With the kids: My perfect London day out by the author of London by Bus

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Every time I help Martha, my three-year-old daughter, put on her coat, she asks the same question: "Daddy, are we going to the fairy tree?" I took her and Seth, my 18-month-old son, to Kensington Gardens a couple of months ago, and since then she's been obsessed with the Elfin Oak – a 900-year-old tree stump that swarms with miniature wooden elves, fairies and witches. My perfect day with kids, then, would start there. We'd go to Queensway tube station, go through Black Lion Gate and walk down to the cafe. The oak is within yelling distance of the counter, so I'd get myself a coffee while they squeal excitedly around the tree.

The entrance to the Diana Memorial Playground (royalparks.org.uk) – inspired by the Peter Pan stories – is just behind the Elfin Oak, so I'd let the kids play on the pirate ship and sandy beach while I finish my drink.

After that, we'd leave the park and catch the eastbound 94, 148 or 390 from the Queensway station bus stop. We'd take a short ride to Lancaster Gate station, then get off the bus and continue walking up Lancaster Terrace. Bear left around Sussex Gardens and carry straight on up Westbourne Terrace, then turn right into Craven Road. The entrance to Paddington station is on the left just after the Hilton London Paddington Hotel. In the piazza area directly behind platforms 3 and 4 is Marcus Cornish's life-size sculpture of Paddington Bear, the famous children's character who, in Michael Bond's story, is found at and named after this station.

We'd retrace our steps to the main road, then turn left down Praed Street to catch the eastbound number 7 bus to Tottenham Court Road tube station. Walk back along Oxford Street and turn left into Soho Street, walk through Soho Square to cheap and cheerful Trattoria da Aldo (020 7437 3985) at 51 Greek Street. My kids both love spaghetti, and the straightforward accompaniments here – bolognese, napolitana, vongole – are reliably delicious. And, being Italian, the waiters smile and coo at children turning the tablecloth into something that looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Lunch finished, we'd continue down Greek Street, turn right at the bottom and catch the northbound 19 from the Dean Street/Chinatown to the Museum Street stop. We'd walk back down Bloomsbury Way, turn right up Museum Street and walk to the top to get to the entrance to the British Museum (britishmuseum.org). There is so much to see in here that any child – especially one who's probably starting to feel a little bit tired by now – could easily be overwhelmed. So, when you enter (admission is free), head straight for the Egyptian mummies in Rooms 62 and 63 on level three. Children will find these a lot more exciting than the Elgin Marbles, I promise you.

• Rufus Purdy is the author of London By Bus: 25 Hip Hops Around the Capital on a Budget, is published this week by Bristlebird Books (bristlebird.co.uk) and costs ?16.99

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