Play and learning opportunities are everywhere! This fun, informal PlayShop, for ages birth – 35 mo. and their adults offers the opportunity to spend time together and make new friends while enriching your Museum experience with your child. Each week, enjoy age-appropriate activities prepared by a Museum Specialist who can answer questions about child development and learning related to their specialty.
Each session includes a specialist introduction, a prepared activity during open play, and circle time. The toys and materials featured in PlayShop are things that can be done at home or in the Museum to further your experience. Sessions will be held in a Museum program room. Afterwards, stay and play in the Museum!
Alix Tonsgard holds an MS in Child Development from the Erikson Institute. Acting as the Museum’s advocate for early childhood development and learning, she ensures that the latest research in Early Childhood Education is represented in all Museum exhibits, professional development initiatives, and public programs.
Dustin Thacker has a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from Southern Illinois University. He loves to experiment and find new ways to view the world through play! As the Art and Maker Specialist, Dustin creates multi-disciplinary experiences that integrate art, math, and science while designing a Studio environment that reinforces the importance of open-ended and multiple outcome hands-on exploration.
Chris Barry has a BA in Biology from Lake Forest College. She spent many years working in clinical genetics labs in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After moving to Naperville, she started working at the Museum as a Learning Lab Facilitator, and is now the STEM Specialist and School Programs Manager. She has been with the Museum for 20 years.
Jill Samonte has an MS in Counseling Psychology and an MPA in Emergency & Disaster Management. As the Accessibility & Inclusion Specialist, she ensures that all visitors have the opportunity to enjoy our Museum and interact with floor exhibits. Jill also goes out into the community with programming and portable Museum exhibits.