Tate modern with a toddler

I've listed in the past that I consider London a museum wonderland. I love the fact how the city center is filled with high quality museums with free access. It is heaven.

It also makes the threshold to visit a museum very low: you can hop in and since you didn't pay any entrance fee it doesn't matter if you stay 3 hours or just 20 minutes to absorb one hall.  When Jan worked at Leicester square in the past and I had to kill time for just a short moment to wait for him, I jumped into the National Gallery just around the corner.

Tate Modern is also a museum I've visited multiple times for short moments while passing by.  This time was no different: we were all frozen so it looked like a good opportunity to go and visit the museum. Yet it was the first time we were visiting with small children.

Most museums nowadays have child activities available, so we simply went to check with the Cole Learning Center inside the Tate Modern Museum.  We promptly received a fun little suitcase filled with seamingly all kinds of random objects, for Kabouter to take along to the 4th floor "Materials" exhibition.  He was so cute running around with his suitcase!   We had some activity cards to trigger him in different rooms. Not all activities were related to the art exposed in the room eg: open up your suitcase, put all the objects around it and put them in pairs where you think they are linked.  In other rooms there was a clear link however: eg try to build with the things in your suitcase a similar tower or do you find a similar material in your suitcase as the art displayed in this room.

Kabouter was too small to follow the instructions dilligently but had fun and also jumped in other rooms without assignment on the floor, often in front of the feet of other people, to open up his suitcase again and show off the weird collection of objects in it. I was happy to take him in the museum and try to tickle his curiosity and senses by the displays around him, even though they were really abstract, also to us.  But I don't think a museum visit is about rationally capturing everything but about emotions, discovery, senses, marvel, ... so I hope we managed to pass a little bit of that to Kabouter.

"the bandits have been trapped" art according to Kabouter

On different floors we had received a few post cards with art and we had to go and seek the image from the card.  The info on the cards was too hard for a toddler but we made up some tiny assignments as copying the pose from the photograph or ...

Finally we went to the drawing bar, which was a rather quiet room with comfy sofa's where Beertje enjoyed some freedom to crawl and explore while Jan and Kabouter were making digital art on the available digital drawing boards.   You could save them and then they showed up on a large dashboard in the room (and they were e-mailed to you). We spent quite some time here.

In the end I have truly enjoyed visiting Tate Modern with the children.


Jenn said…
Awesome to read your post! We are heading to London and Paris for March Break so good to know they have lots of kid things too. Wasn't sure about the museums but it sounds like they might be a hit.

yab said…
Ja, fijn he, die koffertjes die tegenwoordig zo in de mode zijn. Heb ook ooit zoiets gedaan met de nichtjes van mijn vriend in M en die vonden het ook geweldig.

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