Sunday afternoons are perfect. They are perfect for staying at home, watching TV, surfing the Net, taking naps, or just chillaxing. They are also perfect for rousing ourselves from laziness and doing something together as a family.
I was excited when I learned that National Museum has waived its entrance fee for the whole month of May in celebration of National Heritage Month. At last, my hubby Rix and I could bring the kids to a museum! But, as you know, we ended up in Museo Pambata for two reasons. I was not sure if the little ones will appreciate National Museum and because I was not sure if three-year-olds are permitted to enter.
In the end, we shelled out 150Php each, adult and children alike, so we could begin our tour.
What are the things the children did in Museo Pambata?
1. This was the first room we entered. Learn about some heroes by picking up the receivers of the telephones beneath their portraits and putting it to your ear. A recording can be heard. The narration was in first person; it’s as if Dr. Jose Rizal was talking to us.
While reading the description on this galleon replica, I spotted a misspelling. It’s not that I’m a spelling or grammar nazi, I just thought that a museum that imparts knowledge to children should at least get its spelling checked. Am I right? Anyway, in the boxes on the lower right corner of the photo were kinds of spices that were part of the galleon trade.
2. One can open the cover and sniff them through holes. The kids did and they exclaimed that these were unpleasant. I wonder, how long were these in display? Do spices go bad, ever?
3. The children explored mini versions of the Binondo church and the bahay na bato (house of stone). The few times that they visited a Catholic church were when we attended weddings. This gave them an idea what the inside of a church looks like. Also, with the bahay na bato, how old houses were furnished years ago.
4. We got the chance to go under the sea; marvel at sea shells and feel with our hands the textures of sea creatures.
Did you know that sharks are rough?
5. The boy even dressed up as a shark.
Another subtle way of playing dress-up was poking their faces through these cardboard standees.
6. Learn a new kind of dance by doing the illustrated steps on a poster. There’s even a platform where they could perform for their adoring fans: their parents.
7. It’s a feast for the eyes as we go from room to room. Maybe these could inspire the artists in the children.
8. If they want to express their artistic abilities, there’s the Illustrator’s Area displaying local children’s books, children’s book artists – their words and their works. My youngest tried her hand at coloring, either using crayons on coloring pages or using the mouse to pick and color the images on a screen.
9. Related to dressing up is pretend playing. The children had fun pretending to be vendors, weighing and selling fruits, vegetables, bread, fish, meat. They also pretended they were firefighters, riding on the fire truck while the siren blared. This area was like a part of Kidzville!
10. I love God’s handiwork, His work of art – nature! I am influencing my children to appreciate it as well. It’s no wonder that my favorite room was the one which brings to everyone the awareness of taking care of our natural surroundings. As a bonus, there’s an indoor slide. It’s a good thing, since it rained and they were not able to play on the mini outdoor playground.
There’s something about insects and bugs that interest kids. Do they pique the curiosity of your little ones, too?
11. Doesn’t this room look pretty? It seems to be about the home and everyday life. But, also relating to the environment, with tidbits about pollution, earthquake (there’s an earthquake simulator table with wooden blocks on top), carbon footprint, etc.
What does a rock from the moon look like? Here’s an idea!
12. Listen to sounds that our body parts make. The sound effects came on a bit late, the result of pressing the body part that acted like a big activation button was not instantaneous. They were so loud that the two younger kids came running to me.
I asked my firstborn which one was her favorite and she said, “The one about the human body.” Here she is, sticking her nose up a humongous derrière. Yikes!
The fun part about entering the area was through this gigantic mouth, if you prefer! My baby had qualms about going down this route, though.
It was almost 5:30 in the afternoon when we left. That’s the time Museo Pambata closes. I cannot wait for our next museum trip!
There were a few things that I disapproved: aside from the spelling boo-boo, some areas had cobwebs and some, like the restroom, had mosquitos. Also, some devices, like a part of the machine that produces sounds of heartbeats, were not working. But, a trip to a museum is usually enriching and would supplement school learning.
I do hope more people would visit museums. The entrance fee paid would mean that Museo Pambata would be maintained better.
So! Which museum have you visited lately? Did you like it?