Things to do: V&A Museum of Childhood

How else do you tease kids and child-minded-adults by placing hundreds of toys in glass cabinets that you cannot touch? Welcome to the V&A Museum of Childhood. 

Date Visited: Saturday, 1st September 2018

Location:  V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA

Getting There: A short walk from Bethnal Green Underground (Central line). Plenty of buses as well.

Cost: Free entry with a suggested donation of £3. Only need to open the wallet if eating at the cafe or buying something from the gift shop. You can also bring some 20p coins if you want to start the electric train or wave motion exhibits. 

Review: 

I had always been meaning to visit the V&A Museum of Childhood (MoC). I always loved playing with toys as a kid and can see Cara loves playing with her Playmobil and other toys. So what better opportunity to relive my childhood while spending a day with Cara?

Upon arriving, the V&A MoC is set in a grand building and is quite open and spacious. A buggy park area is available and restrooms on the bottom floor, which also houses additional seating area during peak times. Walking through the Ground Floor, there was a baby sensory class. This later turned into the storytelling time area where the ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ was brought to life. 

The museum displays itself is fairly small and compact, but it has a large variety. Items ranging from rocking horses, puppets, blocks, figurines – my personal highlights were the Ninteno GameBoy and Star Wars figurines, while Cara’s were the Playmobil characters. 

There are a few interactive stations where the kids can explore – rocking horse, magnetised table, cogs in a robot, wooden blocks. A few monitors are scattered through the ground floor where kids can build their own toy and use them to play a game. Unfortunately, the touchscreen didn’t seem to work properly for most of them when it came to playing the actual game, so Cara spent a few minutes just designing the toys. 

There are a few interactive stations where the kids can explore – rocking horse, magnetised table, cogs in a robot, wooden blocks. A few monitors are scattered through the ground floor where kids can build their own toy and use them to play a game. Unfortunately, the touchscreen didn’t seem to work properly for most of them when it came to playing the actual game, so Cara spent a few minutes just designing the toys. 

Snack Time

A Benugo cafe is available within the museum and serves a kids snack box. You can select from a ham or cheese sandwich, fruit, yoghurt and drink. Cara enjoyed it along with a babycino while taking a break from the exhibits. Hot food and other wraps were available as well, but I chose to hold off on lunch until we hit Broadway Markets

Tips
  1. At certain times during the day, there are baby sensory and interactive book reading sessions.
  2. If taking the Underground to Bethnal Green, there’s no step-free access to street level, so bear in mind if travelling with prams or strollers.
  3. There are plenty of parks and playgrounds within a 15-minute walk from the Museum. London Fields and Broadway Market (if you’re hungry) are close by. Great way to spend the rest of the day out if the weather is nice.

More details: 

V&A Museum of Childhood – https://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/

Ratings:

Burn Time: 3 out of 5 – Spent roughly 2 hours in the museum, including lunch for Cara. Some interactive areas for the kids.
Value: 5 out of 5 – 
Free entry, with suggested donation of £3. Extra for food at the cafe. I spent £9.50 on a coffee and kids meal (with an upgraded apple juice) for Cara.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 –
 Nice day out with Cara. She recognised some of the newer toys and was able to play with some of the displays. I probably enjoyed it more as I got to reminisce on some of the toys. 

Have a favourite toy from the Museum? Leave your comments below.

Cara at the V&A Museum of Childhood lights Cara at the V&A Museum of Childhood rocking horse Cara at the V&A Museum of Childhood magnets Cara at the V&A Museum of Childhood toy design

 

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