Joint Base Lewis McChord is home to thousands of soldiers. But it's also home to something no other U.S. military facility has in the world. "This is called the Children's Museum at JBLM. It's a children's museum really geared toward young children 12 and under," said Brenda Morrison from Greentrike.
Admission to the museum is by donation. Once inside kids are encouraged to explore all the areas the museum has to offer. "Each playscape is a little unique it has different learning objectives but all of them are really based in science, technology, engineering, art." You can start your tour in their studio. "The Studio is really at the heart of our museum. It's about creativity, it's about collaborative play and creation. And the studio is about the process of making art and less about the product."
"In the water playscape, it's really about exploring water and the different textures and sensorial experience with water. We have areas in the water playscape where you can experiment with flooding waters or flowing water. There's vortexes where you can see how things might float."
"The Invention playscape is really steeped in imaginative play," said Morrison. "The inventor’s vehicle is really intended to be a space full of non-descriptive play, so it's about your imagination. We have a really fun rocket building activity where you can construct your own rocket and you can put it on some compressed air shooters." There's even a huge indoor play area too "A lot of our families living on base may not have grown up or come from a climate where it rains nine months out of the year. So this gives families just an alternative for a big indoor play experience when the weather is not as great."
Since it opened the Children's Museum at JBLM has become a welcomed addition to military families who call the base home. "We were really happy to partner with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma to provide yet another fun opportunity for families to get together and also get together with other families," said Vanessa Morris with JBLM. Morrison adds, "It's a place they can really connect with one another, connect with their family members but they can also connect with their community and I think we need more of that right now.”