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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

107 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My four year old daughter has enjoyed hours and hours at Habitot! I have brought a lot of the great ideas home to continue her fun and learning. She isn't in preschool or day care yet so it has been a great place to interact with others. The staff is so friendly. Everything is clean! We never brought illness home with us just fond memories. Thank you for this delightful imaginative place to play. I feel like a kid again when visiting! My teens have enjoyed playing with their little sister there. Many "injuries" have been fixed playing doctor. Love the gak! Face paint crayons! wind tunnel with flower petals!! We love Habitot. Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I picked up a groupon for an outing w/my 4yr old nephew. In sharing the experience w/friends I found myself describing this place as "a dump, w/a run down, dirty feel, & small; but my nephew seemed to enjoy the different "stations" of play & activity.

Way over priced for what you get & the condition of the place. It wasn't as painful as full price would've been w/o the Groupon.

This place really just needs a good cleaning & painting.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 4

Habitot provides my tot with a fun learning experience. Play is so important to young minds.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Lots of individual play spaces stimulate kids' imaginations. My little ones (ages 2 and 3 ½) had a fantastic time!

Review from Guidestar

Marcia32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful resource for new parents. They provide hands on learning, imaginative play and arts and crafts for children ages 1-5. The many cultural and educational events make Habitit a real jewel for the whole community.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot has helped my child embrace her creativity and has given me a sense of community. They do so much for so many people and we really appreciate the fun and support we get there.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been taking my daughter to Habitot since she was 10 months old. She feels so at home in the space, and the real life installations have helped her learn so many things. The staff is so nurturing and remember her by name which makes her experiences there extra special. We love Habitot!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A fantastic place for our toddlers! We started coming when our first child was under one year old. That was six years ago and we have now been to Habitot countless times, usually coming tiwce or three times a week. It has been a wonderful place for both our children to be able to play-pretend, paint, make collages, play with water, play-doh and gak. All in a safe environment. Our only regret: we win't be able to come now our kids have entered the school system! Maybe we should have a third? ;)

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 13 month old loved our time at Habitot! And I loved all the educational exhibits. The veterinary clinic was a favorite since my son loves animals and he also enjoyed playing in the grocery store. I can't wait to take him back.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Excellent play-based learning nonprofit for young children!

Review from Guidestar

Mara5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was delighted that my experience at Habitot lived up to my fond memories of it from when I was a kid. I was babysitting a three and a half year old who loved exploring the wiggle wall, spaceship, and reading room. I especially enjoyed the personal touches of comfortable pillows to read on and dress up spacesuits and helmets for the children to try on. The staff is friendly and helpful. I hope to be coming back soon!

Stevanne A.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been enthusiastically involved with Habitot since the beginning. I agree with all comments posted plus add a few additional aspects. It has been a great success in engaging children and parents in play which is the primary way preschoolers learn. Everyone benefits from this unique, safe and nurturing play environment. It offers a fun, stimulating place to play and also provides community services like toy library, gift shop, special exhibits and reaching out to families. I am pleased to continue in my role as professional advisor on play and toys. I observed how important Habitot was to my grandson as i saw how much he enjoyed exploring and discovering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Whenever we get anywhere near downtown Berkeley, my two-year-old asks if we are going to Habitot. I love taking her there because the content is educationally enriching, the space is clean, the staff are engaging and kind, and there is quiet for me to feed my baby too. Everyone is happy when we visit Habitot!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My 4 and 2-year-olds love our visits to Habitot. We've been visiting the museum for over 3 years. They love, love, love the grocery store, wind tunnel, and water room. Everyone naps well after a morning at Habitot! I joined the board of Habitot as I feel very strongly about it's mission to provide a wonderful space for kids in our community to play, learn and explore. Habitot does fantastic outreach to make the museum accessible to all children. And it plays an extremely important role in supporting parents. I am very thankful for Habitot!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My three-year-old and one-year-old have a blast every time we visit Habitot. They enjoy every minute of the water room, the grocery store, the wind tunnel, the art room, etc., etc. I love watching my boys exploring, creating, laughing, and pretending at Habitot. We go as often as we can and it never gets old. Habitot also offers helpful hints related to the exhibits that I find really helpful as a parent. For example in the art room, they have a wonderful handout about how to help foster creativity in your child. Habitot is a wonderful resource. I also love that after a morning of fun at Habitot, my boys take fantastic naps in the afternoon!!

Julian F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a wonderful experience volunteering here. Everyone is dedicated to the wellness of the community and the families. Being an artist myself, I believe Habitot is a great creative hub for young learners. Very inspirational space!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful spot for my son. A safe place for freedom and exploration

Elizabeth144

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have taken my 18 month child to Habitot since he was 10 months old and its been an amazing place for him to explore. I know its a safe, clean place for him to play from the infant area where he was tumbling as he learned how to walk to the water area, we've loved being around so many amazing families.

Stephany T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Habitot Childrens Museum is an amazing place for children and parents.
Families are given empowerment through education and hands on activities that are easily translated for home use. Children are supported at every developmental stage and the museum is laid out thoughtfully and expertly. Some exhibits are ever changing but most are predictable reflecting the need for stability in environment which facilitates the comfort level needed for expanded learning through play.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm a proud Habitot Board member and believe tremendously in its mission. Not only does Habitot provide a safe, clean, stimulating environment for little ones, but it also does significant and meaningful community outreach. Events such as birthdays for homeless children and dedicated time for LGBTQ families means that all families and children feel welcome and accepted. Habitot is extremely deliberate and thoughtful in its design of exhibits - all of which keep the imaginations of kids alive and create genuine space for them to explore, test, and learn in a safe environment. It's really a magical place!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I found Habitot through my daughter. What she discovered is a world of exploring, imagining and creating whether it is in the art studio, piloting the rocket ship, catching leaves in the wind tunnel or running the restaurant. She has enjoyed hours and hours of fun and learning at Habitot and even after 4 years continues to love going there every week!

What I discovered is there is no other place in the bay area that serves pre-school children and their parents like Habitot! Serving on the Board of Habitot has opened my eyes to what a crucial role Habitot plays in the bay area community. Habitot through its services and programs impacts tens of thousands of children and families and reaches out to the most vulnerable including teen parents, homeless and foster families, formerly incarcerated parents, children with special needs, LGBT and low income families.

Habitot is a truly special place that bring kids alive, what ever their circumstance, and inspires them to learn through hands on play and provides the support parents and caregivers need to help give kids the bright future they deserve.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My daughter just turned 5 and has been going to Habitot since she was 1 and still absolutely loves it. We have gotten tremendous use and value from the membership program given my daughter declared Habitot a must have visit every week (unlike any other place we have a membership).
I see her imagination run wild as she dresses up as a fire fighter, takes orders in the restaurant, figures out how a car wash works, goes shopping for food and builds the longest trains and tallest buildings she possibly can.
What I also see is her jumping in to navigate on her own because things are her size, overcoming issues like being sensitive to noise when she plays in the wind tunnel and learning to share and talk with other kids she doesn't know.
As a parent I have used many of the tip cards on fun ways to help your child learn and enjoy getting emersed in the activities with her. We have gone to all of the museums, exploratoriums, hall of science, etc. in the bay area but none of them seem to capture and keep my daughters attention like Habitot does. There is no other place that serves the younger children like Habitot does.