The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is part museum, part indoor playground, as far as our daughter is concerned. Last year’s Judith Kerr retrospective included a replica of the kitchen in “The Tiger who Came to Tea”, which she found magnetic. Exhibitions aside, there are multiple play stations dotted across the floors – dress up, lego, a wooden fire engine, an old-fashioned play kitchen, rocking horses… There is also a dedicated craft space where children can help themselves to glue and glitter in pursuit of that day’s craft activity. On the day of the royal wedding, they wisely chose crown making and our daughter’s “Princess Kate” crown survives to this day (a bit battered). There is a very sweet museum shop with a small, but well-chosen, collection of books and some great toys, games and exhibition souvenirs. When it’s time to leave, the experience can be partly recaptured through reading “Lost in the Toy Museum” by David Lucas, which sets a toy adventure inside the museum. It seems when the lights go out, the toys wake up.
Current exhibition of Cathie Pilkington’s sculptures in the foyer