The Imagination Station

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Learning, imagining, experiencing
The Children’s Museum of Brownsville encourages children to create their own worlds and explore
By Joey Gomez
At one moment, a group of young children no older than eight, but donned in medical lab coats hurry by, stethoscopes around their necks, on the way to examine lighted x-ray panels from their most recent “patients”.
Close by, another young nurse examines a patient’s heart rate and pulse, while another weighs a baby doll on an infant’s scale.
Elsewhere, kids are diligently operating in a miniaturized H.E.B Supermarket, working the register, while young customers shop in a makeshift frozen food aisle, bakery and produce section.
This is scene playing out daily at the Children’s Museum of Brownsville, which since 2005 has encouraged children to create their own worlds and explore
The goal is to introduce children to a world of learning, and trying to perpetuate that trend in the community so they have a solid foundation when they begin preschool. This is how kids start their educational background on the right foot, according to museum staff.
“I think it’s a great place to get your kids imagination going,” said Museum assistant director, Felipe Pena. “For all the parents who are looking for something unique that they might not have ever seen or experienced, this is definitely a safe place where their kids can learn. We invite every parent in the Valley to come and see it for themselves because it’s surprising the number of people who tell me they didn’t know this was here.”
The Children’s Museum of Brownsville has a full set of interactive exhibits so can kids can play, touch, and do everything their imagination allows. The museum encourages them to pretend and create their own worlds to grow and explore.
At the CMB’s “All World’s Café”, children role-play with their families to be waiters, cashiers, cooks and customers in a colorful café setting complete with play foods, pots, pans, cash registers, and dishes in a kitchen area. The Museum’s “Under the Sea” exhibit allows children to navigate a miniature shrimp boat that comes complete with “fishing” off the boat with kid-size reels and magnetic play fish.
At the museum’s KRGV Channel 5 First Warn Weather Station, children stimulate their imagination and learn how to be a news weather anchor. Children and adults can compare weather conditions on a live green-screen and see themselves on three television panels surrounding the weather exhibit station.
The staff, most of whom are degreed professionals, all come from composite background of child rearing careers, according to Pena. The teachers who organize the various summer camps on-site exemplify the best knowledge and care available for children, Pena said.
“One of the things we see here sometimes is that kids go home crying, but to us it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means we had another happy customer.They had so much fun. Now they’re going home and they don’t want to leave,” Pena said. “I think, as a parent, it’s their job to put their kids on the right path and make sure they have every opportunity in front of them to expand their minds and make sure they become productive, and intelligent adults.
“This is definitely a very sound place to do that from a very fundamental point in their development. It’s all about learning, imagining and experiencing what opportunities are out there,” Pena said.
The Children’s Museum of Brownsville is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Price is currently $6 for admission.