“Meet the hexapods!”: Why this event has become the most visited at the Kirov Local Peace Museum

For the little nature lovers, the museum activities are necessarily complemented by creative elements. Photo provided by the heroine of the publication.

June 15 is the Day of the Creation of the Youth Movement in Russia. He is already 104 years old! More than a century ago, the first stations for young nature lovers (young naturalists) appeared in Moscow. A little later, similar stations and circles started operating in almost every school. The children made observations and experiments, participated in nature conservation, deepened their knowledge of biology and learned to protect living beings. We spoke with Anastasia Khlebnikova, head of the local history department, about how the main museum in the Kirov region helps modern young naturalists.


Anastasia came to work at the Museum of Local Language in 2015 – shortly after graduating from the School of Natural Geography at Vyatka State University. He was accepted as a tour guide in the exhibition “Nature of the Vyatka Territory”, dedicated to paleontology, the modern flora and fauna of the area.

– The main audience of the exhibition are primary school students. “Their tireless interest in the world around me has always encouraged me and still activates me,” said Kirov.

However, despite the positive emotions from the excursions, Anastasia did not immediately develop a deeper interest in working in the museum. The main impetus was the organization of an unusual exhibition work “Other Worlds” on the subject of science fiction. Then the girl was the curator of “I love football” – for the 2018 World Cup, “We are different. Reboot” – for youth subcultures, “Rock Wave” – ​​for the history of the Kirov rock movement . After that, he was convinced that the life of museums is very different, on the contrary, sometimes it requires excellent solutions and makes it possible to implement creative ideas.

– The museum has a unique opportunity to discover something new not only for visitors, but also for myself, so every morning I go to work with great pleasure! – admits the girl.

Anastasia Khlebnikova:

Anastasia Khlebnikova: “We organize not only excursions, but also various events that speak about the diversity of flora and fauna of the Vyatka region.” Photo provided by the heroine of the publication.

According to the resident of Kirov, the most difficult thing during the tour is to keep the attention of the young listeners, he manages with the help of top questions. And the most common thing children ask themselves is, “Are these animals real?” Anastasia explains what a scarecrow is and how it is created.

“The most memorable exhibits for children are the large ones,” says Anastasia. – For example, impressions of the primitive bison skeleton remain in children after their visit to the museum for a long time. Do not leave indifferent and forest animals: bears, elk, wolves and foxes.


One of the main areas of the museum work is environmental education: the acquaintance with the nature of the homeland and the upbringing of a careful attitude towards the surrounding world.

– We organize not only excursions, but also various events that say about the diversity of flora and fauna of the Vyatka region, about the characteristics of all living things. And, of course, our main audience is children, – says the woman Kirov.

For the little nature lovers, the museum activities are necessarily complemented by creative elements. In the most popular “Insect PRO” activities, children not only learn more about the insect fauna of the Kirov region, the country, the world, but also see its living representatives. Among them are various species of insect sticks, African otters, Madagascar cockroaches and the largest archimandrite cockroaches on the planet.

Anastasia admits that meeting such unusual and somewhat scary animals causes a storm of emotions in young naturalists: from fear and disbelief to pleasure and curiosity. But it certainly does not leave anyone indifferent.

However, in order for modern children to learn and love nature, the efforts of a museum are not enough. It is necessary for parents to be interested in it – they set an example, they love the beauty and diversity of the world around them. And in order to revive the youth movement in the same volume, it is necessary to create environmental education centers and environmental circles, where children can get acquainted with the intricacies of the physical world in the form of live communication.

A favorite of visitors is a Far Eastern turtle named Athanasius.  Photo provided by the heroine of the publication.

A favorite of visitors is a Far Eastern turtle named Athanasius. Photo provided by the heroine of the publication.


The museum has a permanent “Wildlife” exhibition, and there are “Masters of Disguise”, “Real Dragons” lessons, loved by both children and adults. Here, the secrets of the life of tropical insects and reptiles are revealed to children and they also get acquainted with the museum’s pet – a Far Eastern turtle named Athanasios.

– This favorite of our guests was presented by representatives of the Ministry of Ecology of the Kirov region in 2004, – says Anastasia. – This turtle has a very unusual appearance: three of the five toes have sharp claws with swimming membranes. Athanasios also has a soft shell, a long proboscis nose and a long flexible neck, which helps in the ambush.

In the wild, turtles from the Far East are aggressive. Athanasios is no exception – he trusts only familiar caretakers who clean his terrarium, gently wash his shell and feet with a sponge. In the “Wildlife” exhibition, young nature lovers observe the habits of other animals, for example, a pair of desert “dragons” – bearded dragons.

“Externally, they can really be compared to mythical creatures,” says Kirov. They have a majestic predatory appearance, sharp claws and sharp scales around the ears, crown and neck. But they are soft, even a small child will not be able to bite them. Therefore, we boldly let our guests caress the bachelors.

In the

In the “Wildlife” exhibition, young naturalists can also observe the habits of the “dragons” of the desert – bearded dragons. Photo provided by the heroine of the publication.

Now the girl has a pet at home, which in a few years, when she grows up, will also become one of the residents of the exhibition and will surprise thousands of visitors to the museum.

– I have always loved animals, especially exotic species, – shares Anastasia. – Now I’m holding a tarantula. Visitors note that this is unusual, but I have three arguments why tarantulas are ideal pets. First, they are very calm and will never wake you up with their screams or meows. The second – the furniture will never spoil and the third – eat very little.

For several consecutive years, the museum has hosted family events over the weekend. The most visited – “Meet the six legs!”. Here, children and parents take part in competitions, excursions, master classes, creative meetings, and even real cockroach races. The museum also organizes events for children along with the Nature Reserve Nurgush and the LES Ecoclub: family eco-holidays, Biodiversity Day and Ivan the Herbalist Day.

Meetings with the ecological association always cause great joy. Last year, the museum hosted events dedicated to Tourism Day. Both adults and children remember the journey “Around the world in 80 minutes” from “LES”. Visitors were able to get to know the animals that live on different continents and, of course, learn a lot of interesting facts about them.

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