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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, spanning the 1600s to the present day. The Museum is open from 10.00 to 17.45 daily.

group and tour information: themes V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9PA United Kingdom Switchboard +44 (0)20 8983 5200 Shop +44 (0)20 8983 5231 Fax +44 (0)20 8983 5225

Treasures of the Museum

History of the Museum

A guided tour of the top ten objects in the Museum's collection as selected by the curatorial team. The must-see objects include an ancient Egyptian paddle doll from approx. 1,300 BC, a 17th century Nuremberg dolls' house and an early 18th century child's wardrobe designed in the style of Kew Palace. The tour includes a talk on the history of the Museum, which charts it's opening in 1872 up to the present day.

The Museum's iron and glass structure is a unique example of Victorian architecture. Originally erected in London's West End, the building was moved across the city and opened as the East London Museum of Art and Science in 1872. This tour explores the Museum's fascinating 140 year history. (30 minutes, £40)

FREE admission

Toys from around the World Find out some surprising facts about the origins of some of the world's most famous toys and games, including Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly and Lego. Explore handmade toys made by African children and hear the curious tale of an 18th century Venetian puppet theatre.

Childhood Past and Present Childhood is universal, and yet no two childhoods are the same. Family life, education, wealth, war, health and cultural influences shape a child's experiences. Childhood Past and Present looks at ten iconic objects related to British childhood, spanning 300 years up to the present day, from 18th century swaddling bands to 21st century computer games.

The Victorian Child During Queen Victoria's 64-year reign, enormous changes occurred in the lives of children, brought on by new education and labour laws. The Victorian Child at Home compares the lives of children from the early Victorian period to those of the late Victorian period, with reference to changes in fashion, furniture, toys and games. The Museum's stunning dolls' house collection also provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the growing middle classes during this period.

War Games Enjoy a guided tour of the temporary exhibition, War Games (25 May 2013 - 9 March 2014). This dynamic exhibition illustrates the diverse ways that play and toys recreate and represent warfare. It looks at how toys manufacturers respond to changing attitudes towards conflict, and the impact war can have on children's play. Discover the 'secret history' of toys used as tools of war and espionage. (30 minutes, £40)

museum information

This is some basic information that will need to be included in my designs. Just about the museum in general, contact information, collections, what’s on etc.


museum of childhood

creative gallery

front room gallery

The Museum's Creativity Gallery is divided into four sections – Imagine, Be Inspired, Explore and Make it Happen. These are based around four key stages in the creative process: Imagination; inspiration; exploration; and the final result.

The Museum's collection provides the stimulus for a dynamic programme of artist-led projects, engaging new audiences in a creative process that brings the themes of childhood to life. The combined work of established and emerging artists and the culmination of community projects is showcased in the prominent dedicated gallery space, the Front Room, which is situated at the entrance to the Museum.

Interactives There are many interactives for children to engage with in the Creativity Gallery, including the Sensory Pod and Build it Up and Knock it Down (building blocks). Art Smarts (arts & crafts) also take place every day from 14.00-16.00. Imagine Imagine looks at how a child's imagination can be stimulated by their immediate surroundings, allowing them to create their own worlds, using anything from a wooden spoon to a cardboard box. There are hundreds of objects on display in Imagine, including puppets and toy theatres, teddy bears and soft toys, playsets and playhouses, toys based on household objects, dolls, made from wax, plastic and wood, teenage dolls such as Barbie, Sindy and Tressy, fancy dress costumes, board games, plastic model kits and more.

moving toys gallery The Museum's Moving Toys Gallery is divided into four sections – Pushes and Pulls, Springs and Cogs, Circuits and Motors and Look See. Moving toys range from rocking horses and pull-along toys to more complex clockwork and battery-operated toys. Optical toys are a kind of moving toy that creates visual special effects. We can learn a lot about science, design and technology from moving toys – the mechanisms include everything from cams and levers to the latest computer microchip. Interactives The Moving Toys Gallery has a wide variety of interactives for children to engage with, including rocking horses, Robbie the Robot, a train set, a peep show and zoetrope. Touchscreen interactives featuring moving toys games and quizzes are also situated throughout the gallery. Pushes and Pulls Pushes and Pulls looks at the toys that move by being pushed or pulled along by hand, by using a rocking, tilting or winding movement, with the aid of a string or by natural forces, such as gravity, magnets, wind or heat. There are hundreds of objects on display in Pushes and Pulls, including pedal cars and scooters, spinning tops, pull-along toy animals, rocking horses, puppets, toy theatres, and much more. Springs and Cogs Springs and Cogs showcases many different kinds of mechanical toys. Objects on display include toys operated by a spring such as jack-in-the-boxes, clockwork toys dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, friction toys including cars, aeroplanes and motorcycles, and much more. Circuits and Motors Circuits and Motors features many examples of toys powered by electricity, including battery-operated toys, and those operated by remote control. Objects on display include cars on tracks such as Scalextric (1964), remote control toys like Robosapien (2004) and electric train sets such as Hogwarts Express (2001).

research: gallery and floor map information

I thought it would be a good idea to look at the various collections and displays/galleries on at the museum to use as part of the branding. I was thinking of creating a floor map gallery poster that shows you specific areas of each gallery. Some of this information will be used in the branding for the museum, i.e promotional material, maps, museum posters, postcards, calendar etc.

