Wise Wonders Unveils New Children’s Museum in Billings

The Wise Wonders Museum of Science and Discovery unveiled its new exhibit Tuesday morning in downtown Billings.

It’s called the Kids Grocery and it offers a unique learning experience for young visitors.

“One of the main aims of this exhibition was to highlight everyday situations where children can learn. And part of that is learning by playing,” said Lucas Forcella, Chairman of the Board of Wise Wonders.

The exhibition is built like a grocery store, with the main goal of giving children realistic life experiences.

“We have a bunch of science and math exhibits that you see in a lot of places. But it’s one where I think we can bring the realities of science and math that we all experience to kids at their level,” Forcella said.

In this more interactive exhibition, children can do their shopping. The exhibit is fully stocked with counterfeit money and toy food and is very convenient.

“We wanted it to be as authentic as possible, so that kids could experience a grocery store in the real world. But it’s not just about pretend play. It’s about counting, it’s it’s about learning about nutrition, colors, types of fruits and vegetables available,” said Shawna Bonini, Executive Director of Wise Wonders.

The non-profit museum runs on donations from the community. In this case, Valley Credit Union, based in Billings, is the main donor. For them, the decision to help was obvious.

“What better place to give back than to the kids, right? It is our future. We have to take care of them,” said Brandon Scala, senior vice president of business development for Valley Credit Union.

While the museum workers were perhaps the most excited to cut the ribbon, the children’s excitement was evident once they finally walked through the front doors.

“Instant chaos, but that’s what it’s about. It’s true, these children need that. They need to be able to have a safe, enclosed environment where they can have instant chaos,” Scala said.

About Carlos V. Mitchell

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