Play is for everyone. Help us celebrate all things play over this two-day festival filled with workshops, games, and activities designed for all ages.
This event is a partnership between Playing the Archive and the V&A Museum of Childhood. As well as hosting the Time Telephone, an installation developed by the Playing the Archive team in which visitors can phone up the past on a rotary telephone, the event will see the London launch of A Sense of Play playing cards. The pack of playing cards, another output of the research project, include descriptions of games from the Opie Archive which are printed on one side of the cards and which also link to an augmented reality experience triggered when users scan the back of the cards with a smartphone.
The Playing the Archive team have also been working closely with two groups of students from the RCA Interactive Experience Design course to create two brand-new, exciting experiences especially for the Festival of Play. One group has developed an interactive AR experience using giant Lego blocks and AR markers, and the other has developed an immersive VR experience inspired by Place (Village), Rachel Whiteread’s celebrated artwork in which visitors will be able to explore the houses and the people who live there.
In addition to this, our very own Alison Somerset-Ward will be running a badge-making activity in the Play Market using phrases and words from the Opie Archive. Montessori St Nicholas charity will also be bringing some of the Opie Archive games to life in group playing activities throughout the day. These activities will run alongside the rest of the playful programme detailed below.
The Festival of Play will take place on Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July from 11.00 to 16.30. It is free and open to all ages.
Build, break & re-build
Work with artist Matt Shaw to create a large-scale, changing play structure on the museum’s Marble Floor.
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.
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
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.
Dial the Time Telephone to speak to children from the past and present and learn new games to play.
11.00-12.30 & 14.00-15.30
Work with our Activity Assistants to create wonderful and bizarre robots from recycled and upcycled materials.
Baby Sensory Play
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.
Watch a series of archival and recent documentary films about children’s play.