After a shopping trip at Westfields, Stratford we found ourselves with a few hours to spare so headed to the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood a few tube stops away in Bethnal Green.
The museum has a reasonably large collection of old toys in glass cabinets which I, as an adult, enjoyed looking at and nostalgically took a trip down memory lane reminiscing about playing with them. I think this would have been of interest to the older child but was a little lost on the four-year-old. She, like many children, wanted to get stuck in and it was the hands-on parts if the museum that she liked the best. There were plenty of hands on sections that she could take part in.
She had an opportunity to ride a rocking horse – I think this was her first time of doing this and she loved it. She spent seemingly hours in the sandpit that they had on the top floor – this was great fun for her and I was able to relax on the old fashioned deck chairs that they had dotted around while she enjoyed some child initiated play. Although I do admit I did kick of my shoes and socks and joining her in the sand pit for some sandcastle building. The highlight for her was probably being able to put on her own Punch and Judy show with me as the sole audience member.
While the museum is small, and it is a perfect place to visit for an hour or two. It is open daily from 10 – 5.45pm and best of all it is free. We visited on a Saturday, but they provide daily activities during term time. My son also visited on a school trip and had a brilliant time so both children have had positive experiences of the museum.