V&A Museum of Childhood

V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
Bethnal Green
Greater London
E2 9PA






020 8983 5200


020 8983 5225

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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Welcoming over 400,000 visitors through its doors every year, the V&A Museum of Childhood in London's Bethnal Green houses the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, from the 1600s to the present day.

The collection features toys - including dolls, dolls' houses, puppets and teddy bears - games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. In addition, the Museum runs a dynamic programme of temporary exhibitions and displays, a wide variety of activities, events and workshops for adults and families, outreach projects in hospitals and the local community, and an award-winning programme for schools.

The Museum aims to encourage everyone to explore the themes of childhood past and present, and to develop an appreciation of creative design through our inspirational collections and varied public programme.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday-Sunday 10.00-17.45

Closed: 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January

Admission charges

Admission free

Additional info

To book an event or teaching session, call 020 8983 5205 or email mocbookings@vam.ac.uk

The Museum of Childhood houses the UK's largest collection of toys including dolls, dolls' houses, puppets, games, optical toys and automata.

It also has a significant children's costume and nursery equipment collection. Its collection dates from the 16th century to the present day.

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Toys and Hobbies

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

  • 12 October 2013 — 1 June 2014 *on now

An exploration of design at the chalkface. This exhibition looks at some of the effects of environment and design on teaching and learning from the formality of the Victorian classroom to the outdoors self–directed learning of a wood school.

In collaboration with Cazenove Architects, specialists in educational design, the Museum has worked with pupils from Gayhurst Primary and Clapton Girls’ Academy, Hackney, to develop furniture design solutions. Architecture students from the University of East London have designed a classroom structure for Paupers Wood School, Manchester. A choir from St Paul’s Way Trust School, Tower Hamlets, have developed a calming acoustic installation with musicians Jason Sigh and Laura Howe

Suitable for

  • Any age
Confiscation Cabinets

Confiscation Cabinets

  • 9 November 2013 — 1 June 2014 *on now

Artist Guy Tarrant's display cabinets show artefacts gleaned from 150 different London primary and secondary schools over three decades. These objects include homemade games, keepsakes, cult toys, peculiar adornments, weapons and other forbidden objects which characterise the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary school children.

Since qualifying as a teacher, Guy Tarrant has investigated pupil interaction, play and resistant behaviour. The objects in the cabinets highlight mischievous and distracted behaviour played out in the controlled school setting where children spend much of their time. These confiscated items are evidence of the pupils' playful and impulsive activities and how they may reject or evade rules.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Telling Tales

  • 30 July 2013 — 30 July 2014 *on now

Active storytelling session based on much-loved classic tales. Saturday and Sunday during term time only

Suitable for

  • Especially for children


  • 30 July 2013 — 30 July 2014 *on now

Short family tours uncovering the hidden histories behind key objects. Saturday and Sunday during term time only

Suitable for

  • Any age
Word Explosion

Spring Holidays - Word Explosion

  • 5 — 18 April 2014 *on now

Are you a poet, but don't know it? Do you like to sketch, doodle and draw? Enjoy free, family activities that explore the written and spoken word. Story Spinner will be spinning a web of poetic fun with interactive story telling session on weekday mornings. Join us for Rhyme Time to play word games and create picture poems everyday.

Free / Drop in / All ages

Suitable for

  • Any age



Easter Egg-tivities - Mechanical Rabbit, China, 1975-1979 © Victoria and Albert Museum

Easter Egg-tivities

  • 19 — 21 April 2014

Solve clues to find out where the Easter Bunny has hidden his eggs and claim a mini-egg to munch.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Create a Kaleidoscope


A kaleidoscope is an optical toy invented in 1817, which used coloured glass and mirrors to create patterns. Have a go at building an online version for yourself using toys from the museum.

Family Films


Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is showing a family friendly movie on the second Saturday of every month at 10.30 as part of their brand new Family Films screenings.

How to obtain

Admission is free for adults and kids - just drop in.