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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

114 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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,