Children playing with LED lights to create shadows
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Dadu’s Museum in Residence

Updated 31 January 2023

By Hissa Al Hitmi

Play is key to children’s learning, development and wellbeing. The award-winning Museum in Residence programme created by Dadu, Children's Museum of Qatar delivers playful learning opportunities directly to the classroom.

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Geared towards children ages three to seven, the Museum in Residence (MIR) programme – recently recognised by Qatar Foundation and HundrED Education as one of the top ten innovative educational projects in the country – aims at enhancing the educational space in Qatar by transforming classrooms into immersive environments that allow children to learn through play.

The MIR programme utilises methods such as Montessori, based on hands-on learning and a constant state of active exploration. Installations are created to be open-ended and have multiple learning outcomes in order to give children the agency to explore and engage with the installations however they like.

It’s different, interactive… we don’t have a lot of this. We need this for our students.

Teacher, Nosaiba bint Kaab School for Girls

Girl playing with puzzle pieces

First launched in 2019, MIR has developed several unique programmes to be brought into schools. The programme Light Atelier, for example, utilises 6 different installations, allowing children to take the lead and freely discover concepts about light and shadow. Light Atelier is also constantly evolving, adding new LED lights, projection screens and loose play parts to further enhance the learning experience.

The children love going to the room. They particularly enjoy the sense of freedom they feel when they visit the space.

Collaborator, Academyati

Designed to work within the school’s curriculum, each residency is accompanied by professional development sessions for teachers. These sessions allow the schools first to shape and design the installation, and then to introduce the equipment and to facilitate approaches around the ever important learning-through-play philosophy.

Dadu’s Museum in Residence has seen great success since its launch, with high demand from schools highlighting the need for such programmes in Qatar.

In the past three years alone, Light Atelier has been to five international and government schools to date, with more than one thousand participants enjoying the installation.  

If you are interested in partnering with Dadu for your school, please email with the subject title: Museum in Residence – Light Atelier. 

Editor’s Note: This story, originally published 21 June 2022, has been updated to reflect that in January 2023 Qatar Foundation and HundrED Education named the MIR programme one of the top 10 Innovative Educational Projects in Qatar.

Hissa Al Hitmi is an Editorial Coordinator at Qatar Museums.