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3 & Under

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The 3 & Under gallery encourages NCM’s youngest visitors to explore their ever-widening world through creative play, interaction and programming. Designed specifically for the developmental needs and interests of the Museum’s youngest visitors and their caregivers, 3 & Under’s safe, welcoming and inclusive environment supports interactive play among children and adults. Visitors also have a unique opportunity to experience Sesame Street and its characters thanks to the National Children’s Museum’s partnership with Sesame Workshop.

3&Under Medium

Play, explore, grow!

Activities in 3 & Under revolve around play, movement, art and discovery through the senses. Through “pretend play” activities like driving, cooking and serving food from a lunch truck, engaging in household chores and caring for dolls and toys, children are able to experience the “grown-up” world surrounding them. A climbing area allows children to test their balancing skills as they navigate across new and familiar structures, while activities such as painting and drawing with a wide range of materials stimulate children’s senses of sight and touch.

3 & Under visitors can also develop fine motor and problem-solving skills in the gallery’s miniature play area by building, arranging and exploring objects and shapes.

In the gallery’s Infant and Crawler Zone, babies ages one year and younger explore the world around them in an enclosed space featuring a  tunnel, fish tank, mirrors and several other stimulating sights, colors and textures.



Visitors can enjoy staff-led programming, including storytelling, art-making, singing and dancing. Check our calendar for a schedule of upcoming 3 & Under programs.


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