Play matters to Royal Museums Greenwich because it matters to children. It is the way through which they experience the world around them.
Play can support wellbeing for all ages, and we encourage everyone to playfully engage with the Museum.
What are play boxes?
Throughout our sites, you might come across a play box. These fun-filled boxes are for families (children and adults alike) to explore and help you discover more about your surroundings.
From stacking blocks to party-themed props, our new play boxes at Cutty Sark provide the perfect opportunity to let your imagination set sail. There are no instructions, just use your creativity to play with the objects you find!
Peek inside Cutty Sark's play boxes
Box 1 - Stacking and balancing
The Lower Hold is at the very bottom of Cutty Sark. It was used for storing precious cargo. Stacking and storing cargo was a delicate business, and the safety of the ship relied on it!
You would need to stack as much cargo as carefully as you could, so you could make the most profit and not capsize the ship. Use the items in the play box to practice stacking, balancing and building.
Box 2 – Immersive play
Like the Lower Hold, the 'Tween Deck was mostly used for storing cargo.
Between 1883-95 (a time known as Cutty Sark's Australian Wool Years), the ship would have been packed with huge bales of wool – more than 45,000 over its career!
Can you handle our bales of wool, at just a fraction of the size (and weight)?
Box 3 – Parties on Cutty Sark
When docked and empty, sailors would use the 'Tween Deck for entertainment.
Captain Woodget was known to whizz up and down the deck on roller skates! The crew would even host dances and dinners to entertain guests when travelling around the world. You can use the props in the box to host your own party.
Box 4 - Hats and jobs
Hats were an important piece of uniform on a tea clipper like this one.
Whether to determine rank, to combat adverse weather conditions, or just personal preference (see Captain Woodget in his Tam O’ Shanter cap), you would more than likely be wearing a hat of some sort.
Explore the hats in the play box, and the different characters that might have used them.
Box 5 – Figureheads
Cutty Sark is home to the largest figurehead collection in Europe. Figureheads were positioned at the front of ships and sailors believed they would ward off evil spirits and grant them good luck on their voyage.
As you can see, figureheads came in all shapes and sizes, resembling people, pets and objects! You could use the items in the play box to create your own figurehead.