Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier

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A holiday experience at Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier

The words Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier, were just part of what we would hear over the television and radio or even read on the newspaper. I never thought I would at anytime get a chance to visit such vicinity. This was especially, after I had already passed my childhood. I used to hear of the underlying mission of that Museum and I would imagine what it means to be there. It is all a child need to be able to connect play and learning as well as influencing development and growth in children. My luck came during the second year ofmy high school. I was lucky to get such an opportunity to tour that famous museum. During summer, we were required to go for a visit the whole class and so, the class teacher requested for an opportunity at Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier. To my great delight, the request was granted. During the one week of our stay,I learnt a lot and took part in so many fascinating activities.

           The museum is located at 700 East Grand Avenue at Navy Prier in Chicago. During my visit, I have to visit many stations, which I will discuss. The museum is dedicated in providing exhibits programs to the public and to the schools. These programs leave a room for interaction with the visitors. I was first thoroughly oriented to get familiar with what was happening and what is available in the museum. The first thing I learnt is that any employee on being hired must be trained on how to help individuals visiting the place with their personal need. For the example, it is a crime for a visitor to be found stranded somewhere in the compound while there are staff on duty. The Museum has totally taken care of its visitors in every aspect. For instance, in case a mother is breast-feeding, she can do it anywhere in the compound without feeling restricted. People on wheel chairs are also well taken care of in that the wheel chairs can access any part of the museum. This has been possible by the installment of elevators to serve every floor of the museum building. The building is made up of three floors. Also for the purpose of those who do not have wheel chairs, a provision of two adult sized and two children sized wheelchairs has been done. These are accessible without any fee found at the guest desk relations, which is located in the second floor. In addition, all the bathrooms and water closets areas are accessible in a wheel chair. In addition, there has been a sufficient provision of parking for everyone visiting. I was also trained on the issue of guest connections. This briefly entails a training given to staff to be in a position of assisting the guests with different forms of disabilities.

            Different assistive devices are made available in the museum to help different people with different form of disabilities. These devices are collected at the admission desk. Equipments like headphones for reducing sound. These are for the people with different disabilities. There are also the U- cuff, so many dynamic seating gadgets and lay traps for the wheel chairs. There is a story guide and museum kits. Here, there is a description of every Chicago children's museum exhibit. It is done in a way a child can easily understand every product on exhibit to be able to choose what pleases them. Some special books with story guides meant to help children and people with mental disabilities are available so that they can get easily to understand more about the activities and the exhibit. The kits are available at the admission desk and every kit contains in it storybook guide, schedules of the museum and rule cards which are visual for the sake of the visitors or children who prefers visual messages to audio messages.

            The children's museum has some offers like open visit days. An activity, like “play for all”, is held once a month the second Saturday of the month. During that day, children and all families are invited to enjoy the benefits of all the products in the museum. In order to encourage a high turn up, usually, the first 100 visitors to arrive are given free admission and the person gets to enjoy different activities in the programs available for the day.

The location that most fascinated me was the Children’s museum store. This is an area where a number of unique and original educational toys are kept. Materials in this area are so unique that many of them are hardly found anywhere else. I was fascinated by the fact that an activity like the museum logo merchandise is done right there. This as I was told is to ensure that wherever their product goes they are considered unique and original. Unique exhibited books, games and toys are also sold here. It is amazing that sales are also done online. A customer just issues an order with specifications on the particular item he or she need. Then the employees would wrap the commodity and send it no matter the location.

This store is open every day of the week but the operating hours vary. On Monday- Thursday, it is open from ten o’clock in the morning up to eight o’clock in the evening. On Friday and Saturday, from ten o’clock in the morning to ten o’clock in the evening while on Sundays ten o’clock in the morning to seven o’clock in the evening. One of the challenges facing most customers visiting this store is double-mindedness when it comes to the choice of the product they need. This is because of the variety offered. For example, for the children who are in the stage of learning how to pronounce the words, there are so many available books to aid in the same. These books are not only for the children but also for adults who are trying to learn for example a foreign language. In such a case, so many books are available for the customer to choose as well as some accompanied learning materials like audio tapes with the guidelines on pronunciation. Customers from all corners of the world converged there. While there, we gotinvolved in a number of activities. I was very impressed to learn that students are also accepted in the museum for internship. I learnt that while students are on internship, one is involved in supporting every activity happening at the department one is located at any particular time, also they are involved in the curriculum development, a number of research work exercises, marketing initiatives, participated in the development of some teachers programs and also in writing one of the quarterly report of the museum as well as annual report. It was an enjoyable moment for me since I have to see most of the activities that takes place at the Chicago children's museum at Navy Pier.