research boards

Be Inspired Be Inspired explores the many different ways in which children can be inspired - by their immediate surroundings, the outside world or fantastical worlds. This part of the gallery also shows how artists can in turn be inspired by the child's creative process. Many of the objects on display in Be Inspired come from all around the world including rock gardens from China, a model Japanese palace, Russian nesting dolls, a Native American rag doll and more. There are a wide variety of dolls, teddy bears and soft toys and toys inspired by space, including Star Wars playsets and Doctor Who action figures. There are also many examples of toys based on films and TV programmes, includng a Sooty hand puppet, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman action figures, examples of rare Marvel comics including X-Men and Green Lantern, and toys based on classic fantasy, including puppets from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Alice in Wonderland lantern slides and merchandise from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Explore Explore shows how children put their ideas into practice by trying and testing as part of the creative process. This could include learning how to play a musical instrument, writing a story or constructing a tower using building blocks. Objects on display in Explore include many different examples of educational toys designed to develop mental and physical skills, including musical instruments, chemistry sets, writing sets, needlework kits and cookery playsets. Examples of toy designs and prototypes are on show, as well as toys made from many different materials, including wax, wood, plastic, tin, celluloid and bisque. There are also many examples of construction toys, including wooden building blocks, Super Octons, Lego, Meccano and Stickle Bricks. Make it Happen Make it Happen looks at the results of the creative process, in particular examples of many homemade objects (including toys, paintings and drawings) made by children. Make it Happen is divided into three areas: Made by You, a changing display, which showcases examples of objects created by children, teenagers and adults inspired by the Museum's collections and programmes; Made by Children, which includes a wide variety of objects made by children through the ages, including samplers dating from the late eighteenth century, scrapbooks, letters and photographs, greetings cards, homemade games, dolls' house furniture and more; and The Making Process, which showcases a variety of toys that have been made by children using unusual and unexpected materials, including dolls made from pipe cleaners, beads and nuts, birds and animals made from shells, and an African toy helicopter made from recycled tin cans.


research boards

museum of childhood childhood gallery

creative gallery

The Childhood Galleries, located on the First Floor of the Museum, are arranged into the following themes – Babies, Home, What We Wear, Who Will I Be? and Good Times. Each section of the Childhood Galleries explores a different aspect of childhood – what home means, how babies are cared for, what children wear, and what children will be when they grow up.

Good Times Everyone enjoys having a good time whether it's alone or with family or friends. Going out to be entertained has been part of people's lives for centuries. Fairs have been popular since the Middle Ages and circuses have existed since the late 18th century. Trips to the seaside became more common with the advent of the railways in the mid 19th century. Over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries solitary play has become increasingly popular.

Babies Babies are the most vulnerable and dependent age group in childhood. A baby's life is a constant experience of developing and learning. Babies can absorb and memorise many things – a song, the smell of food, patterns of light and dark – but play is one of the most important. There are hundreds of objects on display in the Babies area, including many different examples of objects made for babies, including rattles and teethers, cots and cradles, prams and highchairs, clothing, and toys such as pull-along toys and hanging mobiles. The Babies area also explores how young children often role play the caring of a baby, using their own toys. Home Dolls' houses help us to gain an understanding of the history of the home. Prior to the 18th century, dolls' houses were often handmade for wealthy adults. It was not until the 18th century that they began to be made for children to play with. The Home area features a number of very rare and beautiful dolls' houses. The earliest, The Nuremberg House, dates from 1673. Other notable dolls' houses in this area include the Tate Baby House (about 1760), the Killer Cabinet House (1835) and Princess Elizabeth's Little House (1935). More recent examples including a Galt dolls' house from 1964 and the Kaleidoscope House (2001). Other key pieces in Home include the Nuremberg Kitchen, which dates from the 18th century. What We Wear Styles, colours and fabrics used in children's clothing have changed dramatically over the past 250 years. The biggest changes occurred in the 1790s, 1920s and 1960s, each time as a result of an outright rejection of styles popular in previous decades. In each of these cases it was children's clothing that led the revolution, with adult styles following. Spanning 250 years, from the mid 1600s to the present day, What We Wear looks at key milestones in the history of children's clothing, including clothes for boys and girls, accessories, dolls and furniture. Notable pieces include a Chinese silk dress dating from about 1786 and the Old Pretender Doll (1680). Interactives in the What We Wear area include shoes to try on from throughout the ages. Who Will I Be? Children role play at many jobs. Some jobs have existed for centuries while others have all but disappeared. Over the past 50 years, many new jobs have also emerged alongside advancements in technology, and today children might grow up to be a computer games designer, a rock star or an astronaut. Who Will I Be? looks at some of the toys in the collection inspired by work and the home. Objects on display include a toy butcher's shop, toy soldiers, guns, tanks and forts, a toy hospital made by Mettoy, a Tri-ang toy milk float, as well as many examples of toy household objects from tea sets to microwaves. Interactives in the Who Will I Be? area include a play vehicle with dressing up, a play kitchen with a dining table, and Lego.

research: gallery and floor map information

These are the floor maps already designed, I want to try and redesign them either displayed as a big poster or on the side of a museum calendar.

The Good Times area of the Childhood Galleries has a large sandpit for children to play in, with accompanying jukebox and interactive Punch and Judy stalls. Objects related to the fairground and the circus are on show, as well as examples of objects inspired by the seaside, such as bathing suits and buckets and spades. There are card games, board games and jigsaws, musical instruments and toys for special occasions, including weddings, christenings and parties. There are also examples of toys related to magic and fortune telling including magic sets, wands and tricks. The Singing Playground Dan Jones is a writer and painter from east London, who for over 40 years, has explored the complex rules, rituals and poetry of the words accompanying a wide variety of children's games. The Singing Playground (2004) is the eighth and largest in his series of playground paintings. It was made using acrylic paint, gouache and oil pastel on paper and measures 533cm by 229cm. It depicts children from all communities dancing together and singing playground songs from all around the world. The Singing Playground is located in the Good Times area of the Childhood Galleries.

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