| Photo Diary | Childish Things

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” C.S. Lewis

Trust me to create a wish-list in a place which I unconditionally cannot procure a single item on that said list! Yet this is exactly what proceeded to occur after our impromptu visit to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.

Though it is in the East-end  the museum is part makes up part of the V&A and is a sprawling cornucopia of distractions including all manner of toys, dolls, puppets, model trains and more. It is a place that will either tickle your nostalgia or have you creating exorbitant wish lists of your own. Probably both!

My impossible wish-list looks a bit like this:

1. Man eating lion mechanical wooden toy. Preferably complete with half devoured man - blood not necessary.

2. Enormous dollhouse that is in fact not a dollhouse but a clever storage system for all my trinkets - royal connections would be nice but not essential.

3. A sand powered automaton from latter part of the 1800's - in perfect working order.

4. A masked marionette. Puppet theatre to house the marionette can arrive once I have won the Lotto.

5. A hand painted diorama or 20. Again, perfect condition please?

P.S. I found this clip on Youtube that explains the magic of sand toys. I'd wager that quite a few of you may be keeping your eyes peeled and fingers crossed in hope of finding one too now!

USEFUL LINKS | V&A Museum of Childhood |


  1. You always seem to visit the most fascinating places! I must admit, I've always found that there's something slightly macabre and terrifying about old toys and these snapshots have done nothing to make me feel less that way (although I admit the lion is quite hilarious.) I would love to see them in person, but never want to have any in my home.

  2. This place looks magical :))) I'll take your wishlist too :) xx

  3. Oh my goodness, how have I never heard of this place. Why didn't someone tell me earlier!

    Buckets & Spades

  4. oh! I want one...shouldn't have watch that haha. I doubt I'll find any around here ;(

  5. I love the dollhouse! It's fun to see all the nifty mechanics behind old toys like these.

  6. One of my all time favourites. I love all the dollhouses, my great aunt used to collect dolls so it always makes me feel terribly nostalgic! All the funny theatre costumes are wonderfull too. X

  7. Wow, I would never know about this museum if it is not for you! I thought the museum of handbag in Amsterdam was bizarre but this one is close ;) I especially like the lion with a man in its mouth!

  8. Wow I had never heard of sandtoys before but it's so interestings. I would love to visit this museum everything just looks magical. I've always found beautiful, well made, toys just lovely !

    xx, Charlie.

  9. I can't believe I didn't visit when my boyfriend lived in Bethnal Green!!!!

    Katrina Sophia

  10. I'll happily add that dollhouse and lion eating a man to my wishlist too :)

  11. that doll house reminded me of a video clip i saw of a man frying super tiny shrimp tempura using a super tiny bowl on a stovetop that was run by a candle. there was also a tiny tiny knife he cut the tempura with. so patient to work with little things. my hands are so clumsy and i tend to like hold bigger items like bulky yarn and fat needles :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note, they are the stuff that keeps us going.