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Habitot Children's Museum

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children's Museums, Family Services, Human Services

Mission: Habitot’s mission is to help the broad community of parents and caregivers raise curious, creative and confident children. Hands-on exhibits and programs focus exclusively on early childhood.

Programs: * Hands-on Exhibits Six permanent exhibits and one temporary exhibit encourage imagination, curiosity, problem-solving, social interaction, communication skills and parent-child connection. Exhibits include Waterworks, Little Town, Wind Tunnel, Infant-Toddler Garden. The current temporary exhibit is the Rocketship 80,000 visitors a year * Public Programs include three dozen multicultural events and performances throughout the year in music, art, dance, performance, storytelling and puppetry. Special Family Literacy Nights foster reading readiness and Child Safety events help prevent unintended accidents among young children. 10,000 participants a year * Art Programs include a drop-in Art Studio (included with admission) with changing daily activities, an Art Reach program taking arts to low income community preschools, and on-site focused art classes for children in ceramics, mixed media, and painting. 45,000 beneficiaries * Parent Education includes an in-museum Family Resource Center of books and other parenting references, 50 parenting classes a year on topics ranging from CPR and chokesaving to positive discipline strategies, and Parent-to-Parent brochures on parenting topics 5000 direct beneficiaries * Family Outreach Program designed to make Habitot's exhibits and programs available to a wide audience, especially low-income families and at-risk children. We offer free field trips to Head Start and state-supported preschools, free admission days, subsidized memberships, class scholarships, teen parent programs, book give-aways and organizational and library memberships for clients of social service agencies, hospital programs, homeless shelters, literacy programs, and teen parent programs. 8,329 direct beneficiaries

Community Stories

137 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot provides a great space for my almost two year old to explore, be creative, socialize, and play. The water area, imaginary restaurant/store, painting wall, and fire truck are his favorites. The staff is kind, helpful, and patient.

Review from Guidestar

Heather C.9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot offers a fun and educational environment for kids up to about 1st grade. They have a nice variety of activities to keep kids interested, from a climbing structure to a fire truck to a fantastic water feature to an amazing art section. They even have a toy 'library' where you can borrow activities to do at home. We were able to go on a day designated for families who have children with special needs, and it was great to be able to play without the stress of worrying about how our daughter's behaviors might be perceived. She had a great time and loved the water especially.

Review from Guidestar

Marla S.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Much needed opportunity for children to play as they see fit including in a very loud voice, or collecting more than one of a desired object like shopping carts. one child poured buckets of water into a filled container repeatedly to watch in all seriousness the overflow. Most other places he would have been corrected rather than allowed the experience

Review from Guidestar

Serena C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do great work for kids with special needs and their families

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot is a magical place! Our toddlers love running around and experiencing all that the space has to offer. I have been bringing my daughter to Habitot since she was 1 year old and have never been disappointed. The exhibit with the fan and the fairy butterflies is wonderful for the little ones along with the closed-off area for the babies to play. Now that my daughter is 2.5 I just stand back and let her discover what she wants as she is ready! We are thrilled to have this as one of our local spots!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Habitot Children’s Museum is a marvelous community resource. For years I have taken my grandchildren there, as toddlers and also up to five years old. They love the diversity of activities available: art, face painting, train sets, water play and much, much more. And I love how Habitot reaches out to all parts of the community.

Julia W.4

Donor

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful museum for children. It has many interactive stations and encourages parent / child interaction. The stations change so there is always something new to foster creativity and play time. I really appreciate their foster night and homeless birthday parties. It is encouraging to see an organization focus on these under served but deserving families.

