I took my 15 month old to the Nijntje Museum today, part of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. UK readers will know Nijntje (the mega cute, internationally recognised rabbit) as Miffy, who was created by Dutch Illustrator Dick Bruna (1927-2017) and is now an icon of popular culture in The Netherlands.
Bruna created the simple, colour blocked world of Nijntje and friends as a safe haven for care free, imaginative exploration and this is just what the museum embodies. The entire space is created for children to roam with abandon and, minus a few mandatory stair cases, they really can.
The immersive exhibits feature different areas of the Nijntje world, each with an activity or sensory focus, that the children can explore amid the safety of padded posts and curved corners. This includes an entire room that replicates the trundling traffic systems of Nijntje’s home town, a light orientated space which includes light boxes, body morphing mirrors and shadow play area, and a creative studio where art materials are left for the taking in inviting, antique cabinets.
I loved it as much as he did- although a long awaited skip round the Centraal Museum provided the perfect adult ‘geek out’ as he snoozed off all the fun.