The Imperial War Museum London is a great place to take the kids, even considering its theme of war. Of course the subject needs to be treated sensitively, and in a way which is interesting but not offputting to children. With this in mind, the IWM has just launched a new guide book to the Imperial War Museum London which is meant especially for kids (particularly for the 7-11 year old age group, but a wide age range will enjoy much of its contents).
We went along to the IWM one morning before it opened to the public. This was a lovely chance to see the museum free of crowds (it was also amazing to see how quickly it filled up with visitors once it did open at 10am).
As special VIPs we were treated to a lovely breakfast before being given the chance to handle some objects. It was fascinating to be able to hold helmets from wars of many years ago, and to see the differences as they evolved, and across different nationalities of soldiers.
We also spent some time designing and drawing scarves with a 1940s feel. We got to take the finished articles home too.
The most important thing we took home was a copy of the new guide book. Explore! A Kid’s Guide to IWM London is the IWM’s new publication which holds loads of fun facts, comic strips, stories, stickers and drawing activities which are perfect for children. It even has stickers! It is good to use whilst you walk around the museum, but also to read at home. As a parent I found it great as a tool to help highlight interesting stories around the museum that the children could grasp, and which would really resonate with them. I also really enjoyed reading about the conservation team, and how the objects are preserved and made safe before the general public can get to see, feel and learn about them. The guide book is written in an engaging tone and is visually very attractive.
We are so pleased to have a copy of Explore! and we will dig into it at home too. It is always a pleasure to visit the Imperial War Museum – the front cannons and gardens alone are worth seeing – and with this guide book it really helps to focus on some of the objects and events which kids will find most fascinating. Thank you to everyone involved for a fantastic morning. We will definitely be back.
Explore! A Kid’s Guide to IWM London is available from the IWM London for £4.
The photos are my own, apart from the cover illustration to the guide book (copyright IWM).
For more information go to the Imperial War Museums website.