytellers put in a lot of thinking into developing backgrounds for their characters that explain why they act the way they do in a story. Use this worksheet to conceptualise and describe your unique supercharacters. 

Flipbook animation
Animations create an illusion of movement by quickly flipping through a series of similar images that change ever so slightly from one page to the next. Because the pictures flash through so quickly, your brain fills in the gaps and blends the pictures together to interpret motion. Make your own flipbook using the templates here to explore different tricks animators use to create your own animations too.

Bird feeder & spotting guide
In this activity we are going to care for nature by using biodegradable food waste to make a bird feeder and fill it with seeds for birds. Caring for animals strengthens our bond with nature and helps to build empathy, a key skill of emotional intelligence.

How do plants absorb water?
In this activity we will be putting on our lab coats and setting up an experiment to learn how plants absorb water. Using different coloured water, we will be able to visibly see how plants ‘drink’ water. Use the activity sheets provided in the booklet to record your hypothesis and track changes in the experiment.

A Museum in the Making

Under development by Qatar Museums, Dadu will strive to enrich the lives of our children and their families by providing an unparalleled space for learning through open-ended play, exploration and experimentation.

A variety of stimulating, interactive and accessible indoor and outdoor experiences will offer families opportunities to play and learn together. Families are the threads of our community’s fabric – the tighter our weave, the stronger we are.

Although our doors are not yet open, we are already engaging our community in Qatar, from family events with our allied organisations to Museum In Residence programmes in schools around Doha.

Our new museum is designed to nurture, challenge and inspire children and families, fueling their creativity, encouraging empathy and instilling a sense of social responsibility. We are proud to create Dadu to advance the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 for human, social, economic and environmental development.

Our Approach

We take a broadly constructivist approach to learning, starting from the position that each learner is unique. Learning outcomes are developed and delivered while taking into account different learning styles and differing developmental stages. Children are encouraged to go on a learning journey that is both challenging and within reach.

Our playful approach creates a sense of delight and uses all types of play – physical, pretend, dramatic, constructive, multisensory, and social play to support children’s learning. 
We encourage children to become investigators and creators, not just passive recipients of knowledge, and inspire and equip them with the skills to set and achieve their own learning journey.

We strive to achieve the highest standards of accessibility and inclusivity. We plan for maximum access for those with special needs – children and accompanying family members – and minimal separation between all visitors, regardless of abilities.

How to make your own fossil?
Be a paleontologist for the day and uncover the fossils hidden beneath Qatar’s surface! Fossils contain prints, or impressions, of plants or animals from long ago. The plant or animal lands in mud or sand and makes an impression. Over time, it disappears, leaving the impression. The mud or sand hardens into rock, and an impression fossil remains.  

For this activity, we will be making our own impression fossils out of salt dough. These fossils are inspired by the ones we find in the Qatari desert, such as fish and Dugong bones.

Rocky desert in a box
In this activity, we will be making a desert in a box, but not just any desert. We will be making our own “Rocky Desert,” and learning about this eco-system type that is specific to Qatar. Use the cut-outs in this booklet to compose your desert landscape whilst exploring the different plant and animal life unique to the rocky desert.

Kindness rocks
In this activity we will be making Kindness Rocks. Kindness is something all of us are capable of, whatever age, whatever situation we are in. Sometimes it is easier to be kind than other times. Practicing kindness when it is easy, makes it a habit and prepares you to still be kind when it’s difficult to. We hope that it may lift someone’s spirits and make a positive difference to their day, no matter how big or small. 

My Ramadan Calendar
Ramadan is a good time to build spiritual habits and begin to incorporate them into our lives. Invite your child to track their progress throughout the month with the “My Ramadan Calendar”.  

Remember to take everything a day at a time and celebrate the achievements small or big. Both accomplishments and setbacks are opportunities to learn. Through the calendar, we can visualise how our daily steps form part of our lifelong learning journey.

Garangao Workshop: Palm Weaving – with Najla Al Hemaidi
In this activity you will learn to create a small medallion using a natural material: the palm frond. This material was used by people in the gulf for a long time to create many items. For example dinner tables, wicker hand fans, baskets, and many more useful household items. Learning traditional crafting skills are a fun hands-on way of exploring and learning a country’s history and heritage. Craft is about connection – to nature, to place and to culture. Introducing such skills to future generations plays an important part in cultural preservation. 

Our mission to nurture children’s creativity, imagination, and love of learning is too important to wait until we open our doors. We feel we are needed at this time to support families and, connect people and ideas despite being physically apart.
Essa Al Mannai, Director

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