The April showers we have been having lately may well bring forth May flowers, but they are also preventing any weekend country rambles. An indoor activity was definitely on the cards for this weekend and so we chose to take the Podlings to Sudbury Museum of Childhood. We took Tom and Lily there when I was expecting Emma, but for some reason we haven't been back since despite its not being too far from us. We are members of the National Trust, therefore it counts as a cheap day out for us, so there is no excuse really.
We invited Mark's parents to join us and we met them at the museum early in the afternoon. We had a wonderful time and the Podlings enjoyed themselves immensely. As well as the exhibits, there are many hands-on things for the children to do and play with, which means that the grown ups get to read a bit of history without the children getting bored and wanting to move on too quickly.
Something that really struck me when looking at Victorian toys compared with more modern toys was the quality versus quantity balance. Victorian children may have had only a few toys, but they were of excellent quality and treasured because they were so few. Children today have toys of much cheaper quality and so many of them they hardly seem to notice when something gets lost or broken. It really brought home to me that our children are missing out on something very special in our modern materialistic society.
I took a lot of photos, but didn't want to use flash since we were in a museum. None of the pictures came out very well, but I hope they show what a lovely day we had and how much we enjoyed ourselves.
Emma loved the wooden play kitchen
Lily had a go at being a chimney sweep and crawled through the little fireplace and flue they had on display. The little sweeps get to have their cheeks smudged with 'soot' to show they have been brave enough to crawl through the chimney.
Tom playing with blocks
Emma pouring up tea at the teddy bears' picnic. One of her favourite toys at home is her tin tea set, so she is a dab hand at pouring pretend tea.
Lily's favourite part of the museum was the dress-up chest and the changeable scenery to allow the children to make up their own plays.
Lily posing in a princess costume
Emma feeding a 'baby' in the baby area of the museum
The Podlings putting on a play
There were lots of toys for the children to play with
A short snippet of the Podlings putting on a play