The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (MMCM) in Saginaw has been awarded a $13,000 grant from the Bay Area Community Foundation, Nathalie Awrey Memorial Fund, for an Adaptive Play Project. Funds will be used to further develop the MMCM galleries and facility so children with disabilities can play more independently in the Museum. Some children with disabilities may be limited in independent, self-determined experiences because their freedom to move around, express themselves and interact with others may look different from what other children typically do. We are specifically targeting children with sensory-integrative disorders, physical disabilities, as well as emotional and behavioral disorders, but ultimately, all children will benefit.
Children with disabilities can exercise independence and typically developing children are educated by sharing the friendly, MMCM Play and Learn environment.
Simple devices like noise-cancelling headphones, manual communication boards, semicircular desks, and weighted vests; plus motion-activated faucets and an automatic door opener will be added. More complex adaptive items such as iPads with touch screen communication apps and a new Tranquil Gallery will provide respite for children who need a softer, reduced sensory experience.
We recognize that adaptations cannot be made for every single disability, but we can strive to improve the facility and the play experiences for many children. Areas for improvement were identified in consultation with Ms. Julie Jacob, MSOT, OTRL, Saginaw Valley State University Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator and SVSU Occupational Therapy Student Interns. MMCM visitors will see improvements and modifications beginning in January, 2016.
The Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum places priority on Play and Learn experiences through teamwork, creativity and curiosity for children from birth to 10 years of age. Special rates are available for groups who pre-schedule visits to the MMCM. The MMCM is also an ideal location for field trips, scout troops, birthday parties, family reunions and corporate events. Annual memberships, with reciprocal benefits at 300 children’s museums nationwide, may be purchased by families who enjoy frequent visits. The MMCM website www.michildrensmuseum.com features visitor information, membership options, program schedules and donation opportunities. The MMCM is located at 315 West Genesee Avenue in Saginaw, 989-399-6626.