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Touch, play and bounce at Samsung Children's Museum

Rolling Ball PlaygroundLittle children love to squeeze and play with things with their hands. The bigger the toy, the bigger the fun. So how about a museum where a whole place is made for that: touching, squeezing and bouncing?

Established in 1995, Samsung Children’s Museum is a hands-on educational ground for kids, the first of its kind in Korea based on the idea that children can reach optimal developmental stages through active interaction with and touching their surroundings.

The exhibits are divided into themes of science, technology, art, culture and society, with various activities for children to dance, sing, play and break things. The museum targets children aged up to 12 years, so there are also rooms reserved for toddlers.

In the science section, the Rolling Box Playground shows the wonder of physics through air-powered balls floating above pipes. It teaches children the wonders of gravity and energy. There’s also a Ball Play Wall and Ball Race.

Water Expo II teaches how water, as a valuable source of energy, can be used for turning turbines and water wheels. Children can also learn about seabed exploration, water whistles and there’s a corner to shoot water pistols.

DreamboxDoes your child love to play and listen to music? Go to the Hello Music exhibit that allows children to revel in sound and music through a virtual orchestra, cell phones and other musical equipment in the room.

What would be your child’s dream career? The Dreambox might give a hint to their future calling through dress-up and make-believe activities as astronauts, copywriter, actor/actress and others.

The experience allows children to make their own business cards, among other activities. The room is based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, which suggests that knowing how smart we are can help ourselves become confident and discover ways to prepare for our future.

To further stimulate children’s imagination there is the Build the House Corner. Kids are encouraged to build their own makeshift houses by operating mini-tower cranes, building brick walls and painting their houses.

My Life Journey Through Time may save you from some of the sensitive questions children ask about the differences between male and female anatomy. There are pictures and other exhibits that show how one’s body changes through time, how babies are born and the wisdom of the elderly.

Build the HouseTo add some high culture to the whole experience you might also want to nudge your child in the direction of the Korea Art Gallery where some of the ancient relics of the country are on display, in the form of comb-pattern bowls, iron swords and metal items from Korea in prehistoric times.

It should be noted that the museum changes its displays at least once or twice a year according to theme rooms. Further, to avoid overcrowding, the place museum allows only limited numbers of people to attend by reservation.
Early reservation is especially a must in case of those coming in groups. As a precautionary measure, there is environment-friendly washing liquid placed at the corner of every exhibit room for visitors to wash their hands, all for the health and safety of the children. Last but not least, there are English explanations and instructions for the convenience of children from overseas.

The museum also offers privileges to those who signed up as members. The perks include free entrance for a whole year to Ho-Am Art Museum.

My Life Journey Through TimeThe museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Mondays, Lunar New Year’s Day and Rich Harvest Day (Chuseok).

Tickets cost 6,000 won for children aged three to twelve and 5,000 won for adults. It’s 2,500 won for those 65 or older and 5,000 won for children in groups of more than 20.

For more information visit: Samsung Children’s Museum

By Kim Hee-sung Staff Writer

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