Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Habitot Children's Museum

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot is welcoming and my daughter loves it! They change the activities on a regular basis, and my daughter is always engaged. We are so grateful to have a resource for our family.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We follow Habitot Children's Museum on their Facebook page regular. We are always impressed with the events they produce and the online presence they maintain. In today's world, having an effective, personable and engaging online presence is essential. We are located in Minneapolis making following Habitot online is how we stay informed. Regardless, we encourage our associates, clients, family and friends with children to be sure and visit them when in California.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just love this place and everything it stands for. Our young girls love it too! It's creative, safe, friendly. Thank you so much for all you do.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Habitot remains the one place that whenever my 3 and 5 year old visit, they leave with a smile. That puts a smile on my face too. No matter the season, no matter their mood or their parents mood, my children and I always find just what we are looking for at Habitot. It is a place my children can be active, climbing and playing. It is a place they can be peaceful, enjoying books with their parents. It is a place they can explore on 'their own' to help develop and foster their own sense of self. it is also a place where they can play with mom and dad - especially at the train table. BTW the train table is the place to learn about sharing. Habitot is a place for dramatic play and for letting the imagination grow. There is so much to Habitot, so many activities that vary by the season, all under one roof. Our family is very thankful for Habitot.

Review from Guidestar

1 Jo__15

Board Member

Rating: 5

An outstanding place to play and connect with the little people. Both of my kids loved spending time at Habitot and when I look around their bedroom the artwork and crafts that we've kept are mostly from Habitot. The art classes are superb utilizing high quality materials and expert hands-on instruction. The play space in the museum is so enriching and engaging for young children; they literally don't stop moving and exploring and creating from the minute they walk through the doors.

Staff are super friendly and helpful. As the name suggests it's a sanctuary for little ones and for young parents a guaranteed hit when you're looking for a special place to take your kids.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Both of my boys, who are now 5 and 7, spent many mornings and weekends when they were toddlers and preschoolers playing and learning at Habitot. They enjoyed the African drumming lessons, painting on the art wall, dressing up as fire fighters, veterinarians, and astronauts, washing cars in the car wash and running boats down the water slide, shopping for pretend groceries, climbing through the wall tunnel, and so much more. Habitot was a place for them, their grandparents, their nanny, and me and my husband to play and grow together as a family. In fact, they still love visiting Habitot, even though they're onto their elementary school worlds now too. Habitot is a wonderfully creative and safe venue for young children and their families to explore together. When I joined the Board of Habitot a few years ago, I learned about many of the other wonderful contributions that Habitot makes to the community too. These are after-hours programs that much of the public does not see. Habitot opens its doors for gatherings of children with special needs; provides a safe place for parents who are recently out of incarcerated to reunite and play with their children; provides a welcoming space for GLBT families; and works with homeless families as well, and so much more. Habitot is a rare and wonderful place for all types of families in the Bay Area, and it serves a critical socal function as well. It also couldn't have a better leader than its founder and executive officer extraordinaire, Gina Moreland.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been going to Habitot for three years and I have been impressed with Habitot from the beginning! My son loves to go there and I feel safe taking him to camps and other activities. My only wish is that it had the funds to expand so that it could meet the needs of more children and families in the area. The exhibits and activities are developmentally appropriate, and the staff are kind, trained, respectful and courteous! My son is five years old and he still loves going there!

I would love for Habitot to be able to expand, as I am confident they could then work with some elementary early grade students as well. Habitot is the best place for preschool children in Berkeley!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to spend a full year working as a graduate intern and development consultant for Habitot Children's Museum. Habitot is an incredibly unique organization that focuses on very young children and gives them a place to play that is educational, safe, and enjoyable. Every toy, game, or activity in the museum has ties back directly to helping children grow and learn through play. Given that we now live during a time when everything is about cramming a child's schedule full of structured activities, there is something so valuable in seeing an organization that understands the inherent importance of allowing children to play, think, and explore on their own.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful "indoor play/discovery center. It is an extremely parent and child friendly environment. Whenever I have accompanied families I work with to Habitot, I have found all of the staff, from the front desk person who greets you to the volunteers, to be friendly and helpful. The parents have loved having a safe and fun-filled environment for their children. In addition, they loved the handouts available for parents regarding parenting and child development. The children delight in all there is to do there. Particular favorites are the water play area, art room, and the "store." I love that the vehicles to sit in and explore change, as well as the "climbing wall."

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful institution for 0-5 year old children and their families. The types of educational opportunities that they provide to this group are wonderful. They also provide a lot of programs for undeserved and at-risk communities who may not be able to afford museums. The impact they are creating in the East Bay community is very admirable and inspiring

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot Children's Museum is an excellent place to give your child an immersive educational experience. As an educator, I often refer families with young children here and receive rave reviews afterwards. Keep it up Habitot!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a grandmother of two small children aged 2 and 4, Habitot is a lifesaver. The kids always have a great time. The space is always clean with lots of choices of activities from a train table, water fun, and of course, pretend food for shopping and cooking (a family favorite).

