This rejuvenation changes things up with a ton of interactive elements, with tunnels to crawl through for the youngest and arcade machines for older children – including a chance to navigate a recreation of the museum in Minecraft. There’s plenty of room for children to exercise their own imagination with a performance area, a design shed and an area for creating self-portraits – with examples on the wall for inspiration, ranging from Vincent Van Gogh to the selfie taken by the Curiosity Rover on Mars.
Those wanting that sweet hit of nostalgia needn’t worry as there’s still plenty of chance to check out toys we all had, from Space Hoppers, to He-Man action figures and a whole host of board games including Monopoly, Mousetrap and The Game of Life. This runs through to more recent inventions including the now-omnipresent micro scooters and a finger skateboard park that the museum surely has lots of replacements on hand for as they’ll undoubtedly go missing.
A particularly moving display is that of Open Bionics who work with children to turn their disabilities into something more affirming so they’ve developed a prosthetic arm that can clip on new coverings so it can turn into an Iron Man or Black Panther style arm.
Throw in a section on doll’s houses, the optical illusion of an Ames room where standing in one corner makes you appear gigantic and at the other end miniaturised, and a mirrored spiral staircase and this rejuvenation is a triumph. This used to be a museum about remembering childhood, and now it’s one for celebrating childhood.
Second and third image copyright David Parry.
|What||Young V&A, review|
|Where||V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd, London, E2 9PA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bethnal Green (overground)|
01 Jul 23 – 31 Dec 23, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|