Â Museums have come a long way in recent years. Gone are the days of the provision for children being limited to a photocopied worksheet – today’s institutions have all-singing, all-dancing interactive exhibits and activities galore. Look out for Myf’s upcoming post on Eureka! – it sounds amazing. Clearly launched as a bid to augment revenue, museum shops are having a bit a of a moment, so I’ve picked my favourite buys for kids. Spoiler: potential Christmas list ideas within.Â Let’s start with some art – the London Transport museum shop is a complete treasure trove, especially for vehicle lovers. I can’t get enough of the vintage Underground posters and the London Zoo range is particularly gorgeous. This cheeky tiger will set you back a mere Â£9.95.
Talking of non-scary stripy predators, we featured The Tiger Who Came to Tea goodies on sale at the V&A Museum of Childhood a while back. My pick from the store is this cool beaker and straw exclusively designed by pop art guru Clifford Richards. Choose from red, blue, green or yellow, Â£3.50 – a brilliant stocking filler.
Another one for the Christmas sock is this traditional and timeless wooden cup and ball toy, Â£4.50,Â from the wonderful Ragged School Museum, which offers an insight into the lives of Victorian schoolchildren. I’ve bought similar in the past for children and they never fail to amuse.
My office is situated dangerously close to Tate Modern and I can rarely resist a browse around the fantastic shop and almost never leave empty-handed. You’re already aware of my fondness for both owls and Alice Melvin’s illustrations, so this t-shirt, Â£12.50,Â is close to perfection.
It was Roald Dahl day earlier this week and the author’s museum in Kent is scrumdiddlyumptious, as is the web shop which reveals such delights as Roald’s favourite pencils, Dahl Top Trumps and a selection of divine lampshades emblazoned with Quentin Blake illustrations,Â Â£46.
The British Museum is a must for kids and the online shop has a bucketful of great gift ideas. I’m loving this colourful wooden puzzle,Â inspired by the Gayer-Anderson cat, Â£16.99,Â a favourite exhibit with young visitors.
Museum and gallery shops are an excellent resource for creative toys and craft kits and the amazing Imperial War Museum has a host of great buys, including this great ButtonbagÂ medal-making set,Â Â£11.99.
Not strictly a museum, but the British Library is another superb shopping opportunity. Ok, they won’t be able to fill in this I Read a Book pad, Â£5.95,Â until they’re a little older, but you could always help them. And there are stickers. Just lovely.
Another beautiful thing is this Dove Bunting from the Design Museum. Designed by four year 9 students in London and a bargain at just Â£9.95, it would look fabulous in a bird-themed nursery. (Or you could just keep it for yourself).
Last, but certainly not least, is the behemoth of the child-friendly attraction – the Natural History Museum. I defy any child not to want to buy virtually everything in the shop, but, obviously, it’s the dinosaur buys that are the big draw. This dino picture viewer,Â Â£6, is a pleasing update on a traditional toy. Ten just isn’t enough – the Science Museum, Museum of London, Cartoon Museum and the V&A itself are well worth a look. Lots of great museums don’t seem to have webstores – come on Eureka! and Pollocks Toy Museum, you’re missing a trick.