London with kids,  Travel

Postal Museum London with children – fun at the Sorted! play area

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I’ve lost count of how many times we have been to this play area since its opening in the summer of 2017! It just feels natural to tell you all about this lovely place, the Sorted! area for children at The Postal Museum in London.

The Postal Museum is located at Phoenix Place, London (see the location on maps). Its main attraction is the 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) stretch of track in London’s Mail Rail, which was the worldโ€™s first driver-less electric railway.

Yet for children at Postal Museum, especially for the younger ones, Sorted! play area is of interest.

Sorted! area at Postal Museum in London - the baby area

This area is located on the ground floor of the Mail Rail. It is open for sessions of 45 minutes each and a maximum of 20 kids. This ensures that all kids get to play with everything and enjoy the experience, everyone being safe at the same time.

Sorted! is bright and colourful and offers the kids a lovely experience, regardless if they are fans of Postman Pat or not. The whole place is like a small town with houses and roads, with post office and post boxes.

The houses in the 'town' at Sorted! area for children - London Postal Museum
Little houses with sounds and doors that open

Once they enter this space, kids are no longer children but they become post workers. That’s because there are all the uniforms and tools for this make-believe play. And there are many things that need to be done!

The play area for children and the waiting area for parents at Postal Museum in London
Play area on the left and ahead, waiting area for caregivers on the right

They can dress up in uniforms, from clerks to sorters. They might choose to drive the car to take the mail to and from different places around the town.

Post office, phone boot, mail car and mailbox - pretend play for children - Postal Museum London

The kids can collect or deliver the mail. There are two trolleys and lots of sacks that kids can use to collect the mail from the postboxes.

Child playing-pretend, being a 'postie' for the day in London at Postal Museum
Collecting the mail at Postal Museum in London

The mail has to be taken to the sorting centre. There’s a letter sorting area, a hand-operated conveyor belt for sorting packages, a mail lift (pulley) and even a slide!

Afterwards, children need to deliver mail to the right address. The houses are small and colourful and from some of them, you can hear noises like a dog barking or people talking to make it all seem more real.

The letters have specific colours and numbers as well, and children can deliver each letter to the house having the same colour or number as the letter.

The Post Office is a must in such a place, obviously, and that’s where kids can weigh packages, charge clients, send telegrams and stamp letters.

The Phone Boots are another fun activity for kids as they can communicate with one another through a pipe – the basic telephone, right? And in the reading corner, kids can discover The Jolly Postman or other stories theme-related.

Younger kids have a lot of things to do in the Sorted! play area as well. There is an entire area for them, which includes shape sorting, magnets and a big magnetic wall, a road table and a small Post Office too.

Play area for younger children at Postal Museum
Play area for younger children – magnetic walls, wooden blocks, tunnel and table

As I’ve mentioned previously, the sessions last 45 minutes. But there is so much work to be done! Therefore, every time I visit The Postal Museum – Sorted! area with my children, we book at least two sessions, sometimes three.

Speaking of booking, I will mention here some tips (as I usually do in my articles for days out with kids in London).

Useful information and tips for your visit to London Postal Museum with children – Sorted! play area:

  • book online to avoid disappointment and skip the queue – the website is this one
  • consider booking two sessions back to back, depending on your child
  • opening times: from 10.00 until the last session at 16.00
  • the area is recommended for kids up to 8 years old
  • the place offers a buggy park and facilities for everyone, including baby change
  • the Mail Rail is downstairs from Sorted! area and I’ve been asked if it’s a scary ride for small kids: my youngest was around 2 and a half when we went and all was good
  • it is not a soft play area, shoes must be worn at all times and children have to be supervised by parents at all times
  • food and drinks can be consumed in the designated area inside the Sorted!

And when you go with the kids to Sorted!, I have a little challenge for you (or you can challenge them). Try and find this little bird, come back and tell me where you found it!

Bird with 3 eggs in a nest, hidden somewhere in children's Sorted! area at Postal Museum in London
Challenge: find this bird in Sorted! area at Postal Museum in London

Photos: personal archive (taken at 10.00 am one morning when we were the first to come in the Sorted! area).

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  • Luke

    This is a really nice idea! I think they have built a great activity attraction with this Sorted! place. Cool, so unexpected and seemingly original, I like it! Kids even get to deliver parcels to the houses… some very fun concepts indeed. I would have liked this as a kid! I do remember vividly visiting a real post office sorting site on a type of “school trip” or open house once wayy back when. Side note: and a trip to a real cookie factory once too, the Dare Cookie Factory, that used to be located locally where I live. Conveyor belts racing along with cookies to be baked, vast maxing vats then, finally, the packaging area. I recall they were making the Lemon filling cookies that day. And that is what we got to take home of course! I remember how warm they still were from the baking process. To be honest I did not think these Lemon filling cookies were that great… even then I liked our homemade ones better! Then, years later, when I was about 15, as I pursued a dead-end idea of using large heavy PVC pipe for a telescope tube… we happened upon the Ipex pipe plastic factory, had a brief informal tour (unexpected!) and a free “damaged” length of pipe to use in my project! One end had a shattered edge where it had fallen from their pallets so it was free. Green sewer pipe… wayy too heavy. Never did use it ๐Ÿ™‚

    So do look into real tours of factories which may become available for children slightly older! Perhaps there is an age “start” for the more serious factory tours?

  • Yeah Lifestyle

    This looks like such a fantastic day out! We live near to Manchester so this is quite a way away but I’ll definitely have to check this out with the kids next time I’m in or near London.

  • Alexandra Cook

    Wow, this place looks incredible. Thereโ€™s so much to do and see there! Looks like a brilliant place to take the whole family

    • raluca

      I know what you mean :)) The thing is, at times I too get caught up in the pretend-play and have a lot of fun with the kids ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Lydia Smith

    I like the museum it’s so bright and colourful am very sure the kids will love. There is so much fun in stock for them there.

  • Sam

    What a fun place and a great way for kids to use their imagination. I think itโ€™s a great idea that they limit the number of kids per session so that all the kids can really explore.

    • raluca

      Indeed, having a limited number of kids keeps the experience pleasant and enjoyable for kids and parents alike, and I appreciate they keep it like this (they could easily accept more kids to make more money but that would have a big impact on the experience and not in a good way ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

    • raluca

      They certainly did, and it’s also interesting to see them teaming up with other kids they meet there and working together to get the work done ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bev

    This is so cool. I didn’t know about it. I will have to take my kids there. Definitely, my kids would enjoy it. It looks like such a great place to visit with the whole family.

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