The Children’s Book Museum, a museum dedicated to Dutch language children’s books, delights the young and old with beautiful design and creative exhibitions.
What could be better that finding a weekend activity for your children that is not just entertaining but helps to build their love of books?
This Boekenweek – which runs 7–15 March – show your appreciation for Dutch literature with a visit to the Kinderboekenmuseum (Children’s Book Museum), a museum dedicated to Dutch language children’s books.
I was originally worried that my family’s lack of knowledge on Dutch children’s books would make the museum a challenge, but knowing the museum was only a short train ride away in The Hague and free with the museumkaart (bonus!), we decided to give it a try.
Aesthetically, the exhibitions are very beautiful and creatively play on the theme of the museum. It was my first-time witnessing rooms designed with walls of stacked books and I found it fascinating. While I personally enjoyed the museum’s design, it is a children’s book museum after all, and, in my opinion, is best suited for children under 6 years. The top floor is tailored to the little ones with displays centered on early year storybooks.
Exhibitions that let kids be kids
My children especially loved the Ik ben Kikker (I am Frog) exhibition where the books of renowned Max Velthuijs are brought to life. While it is also in English, it was the interactivity of the exhibition which provided them with hours of fun. My daughter played house with the characters while my son pretended to fish in the make-believe lake.
Another beautiful exhibition is ABC with the Animals, which allows kids to play through a display of children’s book animals. My kids were not aware of most of the characters but loved climbing around while discovering the alphabet. I could only imagine how excited they would have been if they were familiar with the book’s characters.
The downstairs area is designed for older children, aged 7 years and up. This exhibition is only in Dutch which kind-of limited our participation, though there was still enough visual interest to keep us entertained.
It is a museum that lets kids be kids. Centred around books, it does not feel stuffy or studious but provides an experience of adventure and imagination. For the adults, I suggest practicing your Dutch by reading some of the popular children’s books and then taking the children to a wonderful museum for a family day out.
It is a museum that lets kids be kids. Centred around books, it does not feel stuffy or studious but provides an experience of adventure and imagination.
Boekenweek 2020 starts today and runs until Sunday 15 March, which is the day you could get free train travel (courtesy of NS) to take you to the Kinderboekenmusuem perhaps! If you buy at least €15 in Dutch-language books during Book Week, you will receive the Book Week Gift which allows you to travel all day by train on Sunday 15 March free of charge (find out more here).