A bit of a break from my usual posts – rather than focus on one day out, I am going to cover a few different places to go and investigate with your little ones.
This week is the first one and it is all about museums where the little ones can play. I mean really PLAY and roam free without you having to panic that you could be arrested when they damage a priceless piece of art or historical artefact. I may have missed some from my list – do let me know as this is what Guidebook baby is all about.
AHOY! This gallery is a ‘hard’ play (sounds a bit fifty shades, I know). Beachside, Seaside, Dock, Engine Room, Ship deck and quarters, Fishing and Fishmonger areas for little ones to roam. Definitely more suited to toddlers than crawlers.
Then you have the big map and boat for them to explore upstairs.
The Museum of London in the Docklands has a number of different areas where little ones can play. The top choice out of these is the Mudlarks Gallery, which has to be booked (but is free). It includes a soft play area, water play area, brick building, and weighing games.
In the rest of the museum there is a Sainsbury’s shop, air raid shelter with toys and old dock streets to walk down. All great fun.
There is so much going on in the play base for little ones. They can tackle the obstacle course, play at vehicles, cook house and quartermaster stores. There is also a fieldcraft skills zone where they can have a go at building camps, dens and shelters. They have a baby zone for the tiny tots.
I am a Science teacher, so I have lots of love for the Science Museum. There is so much going on here to keep little ones entertained but my top tip for playing is to head to the Garden. Here little ones can splash about with water and investigate bubbles, pouring and floating. There is an area where they can have a go at building, using tools and moving things. Finally, there is a area to get their senses going where they can experiment with reflections, colour and sound.
It is the priciest of the bunch but it does allow you entry for a year. They have a family play area which includes a fleet of mini vehicles, able to drive a real bus, and dress up in uniforms to become a mechanic, riverboat captain, station announcer or driver. There is also an area for babies called the ‘Baby DLR’.
At the Postal Museum, little ones get to explore a mini-village which has streets and buildings. They can play at being the postman/lady using the trolleys, pulleys, slides and chutes available. Little guides can dress up as well. Book ahead.