Breakfast with the Butterflies
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum knows very well the benefits
that being in nature has for children.
Now, it is opening its doors early the third Sunday of every
month to create a special time just for families with children with
developmental differences to get those benefits themselves.
The effort began after the museum saw success with early morning
field trips done in conjunction with its early childhood
partnerships and staff wanted to open it to the entire community,
says Christine Chirchirillo, early elementary science partnership
educator at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
"Exploring nature and science at the museum in this welcoming
environment really helps support positive interaction with urban
nature. We want to offer families the opportunity to connect with
Illinois and the ecology," Chirchirillo says.
A new social story for the museum has been created so parents
can prepare for the experience. In addition, care has been taken to
make the visit comfortable. Chirchirillo says lighting will be
reduced in some areas and the loud speakers will be turned off, as
will the waterfalls in the butterfly haven, and volunteers and
staff will offer very simple encounters throughout the museum.
"We want families to feel confident and comfortable entering any
museum environment, but more specifically for the nature museum's
goals, we want them to also feel comfortable entering ecology and
entering nature," she says. "We really think offering the museum to
them in a safe environment can help bridge that."
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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