Well my job title is certainly a conversation starter; residential mermaid at the National Marine Aquarium.
The ‘meet the mermaid’ experience is part of our educational programme, and is aimed at children in years 0-1, often including nurseries and preschools. It’s used to nurture a love for the ocean and its creatures within.
But for me, it means that every now and then, I get to don a wig, a tail, and a new persona, and become ‘Marina the Mermaid’, and I honestly absolutely love it. Who else gets to add ‘part-time residential mermaid’ to their CV?
Whilst allowing me to get in touch with my inner child, it also provides the kids with an original experience that will almost certainly be the talk of the playground. The children receive a letter from ‘Marina’ asking them to visit her at the National Marine Aquarium (mermaid mail has advanced in the last few centuries). On arriving at the aquarium, the children are met by a host, who sends them on a ‘mermaid hunt’ to find Marina. This enables the children to have a look around the aquarium and meet some of Marina’s friends.
After the ‘mermaid hunt’ the children are taken to another part of the aquarium ‘where Marina may be hiding’, to discover the Mermaid!
What follows is a fun session of learning about Marina’s friends in the Ocean (and any other particular topics requested from the school) and hearing the true story of the unfortunate fate of Marina’s friend Murial (no spoilers I’m afraid!).
The whole session is wrapped up with the creation of beautiful postcards, to be sent to Marina, after which the postcards are returned back to the school.
Overall, ‘meet the mermaid’ is a fun, interactive and educational session linked to the EYFS curriculum. It results in a group of small children ecstatically exclaiming that they’ve met a real life mermaid, whilst having learnt about the ocean and practiced some of their growing set of skills outside the classroom!