EXHIBITS AT THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

TOTopia is our interactive play space custom-designed for crawlers and toddlers 35" and smaller.

 

TOTopia - Exhibits

Reception & Resource Room, sponsored by Marilyn & Henry Hansel

TOTtopia is a no shoe zone to protect exhibits and let little ones feel the different materials on their feet as they explore the area. The entry will invite visitors to take off their shoes and store them neatly in the cubbies provided below mushroom shaped seating benches. Enter TOTtopia through a delightful picket fence and gate designed to keep little ones safely inside and older ones safely out.  
As children’s museums attract parents for children aged ten and younger, they have a unique opportunity to provide wrap-around support for both children and their caregivers.  The goal of the Parent Resource Center is to offer information, support and resources that help families serve as nurturers, teachers and role models for their children. It also provides guidance for individual parent concerns and to strengthen community connections that help families support one another and work together for children. Additionally, the Parent Resource Center is a place where children can dictate stories to caregivers or Museum workers.  Their words are typed into a storybook maker software program and then can be printed out and illustrated by the child.  Museum workers can assist in helping to assemble the simple books.  

Grotto and Tidepool Waterplay, sponsored by Celebrate Community Partners

Explore sensory items and splash around at the shallow water area shaped like a tide pool. Feel the water on your hands and arms or float a sea star!  Nearby, use your fingers dipped in water to paint pictures on slate.  Watch as they slowly fade away before your eyes and then start a new one! 

Baby & Me Flower Pit, sponsored by Beyers Costin Simon

An adorable place made for babies and pre-walkers to explore their world in a safe and developmentally appropriate manner.  Filled with sensory items such as mirrors, rattles, and things that crackle.  Babies can play safely in the middle alongside other babies building important social emotional skills while practicing their gross and fine motor skills. The edge of the Baby and Flower Pit is the perfect height for babies to pull themselves to a standing position and practice walking, while a family member or caregiver sits within arms distance nearby. 

Storybook Cottage, sponsored by Junior League of Napa-Sonoma

The Storybook Cottage is designed to support children in their formative years (2.5 and under) to make sure they “get off to a good start.” The child-sized Cottage will be full of colorful tactile experiences that encourage the development of early childhood skills including inquisitiveness, creativity, and verbal and non-verbal communication. Children and their caregivers are invited to engage in hands-on exploration in this remarkable environment rich in materials and textures that inspire curiosity and imagination. Snuggle with a puppet and a good book or have a tea party with friends in the Little Red Riding Hood theme Storybook Cottage. 

Dynamic Sensory Bin, sponsored by Lorna Kurtz

This area will feature different activities with sand magnets and more!  A shallow bin filled with fine sand offers children tools, funnels, shovels, colanders and measuring cups. Graphics alongside the station would allow children to compare what they’ve filled with images of cups filled to certain levels and quantities.  Other times children will be able to explore & create using magnets

Egg Wall - $10,000 each (available for sponsorship - email  for more information)

One end of the wall includes a vertical conveyor in which kids place and lift small eggs (balls) and send them through a series of slats, which create a maze. The slats are thin, light pieces of wood and can be adjusted, replaced and spaced out to create any number of mazes. Three model chickens are located at the top of the wall and for those visitors who choose not to use the conveyor; they may place eggs under each chicken and watch as their egg is laid and is sent downward through the maze.

Enchanted Forest & Book Nook - $15,000 (available for sponsorship - email for more information)

A quiet place filled with books, rocking chair nestled in a forest of trees with soft places to sit and read for children and parents.

Lily Pad - $10,000 (available for sponsorship - email  for more information)

The waterbed shaped like a giant lily pad will shape itself around the entire body of a child.  The soft and gentle movement from the water creates security and reminds a baby of its earliest sensory experiences.  

River Bridge - $10,000 (available for sponsorship - email  for more information)

The river bridge will be a fun area igniting imaginations within the Tot Spot. Skip, trot, walk, or crawl across the river bridge as you pretend you are on above the pretend water below.

TOTopia Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What age groups does the Museum serve?

The Museum is specifically designed to serve children up to age 10, their parents, caregivers and educators. There are several areas throughout the Museum where all ages are encouraged to explore, learn and play. However, here are some offerings that were designed with specific age groups in mind.

  • Infants and toddlers: TOTopia is designed to be a safe and developmentally appropriate location for infants and toddlers under 35 inches in height and under 2.5 years old. 
  • All ages: The Science & Imagination GalleryMary's Garden and Ella's Art Studio are all include appropriate activities for children up to age 10, and are ideal spaces to take families with children of multiple ages.

Q: Why does TOTopia have a height restriction?

Totopia is designed to be a safe location for infants and toddlers under 35 inches in height. The exhibit materials and activities were designed and scaled for these small children. Older and/or bigger children are too old and/or big to use the exhibit safely. The limit makes the area safe for babies and toddlers just learning to walk and interact socially with each other.

Q: Why did you choose 35 inches as the limit?

The 35” height limit was chosen because that is where the majority of children age 2½ years are in height. TOTopia was designed for our littlest visitors to have a safe space to learn, crawl, walk, and socially interact with other children at their developmental level.

Q: What should I tell my child? She loves TOTopia!

Many children become too tall for TOTopia when they near age 2.5 years old. As they get close, remind them that they are getting bigger, and will “graduate” from TOTopia soon because they’re no longer a baby, and TOTopia is just for babies.

Q: Where should I go if I have an infant/toddler and a child over 35 inches in height?

The Children's Museum is sensitive to the fact that one adult visiting with children of varying heights can’t explore TOTopia, however all children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. It is therefore recommended that families with mixed age children visit the Museum with two adult supervisors and/or take advantage of all other Museum exhibits and activities that are for all ages. [Please note: Our current membership allows for additional adults to visit at no extra charge.]
Mary’s Garden, Science and Imagination Gallery, and Ella’s Art Studio all include appropriate activities for children up to age 10, and are ideal spaces to take families with children of multiple ages.

 Q: What if I'm visiting with my much older child and his/her infant sibling? 

Mary’s Garden, Science and Imagination Gallery, and Ella’s Art Studio all include appropriate activities for children up to age 10, and are ideal spaces to take families with children of multiple ages.


 Questions?  Please contact Education Specialist, Theresa Giacomino via email or by phone at 707-546-4069.