Saturday, December 22, 2012

Children's Town

Update 2016 - the museum has just reopened after being closed for 3 years. Here is an updated review

First day of the Christmas holidays and we took the kids to the Sederholm House, Children's Town. The Helsinki city website didn't really sell the museum, but I'd heard a few things about it, so thought we should give it a try. 

It actually was good fun, it's all set up around the idea of introducing aspects of Finland's domestic past to children. So it had one floor set up for the 1800s, with a ship, kitchen, horse and carriage, cobblers and the theatre. And the second floor had 2 classrooms from different periods, a room full of doll's houses and a 1970s 'house'. We spent most of our time on the first floor. 

I felt it was lacking some things on the interactive side. It's a museum dedicated to children, but in the classrooms there were lots of things that they couldn't touch but were left out in the open like a giant abacus and benches they couldn't sit on. What's the point of inviting children in but say they can't touch all the things left in the open? The kids were immediately bored by the classrooms and ran off. 

And there were some opportunities missed, like there should be more interactive things on the ship - there were only some bags of 'cargo' they could move about, and in the cobblers - there were some half made shoes, but no tools or chances to play cobbler though it was supposedly 'looking for an assistant'. It wouldn't be too difficult to put out some ropes, a ship's wheel, buckets and brushes for swabbing the deck like they had on the Tall Ship in Glasgow to make it more fun for the kids. 

But saying that our lot had a great time. There was a box of dress up clothes and another for puppets for the theatre. They mainly put on some outfits and ran between the different exhibits. They boys loved the fairy and bug wings, Bumps was a bit put out when they got them and she didn't. 

Even the doll houses have saunas here. 

My little sugar plum. 

Mouse taught me how to make joulutortta, well, he made them and told me how to do it. He likes them without jam, but they were lovely with strawberry jam, I didn't bother to get the plum jam they usually use. After the first couple he began to experiment with the traditional form and the little ones helped as well. 

Only a few more days until Christmas, are you ready? We're getting there, I think. 

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