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Sensory Friendly Guide

The Hands On Children's Museum Social Story

The museum also hosts sensory-friendly events for families of children with autism or other special needs. To familiarize yourself and your child before you visit, please download our Sensory Friendly Guide or read the social story below. The story is written from a child’s perspective and can be helpful in planning which exhibits to visit and in which order. 

When I get to the Hands On Children’s Museum I will go through the front door and wait while my grown-up checks in. 

I will see happy staff members in blue shirts. If I get lost or have a question, I can ask them for help. There will also be Museum volunteers wearing aprons, some of their aprons are red and some are blue.  I can ask them for help too.

I will see lots of different things at the Hands On Children’s Museum. I can look at my map and choose where I want to play. 

I must remember to use my walking feet and stay with my grown-up at all times. 

After getting my hand stamp, I can hang up my coat in the coat room. 
In the Good For You area I will see a garden and shops where I can buy and sell pretend food. There is a truck and a house that I can play in. 

In Our Puget Sound I will see a water table where I can make a boat. I can also load cargo on the ship and explore on board. 

In the Emergency area I will see a place that looks like a small city to play in. There is a fire truck, a police car and an ambulance. There is a helicopter where I can pretend to fly and bring people to the hospital. There is also a Nursery where infants are cared for.

I will see a blue slide and the Tides to Trees climber that I can go in if I want to and if my grown-up says it is OK.
Upstairs I can play at the wind tunnel or help animals in the Fabulous Forest. I can build a house in the Build It! gallery or play in the Move It gallery nearby. 

Some things might make sounds. Some things might have bright lights. I can use my words or show a picture saying I need a break. 

There are many places to take a break. I can go to the quiet space (ask Museum Staff) to read a book or I can do an art project in the Arts & Parts Studio

If I need to go to the bathroom, I can tell my grown-up and they will take me. 

The grown-up I am with will tell me when the Hands On Children’s Museum is all done. We will hear a message on the museum speakers. It will be time to go.

This Social Story was developed by Scotty Jones, a former museum educator, and modeled after the Children's Museum of Houston.