Children’s playtime gets financial boost

The Chicago Children’s Museum’s Play for All initiative for children and families with disabilities has netted it a $10,000 award that will allow it to expand its efforts for children with special needs.

The museum, located at Navy Pier, began Play for All in 2004 after museum officials realized the museum wasn’t accommodating all of its visitors as well as could be, says museum President and CEO Jennifer Farrington in a news release.

The museum worked with The Autism Program of Illinois to create museum kits that includes a guide to help ease the transition between exhibits. Although the kit was designed for individuals with autism, the visual icons and schedule can help any child who may need extra visual supports. The storybook guide is available on the museum’s Web site,

The museum’s Play for All events allow children and families with disabilities time to experience the museum an hour before it opens to the public. A quiet room, resource tables with information for parents and caregivers and multisensory programs are offered.

The next Play for All events are Sept. 17, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12. Call (312) 464-7679 in advance to register.

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