We spent nearly 4 hours at the British Museum this weekend and I had to coax my daughter out! 4 hours with a four-year-old? ‘How come?’ you may ask. Firstly we had a Spanish-speaking tour with songs and stories that really awakened my little one’s interest, then we had a wander to look at ‘something we haven’t seen yet.’ There is so much of interest- if you can just simplify what it all is for a little one. ‘Lingotots’ did this really well.
What did we explore?
Ancient Egypt was the main focus of the tour. We started off at a copy of the Rosetta Stone that you can touch. Good call. Carolina, our guide, explained it then sat us all down. Amazingly in such a busy museum, nobody seemed to mind our little gathering by ‘the Stone’. This was good as it was story time. She held out drawings and told stories of the gods and pharaohs of Egypt, getting us to repeat “el Faraón” (the Pharaoh) “momia” (mummy) and other key words. I say ‘we’, but it was more the parents. The littlies enjoyed listening though!
From here, we went on to look for the mummies and Pharaohs from the stories and saw sarcophagus and skeletons too. I must admit I was not keen on seeing what was basically coffins and dead people, but Daisy didn’t seem phased. She asked questions like:
“Why has he only got one foot?” (a Mummy bound up)
“Why did they wrap them up like that?”
“What’s that round bit?” (It was a skull.)
From the mummies we made our way to a mosaic. Carolina and Lily sang an animal song based around the animals depicted (ok so my daughter noticed there was no rabbit in the mosaic but never mind) The song was fun; it included sounds and movement and we all joined in.
Didn’t your child get distracted?
Yes, she did- but generally as she spotted something else of interest, so dragged me over to have a look.
Did I worry about losing the group?
I did at the start, but it was fine. Besides, we weren’t the only ones getting distracted and the leader was never too far. Carolina was also super easy to spot in her bright red jacket.
Would it be boring without a tour?
We’ve been to art museums and it’s been great- but there you have plenty of colour and visual stimulation. I wasn’t sure if my daughter would enjoy it, but she did- a lot. When the tour finished and the kids had had some food and a play, we carried on looking round the museum and it was interesting- so if you are quick to read the signs and explain, why not go without a tour? I must say, Lingotots enhanced the experience though.
If going with kids, you can use the ‘Family Centre’ to store your bags for free as well as sit down to eat. It is down a level, in the corner near an information post.
The shop is well worth a looking at at the end of your visit, too. We bought a couple of great books and bits.