Sandcastles Children’s Museum opens Calming Corner exhibit.

May 27, 2022

Sandcastles Children’s Museum opens Calming Corner exhibit.

LUDINGTON — Children are exploring a new exhibit at Sandcastles Children’s Museum, the Calming Corner, and finding comfort within this cozy space.

For some kids, at some times, the noise and activity of the museum can be a bit of a sensory overload. The Calming Corner offers a little quiet space to regroup and learn some important coping skills at the same time.

“The Calming Corner came about through a lot of board discussion about how to make our museum a welcoming space for all children, including those with neuro diversities and sensory sensitivity,” said Executive Director Kristin Korendyke.

After receiving a monetary donation through the Wish List at the Community Foundation for Mason County, the board decided to consult with experts to design a space that would serve as a quiet place for kids to take a break. Available space was identified under the playship Badger and a wall was built by exhibit builder, Tim Segelstrom, to divide the space in two. One half still serves as a carferry cargo hold for cars, but the other half, with an insulated wall, became the Calming Corner.

Korendyke describes the exhibit, “We talked to teachers, parents, and people with neuro diversities to get their input on what would be helpful and welcoming. We love the way the new space turned out.  It’s cozy and comfortable with stuffed animals, pillows, and weighted lap blankets; there is low lighting and a bit of white noise. There are books to read, many dealing with social and emotional learning, as well as fidget toys and breathing exercises.”

The Calming Corner, like most exhibits in the children’s museum, is a collaborative effort. Sandcastles’ board member, Deb Borema, made all of the weighted lap blankets and stuffed animal pillows. High School Artist, Mariella Korendyke painted the infinity symbol on the wall.  Chris Van Wyck at Engine Creative designed the sign for the exhibit, and Urban Vinyl created and applied it.

The museum is currently open Fridays 9:30 – 1:00, Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sundays noon – 4 p.m., and Mondays 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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