When my son started year 4 all the kids were asked what they would like to achieve over their coming academic year. My son said he would like to know all there is about malaria. It was an odd one I give you that. Other kids had to learn to dance or meet the Queen.
But I wasn’t that shocked really as he is quite a sensitive soul about other people and had seen an ad on TV about kids dying from a single moquito bite.
So off to Google we went to see if we could find anywhere in London that may help us uncover some secrets of the mosquito. Up popped The Wellcome Collection, which is brilliantly located right opposite Euston Station.
It’s three floors of medicine and medical based exhibitions are weirdly captivating, even for the squeamish or less academic ones of us.
We have been a few times to see varying special exhibitions (including one of sex which was a big mistake as WAYYY too many questions were asked!)
Last week we popped in again as is handy for me as I can dump the kids after with my wife and go and play football/drink with my mates.
It’s a lovely building first off with plenty of space so the kids don’t get pushed around, or get under other people’s feet.
The first room is about genetics, diet and the human body. Kids love poo so look out for some wool and droppings from the first cloned living being, Dolly the sheep.
If you are teaching your kids about eating healthily (ie not eating sweets all the time) then there are displays about portion control and also a generously proportioned model of a man that is hard to explain. Image below will help.
Our kids favourite part is the human body where we played guessing the body part before you pressed a button to light it up. With anything medical or related to the human body there are always going to be awkward questions so make sure you have prepared answers to queries about your wobbly bits!!
They also currently have a space where kids can draw whatever they like based on a couple of words from a list supplied.
The idea is to understand how our brains work and how creatively we can all be different and have varying views on a particular subject.
As we added ours to the gallery I noticed one from a 10 year old that made me laugh. She had chosen Doctor and Sex as her words. Doctor had become Doctor Who but Sex had become an image of a girl with a speech bubble housing the word ‘ew!’ Some good parenting there I think.
We then head up to the Reading Room of the Wellcome Collection which is my own particular favourite as it is a lovely space that you really can imagine ‘bright people’ working in and discovering things like ‘why we have bogies’ or ‘how the promise of TV can soothe even the most brutal of scrapes from a fall.’
There are tonnes of books which the kids can go through as well as some drawing areas using the Rorshach Test to tease your imagination.
However my son has his own favourite item in the room. It is a touch top table which is like an autopsy machine. You can view a man as if lying on the table and then go in to his muscles and bones. Turn, make bigger, slice open – who would not love that!
Anyway I left him to it while I tried to find his Sister, When I returned he was giggling away and I soon found out why. He had blown up the man’s backside as big as he could get it.
So all in all there is enough to keep the kid’s occupied but be prepared for tonnes of questions.
Me and the wife are heading back to the Wellcome Collection again this week to take in their Tibet’s Secret Temple exhibition. No kids this time as is about meditation. Now we all need that!!