Little Feet at the British Museum

At the start of the year, I wrote about free activities for under fives at the British Museum in large part because I was determined to finally go and try them out (with a little help from the one-year-old and four-year-old).

A few weeks ago, we went to a Little Feet session for the first time and that means I can now whole-heartedly recommend them to you. And flag up that the next ones are coming up soon:

On Friday 20 April 2018, Little Feet go disco dancing at 10.30am. The music and movement session is free and takes place in the studio.

On Thursday 3 May 2018, the session is called Exhibition Explorer and takes place in room 30 at 10.30am. It relates to the Rodin and the art of Greece exhibition.

And on Saturday 26 May 2018, Little Feet is all about animal sounds. Sounds Grrrrr-eat. There are hourly sessions in room 1 between 11am and 3.30pm.

All the details are here.

The session we went to remains a high point of the last dreary weeks weather-wise. For a start, we were heading somewhere new. We went as a family and there was something for us all to enjoy.

For the one-year-old, there was a little ball pit to crawl in, as well as some interesting cuddly toys to play with.

For the four-year-old (who happened to be dressed as a unicorn) there was a lovely session that taught her the difference between ‘mythical animals’ and ones that exist on planet earth.

At the start, each of the children reached into a bag and pulled out a cuddly animal and they worked out if it was mythical or not. I don’t know what the chances were of this happening, but you guessed it, my DD pulled a unicorn out of the bag and she was utterly delighted although it didn’t entail admitting they aren’t actually real.

After that, armed with some photos of peculiar creatures (like half fish/half bear stone carvings) and a tablet, she got to search round the room until she found them all and photographed the evidence.

The organisers were really engaging and everyone aged between one and five seemed to enjoy themselves. The parents looked pretty pleased too.

We didn’t hang around for long afterwards because it was a Saturday and the museum was busy. But here are a few things to bear in mind.

  • It’s worth looking up which room you’re going to and where it is before you head to the museum – it’s not fun searching for the right place with kids in tow especially if you’re running late.
  • When we visited, there were bag searches outside, but you go in the members’ queue if you have a pushchair – nice touch.
  • The museum gets really crowded at weekends so it might be quite stressful to visit other rooms or galleries with toddlers.
  • There are cafes, toilets, baby changing rooms and all the facilities you need at the museum.
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Diary dates

Did you know the British Museum has monthly activity sessions called Little Feet for under fives? I did, but I’ve never been despite being a big fan of the museum and having a membership I haven’t used for years.

My problem is I find it impossible to retain random dates in my sleep-deprived head and Little Feat seems to be held fairly randomly.

So, as much as for myself as for you, here are the Little Feet dates for the next three months. As the first date is four days away, it’s possible I might remember this one…

  • Friday 26 January 2018, 10.30am-12 noon – Little Feet: Celebrate China Room 33
  • Friday 9 February 2018, two sessions starting 10.30am and 12.30pm – Little Feet: Explore Your Senses. Studio, booking required (when I looked, it said it was all booked but it might be worth enquiring about returns).
  • Thursday 29 March 2018, 10.30-12 noon – Little Feet: Happy Feet. Studio, booking required.

All sessions are free.

To find out more, and keep track of other events at the British Museum, click here.

Even more things to do…

It never rains, but it pours (it certainly did today), and so hot on the heels of yesterday’s activities, here’s a further selection of things you can do imminently with your toddler. This time we’re heading to museums and galleries for some free fun.

Friday 4th August 2017 – Seaside stories, at the Geffrye Museum, Hoxton

Sessions running 10.30-11.30am, and 12 noon-1pm (16 places, first come first served)

Story-telling and crafts with a focus on animals at the seaside.

Find out more here.

Saturday 5th August 2017 – Explore the Tate, at Tate Britain

2-4pm

This is a special session for under fives and their grown ups. Meet in the Clore Centre, then enjoy the gallery with artist, Ania Bas.

Find out more here.

Monday 7th August 2017, Messy Mondays at the National Gallery

10.30am-12 noon

This is a regular session involving story-telling and crafts which takes a different colour each week as it’s theme. This time it’s purple. Come in your favourite purple clothes and accessories.

(The National Gallery also has activities for under fives on Tuesdays.

Find out more here.

Friday 11 August 2017, Little Feet at the British Museum

Sessions at 11am-1pm and 2-4pm

Come prepared for splashing about in water with a workshop for under 5s inspired by Hokusai’s Great Wave.

Meet in the Forecourt.

Find out more here.

Tate Modern, early years activities (any time)

If you’re heading to Tate Modern with your toddler, pick up a collection case from the information desk on level 0. The contents of your case are intended to help your explore the artworks in the Material Worlds display.

This activity is recommended for children aged 4 and up.

Find out more here (number 7 on the list).