Family Fun at Museo Del Nino
Situated in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Museo Del Nino (Children’s Museum) is devoted to the education and entertainment of children. This interactive museum will, however, be enjoyed by the whole family and it is recommended that visitors put aside at least two hours to explore, and participate in, the many exhibits and activities that the Museo Del Nino has to offer.
The home of the museum is a 300 year old villa situated in a prime area of San Juan which the city council turned over to a group of sociologists and student volunteers in the early 1990s. They set about creating the only children’s museum in Puerto Rico. The Museo Del Nino has three floors and a rooftop garden filled with learning activities that encourage each child to have an inquiring mind. Children who visit the museum learn valuable lessons by use of the interactive exhibits – in Spanish and English. These lessons include the benefits of brushing teeth and the responsibility of taking proper care of household pets. Children are also taught the value of recycling items such as aluminum cans and the positive impact that can be made on the environment by recycling.
One of the hands-on exhibits allows visitors to speak to children in other countries by means of a short-wave radio. There is a large food-groups pyramid that children can climb in order to place magnets, representing various foods, in their correct places.
Street scenes of Old San Juan include a mini plaza, food market, dentist, barber-shop, bank and city hall, as well as playgrounds complete with hop-scotch. Children can dress up and pretend to go shopping or go to work at a construction site. Staff members at the museum include a number of student volunteers who play with the children either in groups or one-on-one.
The craft area of the museum encourages children to explore their creativity in a friendly and relaxed environment. They learn to create simple, fun items, such as juggling balls made from balloons and rice. Puppet shows are a regular, and popular, feature of the museum. There is also a playground for toddlers to enjoy.
Tourists traveling with children to San Juan should take the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico’s Museo Del Nino. The children will love it – and the adults can take the time out to relax.