Groups and tours

The Sensory Pod

For more information or to book a group or tour, call 020 8983 5205 or email mocbookings@vam.ac.uk.

If you are planning a visit for a group of 10 people or more, please let us know in advance. To ensure maximum enjoyment, we can only provide guided tours during the Museum's quieter times - weekdays between 14.30 and 17.30, and weekends from 10.15 to 12.15.

Talks for students

A selection of talks, led by a member of the formal learning team, are available for student (post 16) groups studying CACHE, history, post-graduate teacher training and NQTs.

  • Sessions take place in the Clore Learning Centre at 14.00 (for groups of up to 30 students) and at 14.30 for larger groups
  • 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes
  • £40, £55, £70 or £100 for groups of up to 30, more for groups of up to 80
  • Tours must be booked in advance, all bookings will receive a letter of confirmation
  • For more information email c.bloore@vam.ac.uk

  • Sessions


    The Social Construction of Childhood
    (A-level sociology and first year undergraduates)

    An illustrated talk with images of childhood, followed by a small group hands-on session with objects from the learning collection and linked enquiry questions to inspire discussion.


    The Importance of Play for Young Children
    (CACHE and related childcare courses)

    A short illustrated talk based on the Museum's collections, followed by a carousel of activities exploring the role of the adult and the learning outcomes for child play.


    How Children Learn in Museums
    (Trainee teachers, NQTs and teaching assistants)

    An introduction to the resources and experiences that museums can offer, combined with practical suggestions for preparation for learning outside the classroom.


    Adult tours

    A range of guided tours for adult groups are available, each taking a more in-depth look at a particular theme related to childhood. 

  • Available Monday-Friday, 14.30-17.30 or Saturday and Sunday, 10.15-12.15
  • 60 or 90 minutes (unless otherwise stated)
  • £65 or £95 for a maximum of 15 people
  • All tours must be booked in advance, all bookings will receive a letter of confirmation
  • Bookings cancelled with less than 10 working days notice will be charged in full

  • Themes


    Treasures 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.


    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.


    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.


    History of the Museum

    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)


    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.


     

     

     

    Shop online...

    Patrick Rylands Cool Cat

    The V&A online shop stocks a distinctive and refreshingly different range for children, big and little, then and now, including toys, games, books and accessories.

    Buy

    Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA