The Museum of Solutions offers hands-on, open-ended activities that empower children to explore, design and problem-solve. Pics/Shadab Khan
In a city that has a major dearth of safe spaces for kids to experiment, learn and grow, the Museum of Solution (MuSo) that recently opened at Victoria House at Kamala Mills could be a godsent. Four floors of the not-for-profit initiative designed as a world-class, experiential children's museum are now open, and each storey offers an immersive experience. We took a bunch of children - aged seven to 13 - on a walkthrough and asked their verdict.
The top floor is dedicated to Make: It is packed with art stations, 3D printers and corners where small humands are allowed to open old gadgets to see how things work - every child's dream. A space that allows you to make mistakes, collaborate, share knowledge, build, test, prototype, and maybe someday, solve the problems of the world, is the need of the hour. On Monday, the day of our visit, the museum opens its doors to NGOs working with children to experience the space free of cost. We are overwhelmed by the joy on the faces of young, bright ones who would perhaps never have had the opportunity to travel to or access a space like this. Mumbai is still not a city where spaces are truly inclusive, and the idea for making the platform available to the underprivileged can be credited to the founder, Tanvi Jindal Shetye.
A level below, Discover is dedicated to the world of water and segregated into special zones. We enjoyed an eight-minute film on a turtle, narrated by Jackie Shroff and Dia Mirza. The immersive theatre brought the reality of damage wrought by the human hand on the environment, closer, sowing the seeds of thoughts about preservation deep into our minds.
The Empathy zone allowed our little ones to relate to problems of the Koli community, people working on preserving mangroves and fishing villages. Well-researched, the idea is to encourage children to find the problem, collaborate with the community and find solutions.
On the seventh floor is Play: A powerful medium to allow children to have a lot of fun while learning concepts and mediums. Theme-concepts run across the entire floor: Sensory tunnels, animation stations; as well as places to build, create, play interact and have fun with air and water. It was tough to get kids out of here.
The library, which was closed for the day, had cosy reading nooks and a collection of interesting books, along with an art art installation by Sangeeta Jindal called A Seat at the Table. It was actually a space for young children to sit and interact with the characters on the table.
At MuSo, the exhibits are a key feature, each more immersive and interactive than the other. The content for these exhibits, we are told, will be based on revolving themes that include water, people, planet, mental and physical well-being and sustainability+Me. All of these draw inspiration and direction from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
MuSo is a bold vision backed by the belief that children don't need to become adults to be changemakers. As we watch our little ones make discoveries and experience a new realm of science and solutions, we realise what a great way it is for them to understand the world around us. Each time you come back, you will find something new to challenge our collective notions of learning. For now, we are just happy to see our children take a leadership position in solution-finding practices.
Time: Monday to Sunday 10 am to 8 pm
WHERE: Victoria House, Next to IKEA, Lower Parel
Entry: Rs 499 onwards
TO BOOK: museumofsolutions.in