Maya Melczer G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Not only does Habitot provide a fun, educational space for kids under age 5, their mission extends to a number of programs for under-served and at-risk populations including children of refugees, incarcerated parents and the like. The programming ranges from sustainability to inclusivity and is always child-focused and child led.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Habitot is an amazing place for young children to learn and play. The exhibits are engaging and fun. It’s interesting to see how children of different ages interact with the exhibits differently. Habitot also works hard to be open to all children in the community and deliberately fosters activities to bring in children from groups that may be marginalized. It is a true community resource.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Habitot Children's Museum is a wonderful organization that meets and exceeds its mission to help children thrive and grow with play-based education vital to their early childhood development. As a nonprofit, they host extraordinary events for all communities within the East Bay in order to expand their reach and allow parents/caregivers access to resources and educational information that they otherwise would not be able to access or afford. For example, they host birthday parties for homeless families, free admission days for families facing financial difficulties, and events that exclusively close down the museum for kids with special needs, to name a few. Habitot's staff is passionate about helping families and children in their community and it truly shows through their long-standing efforts and exceptional events they work so hard to provide.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Habitot is a great place for children to play. My kids love the art studio, water play area, and the changing exhibits and always seem to find a new playmate while crawling around in the wiggle wall. In addition to enjoying the museum with my family, I have been volunteering with Habitot for over two years. As an Architect, I work with board members on the museum's goals to expand its exhibit space and educational programming. Making a new space a reality will allow Habitot to continue to serve the community for many years to come.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have an awesome story of our son with special needs being able to bond with his typically developing peer at the habitot special needs day. It really does feel like a special time that we don't need to worry about what other parents or children are thinking or even answer questions. We can just enjoy ourselves. Wish this special needs time could be more frequent!

Erin Flynn M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first experience with this children's museum was when I was told about a free event they were sponsoring for families of kids with special needs. I had heard of the museum and wanted to go and that was the perfect opportunity to do so. I was initially surprised at how small the museum is, but that actually turned out to be a blessing, because I could relax more there than in bigger children's museums where I am constantly worried about my kids getting out of my sight. Because Habitot is small, I knew my two kids were always close, even if I couldn't see them. Plus there was only one way for them to get out and there was always a staff member watching that door. My kids had a blast and we stayed all afternoon. I was happily surprised that in addition to giving us free admission for the afternoon, there were also snacks provided during this special event. That was such a nice, welcoming touch and it was good so that families could connect when they were taking a break and getting the kids snacks. There were also volunteers that engaged my kids, one who stayed colored with my son for about 30 minutes. This was nice because it game me a chance to spend quality time just with my daughter. Finally, when we were leaving, each child was allowed to pick a book to take home. The book we found for my son was a song book that he absolutely loved and has become one of our most-read books. So the experience was a very nice, complete, satisfying one that lives on each time we read that book. Since then, we have gone back a few times on another special event day and with a group.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot has been incredibly welcoming to my ASD toddler. We've had fun at the museum on days reserved for special needs families (he loves the painting white board that you can squeegee) and he had so much fun at the two summer camp sessions we signed him up for. The teachers were so welcoming and friendly - he developed trust with them right away and came home every day with evidence of creative endeavors and fun (glitter in hair!). Thank you, Habitot, for being a safe and welcoming place for every toddler to explore and be creative.

Review from Guidestar

Vicki D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is so amazing. There special needs kids afternoons have been wonderful for my family. My kids get to play in a safe, enclosed environment with lots of Staff helpers around to help them engage and I get to meet and connect with other parents who really know what it’s like to raise a non nuerotyoical child.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been going to Habitot a lot this summer. My 3.5 year old son loves it and asks to go almost daily. He always finds something new to do even though we go there a couple of times a week. He loves the grocery area, the trains, the water area and he loves to yell into the wind tunnel. I enjoy watching him play, the staff are incredibly nice and supportive and it’s been nice meeting other families. I appreciate habitot and their programs so much

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My little one loves Habitot, and I am deeply grateful for the special needs playdates. Having such a wonderful space with great staff at a time that's dedicated to our kiddos means they can explore without the usual tons of kids. Having that special time to gently broaden her horizons has been wonderful. Please keep it up! I also learned a ton from a workshop they held about IEPs, so thanks for that as well!

Kris S.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful place!! I was able to introduce my son to this space with only a few kids around since it was for a special event. My son takes a little time getting used to new spaces but he quickly took a liking to this place. There were so many things for him to do and explore that we weren't able to see it all in one go. The space is very clean and well kept. I would highly suggest bringing your little ones here. We will definitely be back to explore more of the spaces we didn't really get to on our first visit.

Natalie H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This museum is very sweet. It is quite small, but every ounce of space is used for something creative. My daughter's loved playing in the shopping area and cafe, swinging on the farm bench, and painting and playing with slime in the art room. The workers are kind and helpful. We hope to be back soon!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our preschooler as learned so much at Habitot from the art room, to the water area and make believe cafe. The size is perfect to let my toddler room with my newborn in my arms. We have loved going!