when we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit.
Fred Rogers

hands on components

  • Ride a seesaw as water bubbles rise with your motion
  • Send balls through a nine-foot twisting, sculptural maze
  • Comb and shape colored sand with hand tools atop lighted tables
  • Build a wooden train system
  • Insert and sort color pegs in the Light Wall as you learn colors and create patterns and words
  • Sift, pour and scoop smooth blue pebbles to develop hand-eye coordination and tool use
  • Build with blocks
  • Spin light-up circles filled with surprises
  • Enjoy “tummy time” in a padded play area

A Quiet Area in the rear of the Nursery is for nursing and quiet time.

A Resource Area provides current information on child development, support services and family fun.

the art

tips for before and after your visit

change your perspective.

Get on the floor. Small children see the world differently. Put yourself at their level in the Nursery and see the exhibit and its components from their perspective. This will give you a better understanding of how to help facilitate play with your young child in the exhibit.

try new things.

If you have visited the Museum before, think of new ways to approach old favorites. Add storytelling to the Train Tables — ask what the train is doing; help put words to actions; then put the actions together to form a story. Introduce math and geometry to the block area by counting, creating patterns and talking about shapes

explore cause and effect.

Investigate how the different Light Circles spin. What is different? Explore the 9-foot Ball Maze. What do you notice when you place the ball in different locations on the track?

have a quiet moment.

Take the time to relax. Visits to the Museum are fun but can be tiring. Use some of the quiet spots in the Nursery to sit together and read a story or talk about your visit.

Get on the floor. Small children see the world differently. Put yourself at their level in the Nursery and see the exhibit and its components from their perspective. This will give you a better understanding of how to help facilitate play with your young child in the exhibit.

If you have visited the Museum before, think of new ways to approach old favorites. Add storytelling to the Train Tables — ask what the train is doing; help put words to actions; then put the actions together to form a story. Introduce math and geometry to the block area by counting, creating patterns and talking about shapes

Investigate how the different Light Circles spin. What is different? Explore the 9-foot Ball Maze. What do you notice when you place the ball in different locations on the track?

Take the time to relax. Visits to the Museum are fun but can be tiring. Use some of the quiet spots in the Nursery to sit together and read a story or talk about your visit.

design matters

The Children’s Museum’s commitment to sustainable design is especially important in the Nursery, where our youngest visitors explore, play and learn. Inspired by the Reggio Emilio approach to early childhood, we’ve assembled beautiful materials and artwork to create a place where families can feel safe and free to explore with their youngest children. Features include:

  • Bamboo and wheat board surfaces on seating and tables
  • Zero VOC paint
  • Historic materials including stained glass windows and a wood bench
  • Blocks built from wood reclaimed from a slide formerly installed in the Museum’s Attic exhibit, and originally a bowling alley lane
  • Seat and floor cushions made from 100% recycled bamboo textiles and corn poly-fill, and Crypton, a 100% recycled fiber fabric
  • Tamper-resistant electrical outlets with spring-loaded shutters that allow plugs to enter, but resist access to small items like keys or toys.
  • BabyGuard outlet covers