The Israeli Children's Museum is an educational and cultural institution providing experiences far different than any other Israeli museum. Kids are encouraged to touch the displays, feel the materials and even be part of the exhibits. Here kids are not merely observers: they play a central role in the story.
The museum was opened in 2001 and has had over a million visitors of all ages.
Permanent museum exhibits
Museum Trails for Children
The Museum Trails are an experiential journey, taking children on an imaginary adventure with added educational value. There are five different trails available, geared to different age groups, for kids aged 2½ to 11.
Each of the trails is a story, in which the child is an active character. The trails deal with thoughts and feelings, as well as the life cycle. One reporter described the experience as “Disneyland for the thinking person.”
At the end of the visit, the child emerges with numerous emotional and cognitive insights, but most importantly -- with a big smile. And don’t be surprised if your kids demand to know when they can come back!
Dialogue in the Dark
Dialogue in the Dark provides visitors with an insight into the world of the blind. The guides, who themselves are either visually impaired or completely blind, open visitors’ eyes to their world, and help them understand that they are not “handicapped”, but simply different.
Equipped only with a cane, visitors go through the hall, experiencing the world in complete darkness. At the end of the visit, they gather for a conversation (still held in the dark), with their blind guide. The conversation deals with issues such as disability, coping, senses, and life in general.
The museum, which employs some 30 blind guides, is the largest employer of blind people in Israel. Since 2004, some 400,000 people have experienced this dialogue, and it is far from over. The exhibition is open to groups and families (minimum age is 9).
Invitation to Silence
This is an unusual communication journey guided by the deaf. In this exhibition, one hears nothing, yet the talking doesn’t cease. One learns that you can hear through your eyes, and speak using your hands.
Visitors discover a new way of communicating, through hand movements and body language. The deaf guides, for whom sign language is their main, and sometimes their only, communication channel, help visitors discover the non-verbal communication skills that we all have.
This exhibition is a unique opportunity for a dialogue between hearing and deaf people, helping visitors break through emotional barriers, prejudices and stereotypes. Sign language is accepted as a language like any other.
The project opened in July 2007 and has had over 100,000 visitors. The museum employs 30 deaf and hard-of-hearing guides. Open to groups and families (minimum age is 9).
At Eye Level – “Begova Haeynaim”
Manageress: Miri Brown
Address: 11 Osishkin St., Holon
The At Eye Level Center helps very young children – aged three to seven, divided by age --get acquainted with theater, music and art in an unusual way. They become the heroes of the plot of a play, try various musical instruments and learn about the plastic arts through the interplay of colors, shapes and materials. They see artwork by well-known artists, and create their own artwork they can take home as a souvenir.
At Eye Level is a branch of the Israeli Children's Museum but it is not located on the museum compound. Activities are varied – some are for kindergarten groups, while others are for kids and their parents – and they change every few months.