Play Is Serious

Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel
Until October 30

The Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basel) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, dollhouses, bears, and grocery shops will come to life thanks to modern technology. Animated figures will offer totally new insights into the museum’s toy worlds with augmented reality. The anniversary exhibition, which opens on March 18 with a preview for young and old, will be entirely devoted to play. Children have always played and will always play—for no less than 15,000 hours on average until they reach their sixth birthday. And that’s a good thing: in play, we learn many skills that we need in order to lead an independent life later on. So play is about more than just having fun. Play is serious!
As part of the special exhibition, visitors can participate in an animated tour with stories from the world of toys: A teddy bear tells the adventurous story of his development, soup steams in a pot of the dollhouse; and even the Titanic sails by. Using tablets, visitors can watch the unique collection at the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel develop a life of its own and, together with virtual figures, provide new insights into a very wide variety of topics in playful form. An additional children’s track makes zeppelins fly through the room, tennis balls bounce through the air, and notes dance out of the gramophone towards you.
Another special feature focuses on the opinion of experts that play is one of the most important drivers in human development. Five videos explore the history of play and its importance for our development.
Another highlight is an extensive bowling alley that is installed around the interview stations. Visitors young and old can make bells ring with the balls, overcome small hurdles—and in doing so become part of the exhibition themselves.
The highlight oft he 25th anniversary festivities will be a big party on August 27. In addition to a variety of games, a wealth of crafting opportunities, and a photo box, they will be holding a costume competition where any visitor wearing a fancy dress costume appropriate to the museum can take part. There will be prizes for the 25 most imaginative costumes.