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
Enjoy both quiet, thoughtful play and active, creative play in this serene space filled with soft colors, inviting shapes and natural materials. Infants, toddlers and their families can:
- Ride a seesaw whose motion creates rising water bubbles
- Paint with water on a slate board
- Send balls through a nine-foot twisting, sculptural maze
- Sculpt and comb colored sand with hand tools atop lighted tables
- Build a wooden train system and drive trains around
- Create glowing patterns and images by taking color pegs in and out of the Light Wall, making choices, sorting and learning the names of colors
- Sift, pour and empty containers in the Bird Seed basin to develop hand-eye coordination and use tools
- Build with wooden blocks on multiple levels
- Light up circle panels filled with bottle caps, gummy bears and liquid tubes
- Explore wooden toys and crawl about in a padded play area; a place where infants and non-mobile children can have "tummy time"
There's also a Quiet Area for nursing and reading, and a Resource Area with current information on child development, support services and family fun.
The Art Here
- Original prints by Jay Ryan and Robert Raczka on loan from Artists Image Resource (AIR), an artist-run organization that combines the production of fine art printwork with creative educational programs. See the prints on Pinterest.
- So Much Better in My Mind by Carin Mincemoyer
- King Kong “Blue” by Burton Morris
The 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, beautiful materials and artwork are assembled to create a place where young families can feel safe and free to explore with their youngest children.Design features of the Nursery's 2011 renovation include:
- Bamboo and wheat board surfaces are used on seating and tables
- Zero VOC paint
- Historic materials including stained glass windows and a wood bench
- Reclaimed Ipe wood and slate purchased from Construction Junction were used to build Waterpainting.
- Wood from a slide formerly installed in the Museum’s Attic exhibit, and originally a bowling alley lane, were used to build Block Play.
- Seat and floor cushions are made from 100% recycled bamboo textiles and corn poly-fill, and Crypton, a 100% recycled fiber fabric.
- Materials removed from the Nursery during its 2011 renovation, including the Baby Pen, Spinners and glass tiles in the Art Bridge were donated to Construction Junction and worn carpet tiles were returned to the manufacturer for recycling.
- Electrical outlets are tamper-resistant receptacles with spring-loaded shutters to allow plugs to enter, but resist access to small items like keys or toys.BabyGuard outlet covers are used for added safety.
The Nursery Renovation 2011 was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Download the file below for tips for before and after your visit to the Nursery.