Personalize Your Play: Support Material for All Families

We want to ensure all families feel welcome at Minnesota Children’s Museum. Our goal is to foster a culture of inclusion, that celebrates diversity and encourages mutual respect. We strive to make the museum and its programs accessible and safe for all members of our community, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity and range of abilities.

We understand that sometimes extra support is needed so that kids can fully participate. As a museum, we are dedicated to providing that support. To make that happen, we’ve partnered with an autism expert from the University of Minnesota to create materials especially for children with autism.

Tips and Tricks

Wheelchair Accessibility: Every exhibit in the museum is designed to be wheelchair accessible.

Noise Levels: The Museum is quietest early in the morning, Friday and Saturday evenings, on Tuesdays when we have no school groups, and nice weather days.

Easy Entrance and Exit: If you are driving to the Museum, one of the quickest and most convenient ways to enter and exit the museum is by parking on the 3rd floor of the World Trade Center Ramp, and entering/exiting through the skyway connected to the 2nd floor of the Museum.

Visual Stimulation: Imaginopolis, Sprouts, the Tip Top Terrace, and the reading areas have some of the lowest visual stimulation levels in the museum.

Break Rooms: Please feel free to use the comfort rooms located on the first floor near Super Awesome Adventures and the second floor in Sprouts. These are small, quiet break rooms with low levels of visual stimulation.

Materials Guide

Social Stories: Download Visiting Minnesota Children’s Museum: A Social Story for Families to read together with your family at home.

Visual Schedules: Plan your visit from home or when you check in. Our customizable visual schedules include pictures of each exhibit, as well as transitional activities like the bathroom, café, and gift shop. If you are coming to the museum with someone who has a difficult time with transitions, try planning the order of your play at the outset, and following your custom-made visual schedule.

  • Checklist Format: Assemble the photos in order down the vertical checklist, and stick a green checkmark next to each photo once the corresponding activity is completed.
  • Timeline Format: This model is simpler than the checklist. Assemble larger photos of each exhibit and activity you plan horizontally along a timeline.

Choice Board: This small sheet of paper has four boxes for you to stick four activity options. Let the child select which one they would like next by pointing at the photo.

Visual Timers: Check out a timer that shows time running down visually, so that your visitor knows when it is time to transition to the next activity.

Special thanks to autism expert, Amy Gunty, special education student, Annie Martel and intern, Rachel Lieberman, all from the University of Minnesota for their work on this project.

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