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I got really excited when I saw the electrical outlets in the walls had been covered up. I mean really excited. That meant that was really, truly a place designed for kids to be kids – something that had been very lacking in Dakar to date.

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Last week I took my two kiddos to Kër ImagiNation, the new play and discovery center in Yoff that is the work of ImagiNation Afrika. The entire villa and its yard have been converted to house the beginnings of a children’s museum. (In Dakar. I know. I’m still in shock.)

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We paid our 2000cfa per person entry fee (rates will change soon, but still very reasonable and soooo worth it) and got a quick tour of the place before the kids were let loose to explore and play with whatever caught their attention. Construction boxes, a pretend supermarket, weight and measuring stations, shape art, sandboxes, water tables, hopscotch, a play kitchen area with dishes and soapy water and an entire room filled with craft supplies and materials to upcycle into your art creation.

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Kid heaven. Parent who cried when we visited a kids’ museum in the US and I knew we had nothing like it in Dakar heaven.

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The bilingual staff had obviously been trained to work with children and their development, not just keeping them alive and also not doing everything for them. The grounds and villa were clean, and kept clean. (Along with the covered outlets, I was also overjoyed to find toilet paper and soap in the restroom. It’s the little things that are big things.)

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Kër ImagiNation had its soft launch in December, but now has fully opened to the public with regular hours and workshops each week and a café on site and membership options will soon be available.

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Their Facebook page has all the info you need and I give it a big two thumbs up and thank you to those who have worked so hard to make this dream a reality for children in Dakar.

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