We visited the Science Museum in South Kensington, London recently with our four year old son Harry. We’ve visited with him a couple of times over the last few years, and in my opinion it is absolutely the best London museum for very young children.
I have fond memories of visiting the museum myself as a child, and in particular we were always drawn to the Launch Pad, a huge area of interactive exhibits aimed at teaching children all about science in a fun and easy to understand way. Launch Pad is still there, and many of the experiments are exactly the same as I remember them. Harry was perhaps a little too young to appreciate the science behind it all, but he loved exploring, pressing buttons and learning about some basic concepts like magnetism, liquids and gases and gravity along the way.
Harry spent most of his time in an area in the basement called The Garden. Aimed at children ages 3-6 (although younger children will also have a great time here) the central feature is a large water table, with boats to float along currents and through jets of water. There is also a construction area with big building blocks and bean bags, and a sensory area with textures and sounds for very young children to explore.
The Pattern Pod is another area of the museum which is specifically designed for young children. The science is about textures and patterns which are found in nature, and there are plenty of buttons to press and shapes to play with, as well as a computer generated interactive fish pond on the floor.
Finally the rest of the museum is stuffed with exhibits that you can pick and choose from depending on the interests of your child. Harry enjoyed looking at the rockets and space exhibits, as well as the large hall full of different vehicles. There is also a gallery full of different models, including steam trains with moving parts, which kept him happily entertained for a long time.
The museum is free to visit and there is plenty of space in the basement where you can sit and eat sandwiches, so it is easily a cheap day out. And if you have some time left over, the Natural History Museum is right next door, with even more to see and do!
You can learn more about The Science Museum by visiting their website.
This is a guest post from Jennifer, a real expert at travelling and days out with children. You can read her blog at Jennifer’s Little World