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the best Christmas gifts I received last year was my Grandparent's membership to Habitot. I think I enjoy it as much as my 3.5 year old grandson and 20 month old granddaughter. Habitot is always clean and friendly with lots of support staff providing fun activities and play opportunities for the kids. Its a safe, caring environment that I take advantage of frequently.

kathimall

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a Spectacular Place! Perfect for me - a grandmother with 2 year old twins and their 3 year old sister. We open the door and they are off for morning of discovery and we adults just stand back and watch. No matter how corded it is they seem to figure out how to interact without adults getting involved. It is a very unique place. There are so few places designed for preschoolers. I just learned about their outreach programs for mothers and their children on the fringe. I am going to become a member and support this very worthy local endeavor - definitely an important asset in our very diverse community,

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been an employee for Habitot about a year now and I still can't get enough of it. It's the cutest place I've ever been and all the children love it. The only downside is their crying when Habitot closes. I recall one girl last week screaming "I WANNA STAY AT HABITOT FOREVERR!" Habitot is a great non-profit that any kid would be lucky to experience. I plan on bringing my new baby cousin very soon =].

Julie64

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot is a great resource for parents. It's a wonderful location for entertaining children of multiple age levels and interests, giving us moms time to take a breath and even get a conversation in while the kids engage with art and creativity activities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For my 2 year old grandson and I, Thursday is "Habitot Day!" We have been regulars since Anthony turned one-- and we just renewed our membership! On the way there, Anthony tells me what he will do first and what he will do next. Although he originally bee-lined for the train table, he is now quite the devotee of Elise's and Nora's art projects. (I am amazed at the clever ways these ladies engage the children in art-- from salt painting to chalk and water on contour maps!) My grandson has certain children he has come to be friends with; they squeal in delight when they see each other! Whether it is the water room or the wiggly wall or spaceship or pillow and reading room, Anthony has really grown both socially and intellectually with this program. I can remember the little guy who toddled from one activity to another; now he is much more sustained in the processes! I am so thankful for this rather amazing and creative place to come and have fun in a stimulating, safe and educational way. The exhibits change periodically so there is always a new twist on what is presented, along with the oldies. We are all so fortunate to have this creative play place with its amazing and supportive staff. As a teacher in public schools for thirty years, I would say I am pretty clear on an engaging environment for children; Habitot is definitely that! I have used the parenting book library as a good source of ideas and the toy lending library is a kick! What fun to try out a new toy or game for several weeks. Come on by if you haven't done so. You will certainly leave with a smile!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer at Habitot's Family Resource Center, I maintain the museum's collection of books for parents and caregivers. Currently I'm working on developing the collection to include titles of interest to families with young children: sleep, discipline, education, siblings, recreation, single parenting, etc. I'm a recent graduate from San Jose's MLIS program and volunteering at Habitot has given me real-life experience in cataloging and collection development, as well as insight into how an organization on a tight budget operates.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot offers great programming to help support me as a parent aswell as being a great welcoming space for my child.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I've taken my preschoolers here a few times and they always enjoy the space. I love all of the different areas they offer. The face painting and rotating dramatic play area are always big hits! I love the kitchen/ store area and the climbing wall. The space is a decent size and entertains a wide range of developmental ages. If I could choose one thing to improve it would be the air circulation, it always feels a bit stuffy (but of course the kids are always too busy playing to notice!). A final note, the volunteers and staff are always friendly and greet us with giant smiles. As a preschool teacher, I appreciate them making us feel so welcome!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As an early childhood educator and mom, this is one of my favorites! My daughter always leaves exhausted because she has been so filled with excitement, good people and great experiences. EVERYTHING is hands-on and inviting. Some areas are predictable (i.e., quieter reading area, snack area, infant space, resource library), and others are often new and exciting (i.e., art area, rotating exhibits). It's intimate, with great staff, and I know my daughter is safe (even if I lose sight of her for a moment). They also have numerous programs to benefit the community (Parents Night Out, Days for children with Special Needs, Free Days for Families in Need, etc.)! What more could you want for a young child!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm a parent and an early childhood education professional. Habitot is a fantastic place for young children! My daughter is just 2 and she asks to go to Habitot regularly. We've been members since she was 1. It's usually a bit of an ordeal to get her to leave :). EVERYTHING is child-friendly, and "whole family"-friendly. The creativity, variety and simplicity speak just a bit to the unbelievable quality - displays, materials, workshops, cultural presentations, staff, etc. There is clear attention to detail in every nook and crannie. My husband and I love walking in there, and just letting our daughter go free (once we pass the gift shop corner). I only wish there were more locations, for more families to enjoy.