IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Festival of Play

20 July 2019–21 July 2019, 11:00 am–4:30 pm

Festival of Play, V&A Museum of Childhood

This two-day festival at the V&A Museum of Childhood celebrates all things play with workshops, games and activities designed for all ages.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Amy Brickhill


V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
E2 9PA

The Festival of Play is a collaboration between UCL’s Playing the Archive research project and the V&A Museum of Childhood.

Design your own musical instrument using digital and hands-on methods, experience prototype virtual reality environments with students from the Royal College of Art (RCA), and get outdoors and play with the team from Montessori St Nicholas Charity. Learn about the games played by children fifty years ago and contribute your own games to an ever-growing archive of fun.

The festival will be taking place on Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July from 11:00 – 16:30 on both days. Booking is not required, just turn up and play! 


Build, break & re-build

Work with artist Matt Shaw to create a large-scale, changing play structure on the museum’s Marble Floor.

Outdoor games

11.00-16.30 (group games at 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 & 15.00)
Join the team from Montessori St Nicholas charity, who can teach you some fun games you can play in your garden or at school.

Play Market

Browse through our Play Market full of fun drop-in activities:

  • A Sense of Play Playing Cards: pick-up a free pack of interactive playing cards made by the UCL research team.
  • Games from around the world: tell artist Dan Jones about games you know and create a collaborative map of games.
  • Museum of made-up stories: pretend to be a museum curator, and valuate toys and objects.
  • Musical instrument making (ages 4+): build and play your own electronic instrument made of card with the V&A Digital Team.
  • Play the Museum Game (ages 4+): try some games made by designer Matteo Manapace especially for the V&A Museum of Childhood.
  • Badge making: use words and images from old books and make a badge with artist Alison Somerset-Ward.
Give it a try: AR Prototype

Ages 4+

Meet a group of students from the RCA Information Experience Design course who have created an augmented reality play idea for the V&A Museum of Childhood. Have a go and test their prototype!

Give it a try: VR Prototype

12.00-16.00, Village (Place)
Ages 4+, sign-up on the day
Meet more students from the RCA Information Experience Design course, and experience their new prototype environments through virtual reality headsets.

Time Telephone

Dial the Time Telephone to speak to children from the past and present and learn new games to play.

Robot Sculpture

11.00-12.30 & 14.00-15.30
Ages 4+
Work with our Activity Assistants to create wonderful and bizarre robots from recycled and upcycled materials.

Baby Sensory Play

Under 3s
Explore materials and play things prepared specially for little ones.

Workshop: How to make a video game

11.30 & 14.00 (60mins)
Ages 8+, sign-up on the day
Come and make your own 3D adventure videogame using the MissionMaker software with a team from UCL.

Play Films

Watch a series of archival and recent document films about children’s play.