There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it

Tripoto
8th Apr 2017

Funfair Galloper Horse, dated 1902, at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai

Doll houses at the Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Photo of Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Shalini Rai

Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Photo of Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Shalini Rai

Doll houses at the Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Photo of Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Shalini Rai

Doll houses at the Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Photo of Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh, United Kingdom by Shalini Rai

One day in April 2017, while tramping around the streets of Edinburgh, I chanced upon the Museum of Childhood. Yes, you read it right.

A Museum of Childhood. Dedicated to All Things Childhood. It was the first museum in the world to specialise in the 'history of childhood'. From doll houses to soft toys, wooden cars, model aeroplanes, battleships, spinning tops, slates, schoolbags, piggy-banks, report cards and storybooks, this Museum will take you back to your own childhood. And even though it's in Edinburgh and you may not be in Edinburgh, childhood and its joys are universal, and a wander through this museum proves that conclusively.

Piggy-bank at the Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai

Funfair Galloper Horse, dated 1902, at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai

Funfair Galloper Horse, dated 1902, at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai

An exhibit at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai

The Museum website says this in its 'history' section: "Patrick Murray (the guy who set up this Museum).... later modestly described the first exhibits as ‘…a pitiful handful of soldiers, building blocks and railway stuff of my own’. However, the exhibition of these objects brought the collection to the public’s attention, and soon people were donating their own cherished toys and other childhood things. The Museum of Childhood collection today contains over 50,000 objects, and continues to grow. People of all ages and from all walks of life donate individual objects and collections."

The collection here is divided into 'School Days', 'Games', 'Home Life', 'Children's Clothes', 'Books' and spans objects from the 18th century to the 21st century. The day I visited, there were families with excited pre-teens and bawling babies in prams; there was a woman reading a story to her daughter in a quiet spot; there were wizened grandparents in tweed jackets and young men clutching smartphones. And they were all happy to be there. So was I.

*Admission is Free.

Photograph by Kjetil Bjørnsrud

Photo of There's a Museum dedicated to Childhood and here's everything you'd like to know about it by Shalini Rai
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