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Museum of Childhood London

London has some of the best museums in the world and the completely fabulous thing about them is, they’re free. The Museum of Childhood London is perhaps a lesser known museum, it doesn’t stand up against the South Kensington giants, but it’s well worth a visit if you have time when you’re in London. The Museum of Childhood comes under the umbrella of the V&A, the Victoria and Albert, specialising in art and design and one of the S. Kensington big 3.

What does the Museum of Childhood Offer?

It’s a relatively small museum but don’t judge it on its size.

The building housing the collection is really interesting. It appeared to me to be a re-purposed industrial construction, or maybe even swimming pool, but it turns out, it was purpose built as a museum and was first opened in 1871. The mosaic floor which grabs your attention immediately, was laid by female prisoners from Woking Gaol.

Adults can find all the toys of their childhood and tell their children how much better toys were back in the day.

I found my favourite doll, Sindy on the shelves, boy did she have a big head!

Sindy dolls Museum f Childhood London. World Travel Family travel blog

Sindy Dollls. It’s been a few years since I saw one of these!

My brother was into Action Man back in the 70’s, he owned every item in the museum. Why can’t you buy things like this any more? They were great.

Action Man at the Museum of Childhood London. World Travel Family travel blog

Action Man, one of the best toys ever!

Children can have some hands on play time. There is a sand pit, rocking horses, Punch and Judy puppets and a kitchen set up to play with.

A lot of mums with pre-schoolers use facilities like this as a place to hang out, particularly on rainy days. Once the little ones have had a play, there is a great cafe to enjoy. Fish finger sandwiches were on the menu. What do you think, wrong or right?

Food at The Museum of Childhood London. World Travel Family trvel blog

Food and coffee available on site. What do you think about fish finger sandwiches? Tell me in the comments.

The museum runs a busy schools programme and has quiet days for children with special educational needs, that’s great to see.

The dolls house collection is stunning. Queen Mary’s still has framed family photos of King George on the miniature tables. It’s not just about the toys, the museum also houses artifacts associated with children through the ages, you can inspect children’s clothes, shoes, prams and chairs. It’s a good lesson in social history and helps the kids get to grips with eras. It’s great for them to learn something about how children of all social classes used to live.

Museum of Childhood London. Toys. Family travel blog

How we used to live at the Museum of Childhood.

We thought the Museum of Childhood was great, I was surprised by how much my boys enjoyed playing with the toys, I thought they’d be too old, but at 10 and 8, they’re clearly still happy with imaginary play.

I wouldn’t put the museum on a must-see list as I would the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum ( click to see our science museum post), but it’s a great half day out and only a few stops on the tube from central London.

 

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Suzanne Fluhr

Friday 1st of August 2014

This one will have to wait until/if we have grandchildren (or can borrow someone else's grandchildren) and we visit London with said grandchildren. Unlikely, but I've learned to never say never. One of our sons is a world traveler, so who knows where he might end up and find to beget a child.

Alexandria Ingham

Thursday 31st of July 2014

I've been to London many times and never heard about this museum. It has to go on my list of places to go the next time I'm in the city. Thanks for sharing.

As for the fish finger sandwiches...there's nothing wrong with that. It brings back memories from my childhood.

Gina - Our Global Adventure

Wednesday 30th of July 2014

Thanks for bringing back some lovely memories! I'm glad you had a lovely day at the Museum of childhood, I've always had a soft spot for it. We used to live not far from there and I taught in the area as well. The school was walking distance from the museum and we would take classes down regularly for a morning or afternoon and a picnic on the lawn out the front. Personally I loved seeing all the toys that I and played with as a child and when my mother visited she got all excited by the toys from the 50's and 60's as well. I agree, if you've got time and are afternoon out for free in London with kids I'd put it on the list. I think I'd give the fish finger sandwiches a miss though!

nomadic family life

Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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