El Museo de Los Niños, Guatemala City (Revue Magazine)

If the motto of most museums seems to be: “Look but don’t touch” el Museo de los Niños in Guatemala City is the other extreme.

Located in Zone 13 of the capital, the centre first opened its doors in February 2000 and since then has welcomed more than one and a half million school children from all over Guatemala. Through an assortment of dynamic games and interactive puzzles the museum teaches kids a variety of academic subjects whilst also informing them about their country’s culture and how to be a good citizen.

Want to know how to teach a 4-year-old about the fragility of the earth’s ozone layer, or the importance of collecting rain water? El Museo de los Niños has all the answers and takes you on a journey through space, the human body and a coffee plantation to find them.

From a life-size version of the popular board game ‘Operation’, to a giant aerial photo of the city where children race to see who can locate famous monuments first, everything is educational and designed in a way to make learning fun. Even the outside climbing wall depicts each of the country’s volcanoes so that as you ascend the rope you ascend Pacaya, Fuego and Acatenango and discover which has the highest peak.

The collection of enthusiastic guides believe that if you can teach core values and environmental responsibilities at an early age, you will secure a better future for Guatemala. Eco-friendly messages are reinforced throughout with paper making activities and material separating stations to show that recycling can be fun.

As well as containing more than 45 different exhibitions for children aged 8 months to 12 years, el Museo de los Niños also boasts a ball pit, a mini football pitch and a theatre which is available to hire for birthday parties and family reunions.

They keep technology to a minimum – demonstrating that children don’t just learn through computers but by using their imagination, exploring and interacting with the objects around them.

‘Chiquitenango’, the museum’s very own micro city, gives children the opportunity to ‘drive’ around its streets, navigate traffic lights and greet pretend fire fighters, gas station workers and pedestrians playing in the park. It really opens their eyes to the world around them and teaches them to respect others and abide by the Highway Code (something that you don’t see a lot of on the streets of Guatemala!)

The Museum collaborates with businesses and institutions to raise money so that orphans and children from public schools can visit free of charge rather than pay the usual price of Q35 per person.

Open from 08.30 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 16.00 Tuesday to Friday, and 09.30 – 13.30 and 14.30 – 18.00 on Saturday and Sunday, el Museo de los Niños is a giant game for children of any age that proves learning is fun. Since the museum is located close to the zoo, why not make a day of it and visit both attractions – just don’t forget to bring your inner kid… as well as your real ones too.


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