Kidzu Children's Museum Inspired Learning Through Creative Play Thu, 05 Mar 2020 20:17:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kidzu Children's Museum 32 32 Staying Healthy at Kidzu! Thu, 05 Mar 2020 18:40:56 +0000

At Kidzu, the well-being of our families and loved ones is fundamental. As a children’s museum, we take extra care to ensure the cleanliness of our space and train our staff on the practices and procedures that lead to healthy and happy communities—today and every day.

In light of recent concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to take this opportunity to address the health and safety measures we are taking to protect the health of our visitors, both big and small.

1. We are committed to following public policy.
Kidzu adheres to the safety procedures and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Orange County Health Department, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, as well as protocol recommendations from the Association of Children’s Museums.

2.We invest in cleanliness.
Your safety inside Kidzu is always our top priority. Our day-to-day cleaning procedures are very comprehensive given the nature of our work as a children’s museum. Our team cleans exhibit toys and props throughout the day, and all parts of the Museum undergo a deep and thorough cleaning before we open our doors each morning. This is our practice every day at Kidzu, not just during flu season or when illnesses affect our community. In addition, Kidzu has a full-service janitorial crew that disinfects the museum each week.

3. We promote personal steps to reduce the spread of germs.
We know that washing your hands regularly and properly is the number one way you can prevent the spread of viruses. We have signs in all bathrooms reminding our visitors and staff of proper hand-washing procedures, and we provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers at numerous locations throughout the Museum. And, as always, we remind all visitors and staff that the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to stay home if they are feeling unwell. Click here to see Kidzu’s Sick Person Policy. We will always put the safety of our visitors first and will communicate any updates via email, our website and social media.

Lisa Van Deman
Executive Director
and the entire Kidzu Team

For any additional questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach us at call 919-933-1455.

For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the the CDC website and WHO website for updated information.
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Sensory Play! Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:27:23 +0000

Sensory play extends beyond touching and feeling, it involves all activities that stimulate any of a child’s senses. Young children learn by exploring their surroundings, taking in all of the different aspects of their environment, and making observations. Sensory play allows children to develop their cognitive skills, language skills, social and emotional skills, and creativity.

 Sensory play allows for open exploration of ideas and concepts. The process of using materials and creating a product is more significant than the actual product itself because the process is what encourages creativity and cognitive development. Children are exposed to many different mediums that they can mold and create with that form their sensory learning experience.

Specifically, sensory play can be used to calm anxiety. Kidzu has “cool down” kits available at the Front Desk that help decrease overstimulation and provide opportunities to discover sensations. This kit includes sensory items, sand timers, play-dough, fidget toys, visual schedules, a weighted neck pillow, noise-canceling headphones, and a few other items. These items can be used by any Kidzu visitor at any time, free of charge. These are intended to help with potentially difficult transitions and to help make you and your child’s’ visit more comfortable and enjoyable.   Kidzu gives a special thank you to TEACCH and UNC School of Education on collaborating with us to create these wonderful kits!

Overall, sensory learning from a young age can provide many developmental benefits. It has been shown to build nerve connections in the brain and induce scientific thinking throughout one’s lifetime. Kidzu participates in many sensory play opportunities yearlong. From Messy Morning to Kids in the Kitchen, children are able to discover new sensations and materials while playing. Interested in how to integrate sensory learning at home? Click here to learn more about activities that you can do at home!

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Benefits of Cooking & Gardening Programs Tue, 12 Nov 2019 19:17:55 +0000

Cooking and gardening curriculum have become a large part of early childhood development research and program planning. These programs have been linked to improving dietary habits and nutrition knowledge.



In a study based within four elementary schools in Los Angeles, California, researchers studied the effect of adding cooking, nutrition, and garden learning sessions to their after-school programs. Part-time garden and nutrition educators were brought in to teach lessons that included topics such as garden to table eating, real food vs. packaged food, and the importance of eating together as a family. After the 12-week after-school program, the children were better able to identify vegetables, had improved gardening and nutrition knowledge, and reported being more likely to garden at home.1

 One of the most important aspects of nutrition programs is the exposure to novel foods, such as different types of vegetables, protein sources other than meat, and healthy forms of sugar. Creating positive experiences with these types of food is a proven way to decrease children’s reluctance to eating those foods at meals.

Researchers at the Basque Culinary Center in Spain concluded that, “involving children in cooking activities also increases familiarity and creates positive experiences with novel foods.” Children are more likely to enjoy unfamiliar foods if they are a part of the cooking process. Diversifying a child’s diet and involving them in cooking activities can have long lasting effects such as reduced risk of obesity, increased nutrition throughout their lives, and overall better health outcomes. 2

 There are a variety of ways to encourage children to become more active in cooking and gardening at home. Encouraging children to add ingredients, assemble meals, and read ingredients or recipes is a great way to build basic skills in the kitchen. These skills also help young children explore their senses and understand what they are eating. Being in the kitchen with children is a great way to boost their confidence! Working together as a team can provide them with opportunities to gain a sense of accomplishment and pride in what they have made. Having a small family garden can teach children the origins of their food and how their environment can provide so much for them. 3

Overall, cooking and gardening education has the ability to change young children’s dietary habits and their perception of food and healthy living. Encouraging sensory learning, boosting confidence, and instilling the importance of healthy living all have substantial impacts on the overall development of children’s minds and bodies.


