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V&A Museum of Childhood

by Sally Foster (follow)
Experience a museum dedicated to childhood

The V&A Museum of Childhood is part of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is home to the UKís national collection of childhood objects. It is the largest institution of its kind in the world.

Credit: V&A Museum of Childhood Website

Located in Bethnal Green, displays include childrenís toys, dollís houses, games and costumes, dating back as far as the 1600's. It provides great insight into how children have learned, played and experienced imagination play throughout history.

The museum is free for everyone, so you can go back again and again as new exhibits open up. The current exhibitions and displays include a village of 150 Dollsí houses by celebrated artist Rachel Whitereadís.

Coming soon on October 20 is an exhibit called 'A Pirates Life for Me' which is the first major exhibition to focus on fictional pirates and their influence in popular culture. This includes toys, games, books, illustrations and comics, spanning over 300 years dedicated to pirates.

Credit: V&A Museum of Childhood Website

The museum also offers daily activities for kids. These are free drop-in activities which include arts and crafts, tours and storytelling. Most are aimed at children aged 3-12 years, but they do have activities suitable for babies, including Animal Magic, which is a multi-sensory storytelling inspired by well-loved animal tales. See here for a list of activities with times.

Credit: V&A Museum of Childhood Website

If you are planning a visit with your family, the museum has a great area on the website which will help inspire you on ways to make the most out of your day. The tips for a great family visit includes great ideas like the family backpacks which are available free to borrow at the information desk. These packs contains maps, activity suggestions, storybooks and toys to touch. There are packs suitable for different age groups.

The museum is really popular with school groups and other community groups due to it's many learning and play opportunities. They also have a SEN scheme, which strives to ensure that children with special educational needs gain access to learning opportunities.

Credit: V&A Museum of Childhood Website

The Museum is open daily from 10am to 5.45pm, and did I mention that entry was free??

Location: Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9P
Getting there: Nearest tube is Bethnal Green on the Central Line
Facilities: Cafe, picnic area, toilets, baby changing facilities and lift access
For more information visit the website.

Where is your favourite place to go for an educational and fun experience with your kids? Please let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

TV adventurer Ben Fogle tours with his latest evening of storytelling.
6 Nov
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