The It's My Party display stopped me in my tracks as I entered the Museum of Childhood.
It takes a look at children's birthday parties from the perspective of both children and parents. The centrepiece is a life-sized installation telling the story of Wilfred, a shy resident of the Museum. Wilfred doesn't want to celebrate his birthday, but regrets his decision when he finds himself all alone on the day with a solitary cupcake. The story has a happy ending, as Wilfred's friends organise a surprise party, with a lavish feast and gifts that money can't buy.
The museum questions whether the expectations of children's birthday parties have escalated out of control? Does expense and scale necessarily equal the best' party or are there less indulgent ways of making birthdays special, memorable events?
Artists and children from Rushmore Primary School Hackney, and St John's Primary School Tower Hamlets, have collaborated to create the installation 'Wilfred's Party', a party with a difference.
On one display a box with gift labels suggests alternative gifts which cost time and not money such as ‘play with them every day’, ‘sing them a song’ and ‘dress up in a funny costume to make them laugh’ .
We at Mapology Guides couldn't agree more. It's not always about money, the best, the most expensive. It's about the right present. But then we published a map on the subject.
The exhibition runs until 4th October 2015 and entry is free. For more information see http://www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/home/