Early Childhood Programs

Early Childhood In-Person Programs

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All Early Childhood Programs will be for parents and children 2-5 years old. All participants will be required to wear a mask for the entirety of the program. If Thursday programs fill, a Friday session will be added. 

This program will take place in the third-floor classroom and third floor exhibit space to allow for social distancing. Each family will have their own designated table to complete activities at as well as their own set of manipulatives for use throughout the class.

**Classes will be limited to 5 parent/child pairs each session. Each program will need a minimum of 2 parent/child pairs to run.

**Due to the guidelines from IDPH and the CDC, all participants must wear a mask for the entirety of the program and children must be at least 2 years old to participate.

**In order to ensure a quality experience and consistent safety for all participants, siblings who do not meet the age requirements of class may not attend.


Play is the work of a child. Children learn about the world around them, by playing. So how do you as your child’s first teacher help them learn the most through their play? Our programs are designed specifically for the parent/caregiver and child to learn through various types of play and explorations! 

Class will begin with circle time where we sing a Hello song all together and read a story introducing the theme.  Next parents and children explore center-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, & math) stations that develop, social, problem-solving, and gross and fine motor skills.  Centers include sensory exploration, building activities, process-based art activities, dramatic play, exploring math concepts through a scavenger hunt, and so much more!  To wrap up our time, parents and children will gather for music and movement activity, exploration of a STEAM based activity, bubbles, and a Good-bye song.

Ages: 2-4-years-old
Time: 9 – 10 a.m
Cost: $10 Members / Museums for All  
          $15 Non-Members
Dates: 
Thursday, October 15: Pumpkins, Spiders, and Bats
Thursday, November 19: All About Fall
Thursday, December 17: Gingerbread Friends


Ages: 4-5-years-old
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Cost: $10 Members / Museums for All
         $15 Non-Members
Dates: 
Saturday, October 17: Pumpkins, Spiders and Bats
Saturday, November 21: All About Fall
Saturday, December 19: Gingerbread Friends



Early Childhood Program Kit

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If your family is not quite ready to attend in-person programs, but you are missing Miss Erin’s hands-on activities, we have a kit option for you!  Kits will include a link to Miss Erin reading the story that goes along with each kit’s monthly theme. Kits will include directions and most of the supplies for 3 hands-on activities that focus on STEAM based learning through fine motor, process art, and sensory exploration activities. Supplies not included are common household materials such as a cookie sheet, large mixing bowl, measuring cups, etc. A newsletter will also be included in the kit that will offer a couple bonus activities to try with items from your house or your backyard, Miss Erin’s recipe for the play dough of the month, and suggestions for other books to read that go along with our month’s theme.

Additionally, there is an option to receive a toy from our lending library. You would be able to play with this toy for 3 weeks before returning it to the museum. We have many toys in our collection that are not being used in regular programming. If you wish to borrow a toy with your kit, please select yes on the registration question.

Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 Members / Museums for All
          $15 Non-Members
Pick up Dates:  
Thursday, October 15 - Saturday, October 17: Pumpkins, Spiders and Bats
Thursday, November 19 - Saturday, November 21: All About Fall
Thursday, December 17 - Saturday, December 19: Gingerbread Friends