  1. “LA Sprouts: A 12-Week Gardening, Nutrition, and Cooking Randomized Control Trial Improves Determinants of Dietary Behaviors.” By Jaimie N. Davis, PhD; Lauren C. Martinez, MPH; Donna Spruijt-Metz, PhD; Nicole M. Gatto, PhD. Published October 2015.
  2. “Involving children in cooking activities: A potential strategy for directing food choices toward novel foods containing vegetables.” By Xavier Allirot, Noelia da Quinta, Krithika Chokupermal, Elena Urdaneta. Published April 2016.
  3. “Cooking with Preschoolers”
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We’re Nesting! Wed, 16 Oct 2019 19:00:51 +0000 At Kidzu, we know how important it is to encourage children to explore from a very young age. Before the age of three, a child’s brain forms more than a million neural connections each second! When these connections are formed in a safe, guided environment, children experience everything from better grades to healthier relationships throughout their lives.
That’s why Kidzu is excited about a new opportunity to, with your help, transform the storefront nextdoor into The Nest, an early learning lab reserved for infants and toddlers ages 0-3 and their caregivers.
The Nest would allow visitors to learn and play in an intimate, carefully-constructed environment. Through partnerships with UNC and the NC Reggio Emilia Collaborative, our space would better support our earliest learners and their caregivers, enabling children to develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, and socio-emotional skills that will last a lifetime.
Kidzu staff are so close to turning this vision into a reality; we just need your support to bring our plans to life. Just $10 will make a huge difference in providing a safe space for our very youngest learners. Can you help us?
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Support the NEW Kidzu! Thu, 24 May 2018 15:23:54 +0000 Kidzu is excited to unveil plans for our permanent home. Since our inception in 2006, our dream has always been to have a large scale facility fit for families with children of all ages with ample outdoor space – some of which would be free to the public year-round.

Please endorse our plans to build the new Kidzu Children’s Museum in Southern Community Park. Sign the petition TODAY, and demonstrate to the Town of Chapel Hill the need for an inclusive family and community destination in the Southern gateway into Chapel Hill.

Help us reach 1,000 signatures by June 10th!

Kidzu’s goal is to build a right-sized museum reflective of the needs of our community – a museum providing robust and captivating indoor and outdoor learning environments for infants to teens and plenty of spaces for all kinds of community gatherings. Kidzu has petitioned the Town of Chapel Hill to enter into a public/ private partnership for a 3-acre piece of land in Southern Community Park.

Please show your support and help us reach our goal.

Sign the Petition

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Five Family Friendly Ways to Protect Pollinators Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:10:33 +0000
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website, “Pollinators, such as most bees and some birds, bats, and other insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables.”
When kids form an early understanding of the importance of pollinators, it sets them up to lead pollinator-friendly lives. To aid you, we’ve compiled a list our top five, family-friendly activities you can engage in to preserve pollinator populations:

1) Start a pollinator garden. Like The Front Yard garden at Kidzu, blossoming with herbs and flowers galore, a home garden provides ground for pollinators to do what they do best. Mint, squash, tomatoes, rosemary, poppies, and sunflowers make up a portion of pollinators’ favorite produce!

2. Support your local beekeeper. These individuals nurture bees for a living and provide communities with healthy bee products (like honey!) to consume. They foster prolonged pollinator survival.

3. Provide water. Pollinators are thirsty! Leave a small dish or bird bath of water outside your home. Hydrated pollinators will hang around much longer!

4. Create a bee home. Install a bee block or bee hotel. Get them at garden stores or online. Want a family bonding experience? National Geographic shows you how to build one yourself.

5. Join a citizen science project like These types of organizations rely on everyday people, schools, organizations, and more to enable scientists to piece together the most accurate population maps of different creatures (hummingbirds are pollinators too!)

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Best of Camp Kidzu Roundup Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:58:44 +0000

It’s been a blast to have such amazing little ones here all summer at Camp Kidzu. As today is the last day of summer camp, we thought it would be nice to share with you some of our favorite moments this year!

10. Bees, Bats, + Butterflies 

Campers flutter to the Front Yard while adorned with their homemade, recycled butterfly wings!

9. Kids in the Kitchen

Campers host a pancake brunch for their loving caretakers!

8. Mad Science 

Campers provide nutrients to our garden!

7. Pirates + Princesses

Royal campers show off their crafty crowns!

6. Kids in the Kitchen 

Future chefs whip up banana muffins from scratch! (They’re delicious!)

5. Earth Explorations

Horticulturalist campers peruse plants in the Front Yard.

4. Tiny Tinkerers 

Campers inflate balloons using water bottles! Wow!

3. Tiny Tinkerers

Campers blow us away with the wonders of the wind (tunnel)!

2. Kids in the Kitchen 

Mama mia! That’s a good lookin’ pizza!

  1. Superhero Extravaganza

What’s that in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a camper!

If you like what you’ve seen, we are offering 3 So Long Summer Day Camps which will run from August 21st – August 23rd. Click here for more information + to register! Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog!

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Thank you Alban Elved Dance Company Sun, 22 Jan 2017 13:41:03 +0000 ]]> 0 “The Suitcase Garden” Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:38:44 +0000

Join us for a special performance by the Alban Elved Dance Company (Wilmington, NC) of “The Suitcase Garden” on January 22nd from 3-4PM, Free with Museum Admission. The Suitcase Garden is a magical and insightful piece for all ages. The concept of a treasured life is show in thoughtful storytelling through movement, shadows, and lights. The set design, dance, and story draws in the viewers and leaves the audience in awe. 

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Dream with us! Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:36:09 +0000

What are your big dreams? Kidzu wants to help you achieve your goals and that all starts with a good education! Come to Kidzu and learn about science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and design among some of your closest friends! We like to have fun and we also like to learn, so if you want to build a machine to shoot paper planes across Kidzu or if you want to recreate Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork in your own style, Kidzu is the place for you!  Comment us what your big dreams are! What do you want to be when you grow up?

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