After our thoroughly enjoyable trip to London at the beginning of April our eldest two children had been asking almost every day when we would next be heading to London so we were delighted to be asked by AlexandAlexa.com if we would like to spend a family day in London at the V & A Museum of Childhood.
Kitted out in some cute clothing from their website we headed off to London, parking in Redbridge and taking the tube a short journey to Bethnal Green Station. The Museum of Childhood was less than 5 minutes away from the tube station and easy to find.
As it was St George’s Day there were lots of extra activities on and we were greeted by a Punch & Judy booth outside the door and there were Morris dancers wandering around and craft tables on the lawn.
Our children had their first experience of Punch & Judy last Christmas and loved it so they were over the moon to see the booth. It was another half an hour until the show would begin so we went inside the museum to have a quick look around.
We were amazed at how big the museum was and could see that we would be there for a considerable time!
The first thing we did was to book ourselves on the 1.30pm session of egg decorating activity, which was being held throughout the day. For £5 each we were given a short tutorial on egg decorating and a thick chocolate egg slab to decorate with a large choice of sprinkles and decorations and take home. It was hosted by a lovely lady from The Chocolate Source. Numbers were limited so that there was plenty of space on the tables and no jostling for the decorations. Molly was called up for a demonstration and was very impressed with the white chocolate bunny whiskers that were piped onto her face.
While we were waiting for the Punch & Judy show to start we wandered around the museum. Myself and my husband could be heard regularly squealing ‘I had one of those’ with great excitement!
The children love museums with hands on displays so they had great fun trying on dressing up clothes and playing in the sensory pod, riding a rocking horse, playing with a giant robot and more.
I’m always a little dubious of our children’s views on Punch & Judy seeing as it’s hardly the most politically correct puppet show but the puppeteer came out of the booth and got the children involved with a short talk about what’s right and what’s wrong, particularly where violence is concerned. He was brilliant at gaining the children’s enthusiasm. After watching Punch & Judy in the baking sun we had lunch at the Benugo café within the museum. It was a little expensive but the food was delicious and if you’re on a budget you’re welcome to take your own food and eat it in the picnic room.
After lunch the children decorated an easter basket and if we’d had more time they could have made an easter bonnet. The craft activities were all free and outside we could have made fans or flags. There was also a bunting workshop and St George and the Dragon Storytelling. We then went up to the first floor and the children loved looking at the old style cots, prams and highchairs in the baby section and they wondered why their baby brother’s stuff looked so different.
They then discovered the Good Times section with a sandpit and 2 Punch & Judy booths with puppets. We were all treated to a very funny puppet show by Charlie!
The temporary exhibition space was housing Food Glorious Food until 25th April and as the children adore Mr Bloom’s Nursery on Cbeebies they were in their element ‘gardening’ in the shed and dressing up as various fruits & vegetables.
There was also a kitchen larder full of nostalgic packets and tins of food that my husband and I remembered from our parents’ cupboards when we were children.
It was approaching 3pm and although we would have happily have spent another few hours at the museum the children were hot and tired so we went outside and watched the Belles of London City Morris dancers for a while.
We would love to go back. It’s a fantastic place to go with lots for the family to see and do. With free entry to the museum it can be an inexpensive day out. They have a great list of family events coming up over the next few months, most of which are free!
Ipswich Mummy’s children were wearing a Petit Bateau Submarine Print T-Shirt, a Munster Kids Mikey Mathews Graphic T-shirt and a Ralph Lauren Pink & Blue striped dress from our spring summer collections on www.AlexandAlexa.com
- Words and Images By Heidi from http://himmethree.blogspot.com -