V & A Museum of Childhood

The legacy of Queen Victoria and her husband/cousin Prince Albert includes several museums, and the Museum of Childhood became the collection place in the 20th century for all things related to children and family life.  We took the tube to Bethnal Green and spent THREE hours in  the museum.  It was a really fantastic set-up because each exhibit had an interactive space for the kids, which always gave me time to read while they played.   
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The kids trying to arrange the cogs in the right places for the automaton to light up and move.

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I really could have taken pictures of hundreds of toys, all the ones I would have wanted as a child, but that would get quite tedious. But this little peddle-car was so charming.

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Scooters have really come a long way in the last 100 years. This one is from 1920. Who knew Scooters had been around so long? The Scooters of my generation were much taller, and it seems we’ve gone back to this mini version.

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I took this picture of a happy Eli, but when I asked him if he was Little Red Riding Hood and he looked disgusted.

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The British equivalent to Barbie. You can see her evolution over the years, from 1963-1990’s. I’ll keep my commentary on that to myself…

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The Heart Family. And a few other throwbacks to my own childhood toys. I smiled with pure delight when I saw these.

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This cradle was dated 1810 and the caption read “This elaborate cradle was owned by a family who wanted everybody to know how rich they were.” Well aren’t you a bit of a presumptuous curator!

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“Sensory Room”…

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This wood doll is dated 1300BC. That kinda blows my mind. If you can’t read the caption it says it is Egyptian and it is called a “paddle doll” because it’s flat.

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I told Eli that in the year 2000 Legos were named the “Toy of the Century” to which he replied “No wonder I like them so much!”

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More dress-ups…

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I went ga-ga over all the dollhouses. There was one from the 1670’s and several that belonged to wealthy and royal children.

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Eli says he built this tower “with fashion!”

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If you can’t quite make out the caption – it says that after the bear was donated to the museum his owner sent him (the bear) birthday cards every year until he died. Be still my heart!

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A sandbox in the middle of a museum? Well sure! I’ve learned that Europeans are big fans of importing tonnes of sand and creating artificial beaches all over the city. (They do this in Paris too I’ve read.) But I told Richard that I think a beach is worthless to me without water. Apparently the kids disagree.

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Mim doing a puppet show.

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Cameron watching the puppet show.

We were all hungry and thirsty by the time we left the musuem so we stopped at a little market and got some snacks and drinks and took them to the Bethnal Green park.  The kids had fun running around unrestrained- but it made for terrible timing.  We ended up on the Tube during rush hour.  We’ve done the trains during rush hour before- but only with Richard.  Fortunately people were considerate and accommodating so we managed to get home without losing anyone.  It was hot- but not as hot as the buses.  

When we got home we had cold cereal for dinner because I had a smashing headache and now the kids are in bed and I’m peacefully relaxed in my chair that reclines.  

6 thoughts on “V & A Museum of Childhood

  1. Are you starting to pick up British phrases subconsciously or are you just throwing them in for fun–like “smashing headache” and a “bit of shopping”? In either case, I love it.

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  2. Thanks for posting all these pics Jo. They really are quite smashing.
    On the ordinary post, I loved the pictures, especially simon & Mim on the patio on their towels.

    Like

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