August 1: TOTopia will be moving temporarily to a new location in the Museum while some wonderful upgrades happen to the original space.
These upgrades are made possible through generous grants from CalWest Rentals and an anonymous donor. It is through the generous support of investors, and donations, that we are able to add exhibits and upgrade our current exhibits. We are so grateful for to these donors for supporting the Children’s Museum!
Totopia is our custom designed play space for children 35″ and under. It is meant to be a safe location for infants and toddlers under 35 inches in height to practice crawling and socializing. The exhibit materials and activities were designed and scaled for these small children.
Family Resource Center, 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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.