Beginning Monday, June 11, families are invited to explore The Magic House’s newest cultural exhibit, Kenya’s Kids, and discover what life is like for children in Kenya today, a country both technologically-advanced and filled with longtime traditions. As they travel through five immersive environments, children can compare the similarities and differences between their lives and those of children in the East African country of Kenya. Kenya’s Kids will debut as the first of several cultural exhibits in the Museum’s new World Traveler Gallery, an educational space designed to introduce children to new cultures and promote 21st century global literacy skills.
A private ribbon cutting ceremony and media viewing will take place with the St. Louis Kenyan community on Sunday, June 10 from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The Museum will host a grand opening with the public on Monday, June 11 from 11:00 to 1:00 pm. Both events will feature children from F4KIDZ African Performing Arts who will entertain visitors with lively performances of African dance, drums and singing.
In Kenya’s Kids, visitors will have the opportunity to experience a rural home as they learn about water conservation and use a beautiful Khanga cloth to carry a baby on their back or dress as a Maasai, one of 43 ethnic groups in Kenya. At the school, children can learn Swahili using touchscreen notebooks just like students in Kenya. Visitors can also convert dollars to shillings and “shop” in an outdoor market and at a duka, tiny shops found throughout Kenya, as they learn about the country’s advanced phone-based financial system called M-Pesa. At the national reserve, children can become a ranger and drive a safari vehicle to learn about the animals that live on Kenya’s vast savanna. They can also become a keeper at an elephant orphanage that cares for abandoned baby animals and learn about animal conservation. Visitors will also marvel at life-size sculptures of native African animals, created by local artisans in Nairobi, integrated into the exhibit.
“We are excited to open Kenya’s Kids in our new World Traveler Gallery at The Magic House. We hope that this new exhibit, as well as future exhibits, will encourage global awareness and cultural appreciation,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President of The Magic House. “A special thank you to the St. Louis Kenyan community for their input and guidance during the creation of Kenya’s Kids. It is because of their support that our new exhibit reflects the vibrancy of the Kenyan culture.”
“The Kenya’s Kids exhibit is a true reflection of understanding that in diversity there is beauty and strength,” said Kenyan Advisory Committee member Sebastian Gaitho. “This is a wonderful opportunity to see a Kenyan child’s daily life, it is a like virtual trip to Kenya. The exhibit is right on the mark in representing the life of a Kenya’s kid and the Kenyan culture in general.”
Kenya’s Kids is part of a cultural exhibit series created by The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum with a goal of introducing children to cultures from around the world. This immersive exhibit is designed for children 3 to 12 years and was created in partnership with the St. Louis Kenyan community. Kenya’s Kids is generously made possible by the Crawford Taylor Foundation and The Dana Brown Charitable Trust, U.S. Bank Trustee. The exhibit is free with Museum admission and will be at The Magic House June 11, 2018 through January 21, 2019