Are you a mommy (or daddy) or a teacher? Do you want your super cute kids to learn more about science and the environment in a fun, engaging way? Yes? Then, take your kids to Museo Pambata!
I love this museum. In a time when computers rule the world, where kids know more about gadgets than their parents, it’s so refreshing to know that there is a museum you can visit with practical exhibits that you could actually touch and play with, wear, listen to — a place where you and your kid could stay and spend hour after hour of interactive fun.
Museo Pambata is almost like a big playground with its different theme rooms (well, they do have an actual playground complete with a helicopter!). I would like to focus more, however, on exhibits that would make the kids love our Mommy Earth even more.
Here’s my list of green things to explore in Museo Pambata:
The Science through Discovery Theme Room. Dubbed “I Love My Planet Earth”, and with 380 square meters of exhibit space, the room has more than enough to help you teach your kids about the earth in the simplest possible way.
Here, you could teach your kids about climate change and global warming, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy (science nerd alert!) and solid waste management (really important!). They have a floor board game which explores the different ways kids can reduce their ‘carbon footprint’.
Your kids could also have a glimpse on how simple life used to be and how ‘less harmful’ we all were many years ago. You can play “bahay-bahayan” (playhouse) as you explain to your kids how living simpler is actually better (in a way, teaching them about mindful consumption too!). There is also a game about proper waste segregation, and interactive exhibits, on the importance of clean air and water.
Now, if our race fails and we all have to go to the moon or some other planet to live, Museo Pambata also offers a sneak peak on what to expect outside our beloved Earth. They have an actual moon rock. Of course, I am only joking about us failing to save the Earth cause with you teaching your kids to be more eco-conscious, no doubt we will succeed. The moon rock is still cool though. How else will anyone in the Philippines be able to see an actual piece of the moon without having to be an astronaut?
Sharing the second level of the museum is the Katawan Ko (My Body Works) where you could teach your kids about, well, how their bodies work! I am sure the kids would love entering the ‘body’ through the mouth (as pictured below) and being inside the “intestines”. There’s also the Pamilihang Bayan (Marketplace), a hit among kids cause they get to play “tinda-tindahan” complete with bakeries and market stalls. What I would want to highlight here though is their Fire Station, especially cause our kids now need to be alert and prepared in cases of disasters and emergencies. Case in point, the recent metrowide earthquake drill in Manila. Here, you can teach your kids about emergency preparedness.
I also love their Kalikasan (Environment) Room. One part of the room features exhibits about land use like farming, being in a forest (it also overlooks a mini organic garden), giant ants, a sewer, a nipa hut and a cute Botika ng Barrio (Village Drugstore) if you want to talk about the importance of plants and its medicinal value to your kids.
The other side of the room features fishes and other sea creatures. Here, your kids could play little mermaid (or fish) as you talk about the importance of not throwing garbage in water bodies so our fish friends can live peacefully.
Oh, Museo Pambata also organizes Earth Day events (where kids could be Earth Defenders), a Paglaki Ko (Career Options) Speakers’ Series (latest one, I believe is a farmer!), and a guides’ corner, where guides teach arts and crafts to kids. Talk about recycling/upcycling at its cutest!
The museum is open Tuesday til Sunday. Museum workers and teachers get in for FREE. Manila residents can get in for FREE on Tuesdays and for a 50% discount on other days (not applicable for group tours), just bring a valid ID. For more information, visit their website at http://museopambata.org/ or call 523-1797 to 98.
* Disclosure: Fifteen years ago, I worked as a museum educator (guide) in Museo Pambata. The people are friendly, the vibe is great, their advocacy is superb. There is an abundance of love for art, science, fun, and of course, children.
Have you been to Museo Pambata? Share your favorite theme room and experiences below!