V&A Museum of Childhood
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.
Closed: 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January
To book an event or teaching session, call 020 8983 5205 or email email@example.com
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.
Costume and Textiles, Toys and Hobbies
Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls' House
- 13 December 2014 — 6 September 2015 *on now
The V&A Museum of Childhood’s major 2014-15 exhibition Small Stories: At home in a dolls’ house will reveal the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses.
Through the stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years, visitors will be taken on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing family relationships. The small stories of each house will be brought to life by the characters that live or work there.
Day-to-day life will be illuminated through tales of marriages and parties, politics and crime. Each house will be displayed at a particular time of day and visitors can use buttons alongside the showcases to activate the narration and light up each character as they talk.
The exhibition encompasses country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates and high-rise apartments. Displayed chronologically, the houses will also show developments in architecture and design.
- Family friendly
Hidden Identities Unfinished
- 20 December 2014 — 28 June 2015 *on now
This display of photographs by Yvonne de Rosa examines the lives of children and families living under adverse conditions in Bosnia and Romania. The project was the result of a collaboration with Hope and Homes for Children, an international charity that works to prevent the breakdown of families and to ensure children grow up in a loving environment.
"Hidden Identities Unfinished powerfully demonstrates the strength of character the children have developed. Their sense of personal pride, community spirit and human kindness is to be celebrated and respected" - Sam Taylor Wood, director and artist.
- Any age
The Alice Look
- 2 May — 1 November 2015 *on now
Get a whole new view of Lewis Carroll's heroine in this display marking the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Follow Alice's evolution from follower-of-fashion to trend-setter through a selection of garments, photographs, rare editions and a brand new commission by Roksanda pattern-cutter Josie Smith. The display shows how Alice has been adopted and adapted aross the world in all walks of life, and how she has inspired many of the most celebrated designers, stylists and photographers.
- Any age
Free / Drop in
It's My Party...
- 20 September 2014 — 18 October 2015 *on now
We all have birthdays, but how we mark the passing years is very personal. Some people do not acknowledge them or choose to share an intimate gathering with a few friends or family, whilst others throw enormous, extravagant theme parties.
Whether you are a party animal or prefer to avoid the limelight, does it feel like the expectations of children's birthday parties have escalated out of control? Does expense and scale necessarily equal the best' party or are there less indulgent ways of making birthdays special, memorable events?
Artists and children from Rushmore Primary School Hackney, and St John's Primary School Tower Hamlets, have collaborated to create the installation 'Wilfred's Party', a party with a difference.
- Any age
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.
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.
Make your own Jumping Jack
V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
020 8983 5200
020 8983 5225