Sally is an avid museum goer and constantly inspires us with her instagram posts. She visits different museums each week and we particularly love her "museum purchase of the week" feature. Some of her finds really are quite something!!
We think that anybody looking for fun and educational days out with children should follow Sally (aka. @milkatthemuseum) and be inspired by her adventures. We had no idea some of these museums existed and the exhibitions that we have got to know about through Sally have been incredible.
We hope you enjoy finding out more about Sally and her love of museums.
What inspired you to start up Milk at the Museum?
I had worked for the Imperial War Museum for 10 years and when I had my two kids it turned out, due to childcare costs, I couldn’t go back. The days were long and I really needed something for myself.
I had been on Instagram a while and it suddenly dawned on me its potential in getting information out there. I noticed there was not one place you could go to to find out all family friendly activities in Museums and that’s where it all began. Museums are a huge passion of mine and I have really enjoyed the Milk at the Museum journey so far.
Why do you think it's important for people to visit museums with children?
Not only are museums fun environments, they are educational too giving children an opportunity to learn outside of the school environment, with their family, as well as enjoying themselves.
They are hugely influential in a childs upbringing as they get to experience history, art and culture in an interactive and engaging environment as well as hearing stories from all walks of life. Museums have totally stepped away from that dull dreary image they once had and are now so appealing for families.
What do you consider to be the main benefits to children of enjoying museums?
Museums encourage children to ask questions which in turn increases their knowledge on a vast range of subjects. Learning about history helps them to make sense of the current world they are in and as well as being inspiring Museums are also a fun day out creating memories that children will never forget.
Have you always loved museums?
I had very fond memories of the Science and Natural History museum as a child but it was slightly later in life where my love really grew. I went through a stage of loving the 40s Churchill era which encouraged me to apply for a job at the Churchill War Rooms.
I initially started working alternate weekends there whilst working in media but it soon became my full time job and I never looked back. Being a tour guide at the Churchill War Rooms will always be the best job I have ever had.
Which is the favourite museum you have visited and why?
Ooo that’s a toughie, there are so many. Besides from the Churchill War Rooms, I would probably say the Science Museum. You could easily spend days in there, there are so many exciting exhibits and interactives for kids to get there hands on, and what kid (big kid) doesn’t love the idea of space!
Which five museums would you recommend to parents and carers for them to visit with children?
This is really hard to narrow down as literally all the museums are now so child friendly. Besides from the obvious I would say;
- The London Transport Museum, it has the fantastic All Aboard Zone for 0-7’s where they can drive a taxi, serve soup from the Thames Nipper café and climb a mini bus. They also have lots of interactive exhibits and they can steer an actual bus. The Museum of Childhood is brilliant for kids with sandpits, rocking horses and retro toys aplenty. They also do storytelling and arts and crafts daily.
- The Museum of London Docklands have the Mudlarks Gallery, an interactive space for children up to 8 years old as well as regular family friendly events.
- The Horniman Museum have their Animal Walk, the aquarium and child friendly exhibitions on regularly; and lastly
- The Postal Museum who have recently opened. Their Mail Rail ride is fantastic, a miniature train which takes you under the streets of London. They also have Sorted! a play space for 0-8s and the museum which has plenty of interactive exhibits, dressing up and The Jolly Postman trail.
Are there any museum related childrens books you would recommend to help children develop a love for museums?
Maisie Goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins is a good start for the younger kids and I also love the Welcome to the Museum book from the V&A where you basically create your own museum. You can change the collections, display a variety of objects and put on different exhibitions. Lots of stickers and press out pieces for the kids to play about with.
What is your favourite children’s book?
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. A truly delightful story and one I never tire of reading to my children.
If you could do anything for the day what would it be?
Apart from sleep, I would love to go on a tour of the Natural History Museum with David Attenborough.
If you could spend a day with one of the Prenderland Pals who would it be?
Gabriel the Giraffe as I too have a thing for dancing and dinosaurs and he sounds fun to be around.
Thank you so much to Sally for doing this interview and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. If you'd like to follow Sally head over to her instagram page and say hello.