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Family using Magic Glasses Back-Pack

Family using Magic Glasses back-pack, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Borrow a V&A back-pack and embark on an adventure across the Museum. Our award-winning back-packs* are full of brilliant hands-on activities, including jigsaws, stories, puzzles, construction games and objects to handle. Activities last approximately 45 minutes and are suitable for children aged 5-12. For younger children, there are activity sheets which complement each back-pack so you can all have fun together.

Borrowing a back-pack

Back-packs are free to borrow and do not need to be booked. They are available every day from the Learning Centre and can also be collected from the Main Entrance during most school holidays. The last back-pack of the day is issued at 16.00.

A form of printed ID such as a driving licence or debit card is required to borrow a Back-Pack.

Choosing a back-pack

Choose from the following bags (subject to availability and daily gallery closures):

Family using Discovering Architecture back-pack ©Lucie Goodayle/courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London   

Family using Discovering Architecture back-pack © Lucie Goodayle/courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Amazing Spaces – NEW for Spring 2015
    Travel back in time to Britain in the 18th century to become an incredible interior designer.
  • An Adventure in China
    Journey to ancient China to see dragons and an Emperor's throne, write your age in Chinese and make a delicious cup of imaginary Chinese tea to serve to your family.
  • Curious Ceramics Sensory Back-Pack – NEW for August 2015
    Discover curious ceramic objects from China to the Netherlands, learn how they were made and how ideas and materials travelled the world to reach Europe.
    This back-pack is designed for children with visual impairments, but can be enjoyed by any family.
    Supported by The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.
  • Discovering Architecture
    Created with Architect Mike Davies from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, learn about architectural drawings, colour, 'connecting spaces', light and materials, then construct a model and draw your own building.
    Created with support from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Emperor's Party
    Imagine you are an Indian Emperor preparing for a spectacular party.
  • Magic Glasses
    Explore the colour, design and shape of decorative glass.
  • Middle Eastern Marvels
    Explore amazing geometric patterns and discover special treasures from palaces and mosques.
  •  Time Traveller
     Find out about everyday life in Medieval Europe including what people wore, how they wrote and what
     they ate and drank.
     Part of the Arab World Family Learning Programme supported by the Saïd Foundation.

Recommended for Early Years

  • Agent Animal
    Search the museum to find 6 animals hiding in the Japan, China and South Asia Galleries. Agent Animal contains audio buttons and four fabric sensory jigsaw cubes.
    Agent Animal was funded by Westminster Council and developed in partnership with the Westminster Sure Start programme and five families from the Knightsbridge and Belgravia Parents Forum.
'The activities in the back-packs were very, very good because there were surprises when you looked inside them.' Romilly (6), Paul (father)
Family using Agent Animal bag

Family using Agent Animal bag, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Contents of the V&A Middle Eastern Marvels Back-Pack

Contents of the V&A Middle Eastern Marvels back-pack, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

*In 1999, the V&A won the Gulbenkian award for Museums and Galleries, in the category of Most Imaginative Education Work. 

International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

Find out more