Imaginosity (http://www.imaginosity.ie/) is one of the things that’s missing in most of the other cities. It is an interactive children’s museum construed as a miniature world offering a wide range of different interactive activities for the kids to engage in. The kids can access the three storeys of the museum by climbing up the vertical tunnel that runs vertically from the ground to the roof. Kids can drive almost any kind of vehicle from submarines to rocket ships, including a real Audi A3 with a petrol station to fill the tank. Imaginosity champions the ‘hands-on, minds-on’ philosophy that encourages all visitors to get involved and have fun while learning and create positive and lasting memories.
There’s the restaurant where they can act as waiters and cooks, the supermarket, the post office, the bank, the hospital with its surgery theatre, the broadcasting station for them to register their own TV news, the theatre with costumes and lights and sound effects, the building company with simil CAD programs for them to draw their own projects, the crane and the bricks, a post office, a green grocer, a butcher and don’t know how many other things including workshops on a first-come-first-served basis. Everything is kid size.
And through all this they go at their own pace, without anybody however “directing” them from one experience to the other. With no adults’ supervision or regulation at all I expected the little ones to fight like hell to drive the car or read the news, for instance, but here again I must admit I underestimated them. In a way or another they appear to find their way to interact without fighting and I dare say the reason is that they’re too busy having fun and too concentrated on the activity to waste their time in rows.
I think this is something similar to Maria Montessori’s method, which is an educational approach characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development that I’m currently giving a very serious thought to because – if this sort of “self-regulatory” effect is what comes from its application – it is definitely something the Almighty C. (my son) should experience.
Every visit lasts for up to two hours but there will be no chance to leave earlier: the kids won’t allow you to. We got there at 4 PM and at 5.30 were still crawling in the restaurant waiting for a plastic chicken to be served together with rubber cup cakes and smarties as a side dish. My friend K. and I were in pieces, the children were ravishing in bliss. And he still asks me if we can go back to Dublin to go to Imaginosity.
Now, we have a very sleek and highly impressive children museum in Milan that goes under the name of MUBA (MUseo dei BAmbini, which I’m going to write about in the next few days) that – however fashionable and instructive – the Almighty C. didn’t fancy half as much. So now I decided to campaign for an Imaginosity to be opened in Lugano… I only need to find a sponsor 🤔