KIDS SQUARE CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: (October 20, 2020) *
Kids Square friends,
Since opening our doors for the first time August 15, 2017, Kids Square’s mission has been to provide a premier destination where curiosity is stimulated and families are motivated to explore, play and learn together in a hands-on learning environment. Since COVID-19, Kid’s Square staff has made every effort to adapt and serve the families in our community in new innovative ways while continuing to align with the mission we are so passionate about. Within days of closing our doors: READ MORE
- We were connecting with our families virtually, offering ideas for hands-on learning at home. Our staff was desperate to stay connected. It was our faces and the museum the families saw on the screen. That was important to us.
- We created our Kits for Kids program. A program offering 3-4 STEM-focused, play-based activities in one kit for families to order and pick up curbside and eventually in person.
- At Easter, our annual museum Easter Egg hunt went virtual and over 150 Easter baskets were assembled for families to pick up curbside.
- Thanks to the generous donations of businesses and individuals, we were able to place over 1500 Kits for Kids into the hands of families sitting below the poverty line as well as children of essential workers. By collaborating and partnering with incredible organizations like CHIP of Roanoke Valley, the YMCA and Honey Tree Learning Centers we made this happen.
- Kids Square began a Pen Pal program. Each week, around 20 kids in our community received letters and activities from Kids Square staff.
- We took play and learning to outside venues with toy rotation and cleaning stations set up to ensure families felt safe.
- While Implementing CDC guidelines and protocols, we took STEM-focused, play-based learning opportunities to daycares that were serving working families children.
We re-opened July 4th and hit the ground running. Hours and hours of planning went into making sure our families felt safe. We pulled out all the stops to make this happen.
- We implemented our safe play system. This system allows us to assign a number to each family that visits Kids Square. The number corresponds with numbered baskets of toys in individual exhibit areas. This allows sharing of toys to be cut drastically.
- Birthday party rentals became private events only.
- While our cleaning schedule was extremely thorough before COVID-19, we added new CDC and local health guidelines and our staff is committed to meet and exceed expectations.
- Our Kits for Kids program continues and we are happy to report 450 preschoolers and teachers in Roanoke City Schools received kits to complete virtually together. Our hope is that this program will be with us for years to come.
- Our YouTube Sensation contest afforded over 25 participants an opportunity to demonstrate kits virtually. What a great way to learn. Peer to peer :).
- Rooftop activities and parties were offered for those still not ready to come inside to play.
As you know, the state of the world is constantly evolving, and today’s plans may change tomorrow. We do not want that to be the case for Kids Square’s communication to our patrons unless it is absolutely necessary. We want you to know what we are doing, what we are planning and the “why” behind the decisions. We are doing our best to find the right balance to help our families, fulfill our mission, highlight member value and keep the revenue flowing. You can see by the list above, we have not stopped, we have not taken a break and we will continue to press and find new ways to bring STEM-focused and play-based learning to families any way we possibly can. WE KNOW you are struggling too and we want to be here for our families for years to come. With the three month closure, field trips being non-existent, and with capacity limits in the museum, I’m sure you understand the decisions we make now, will affect our long term sustainability. We do not know what the fall and winter will bring as COVID-19 keeps us on our toes. For these reasons, we have decided to offer three month memberships for a limited time. These memberships can be purchased November 1 – December 31 only. Will you consider supporting us in this way? When broken down, it is only $25 dollars a month for unlimited visits during normal business hours. We appreciate your continued support for Kids Square and will re-evaluate our membership plan again in March 2021.
WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS !
Closed to the public Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
(Private rentals available). email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Thursday, Friday and Saturdays 10am-5pm (2 hour playtime limit)
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching eyes, mouth or nose
- Stay home if you show symptoms of illness
- Avoid contact with people are ill
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What precautions has Kids Square Children’s Museum taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Kids Square treats every day as if it were flu season. In addition to our daily sanitation schedule, we will follow the CDC’s recommendations for helping prevent the spread of respiratory viruses by:
- Marking floors and exhibits with social distancing guidelines.
- Making hand sanitizer available to all who enter.
- Adding to our daily sanitization schedule, top of the hour disinfecting of high touch surfaces including door handles, push bars, tables, counters, light switches and bathrooms.
- Implementing a “Safe Play” initiative. Through the Safe Play initiative, families will be assigned a number that corresponds with toy baskets that can be found in several exhibit areas throughout the museum. It’s the one time we support not sharing toys. The baskets are for your family during the duration of your visit and can be kept in the exhibit areas so you can freely explore. This new process ensures the safest and healthiest learning environment possible. Upon exiting the museum, we ask that the hand sanitizer be returned to the container located at the front desk so that it can be cleaned and sanitized for the next family.
Explore, learn and play the germ-free way!
- Temporarily closing the theater area due to the non-existence of windows and fresh air. Nursing mothers and families with special needs children can still access our nursing/quiet room.
- Removing the rubber granules from our dig pit exhibit for an indefinite time until it is determined safe to add them again. The exhibit area has been changed to offer other learning opportunities.
- REQUIRING face masks for anyone 10 years old and up. It is also recommended and thought to be best practice for those 3-9 years old, however, this age group will not be required to wear a mask. Face shields will not be an acceptable substitution for a mask
- Play time has a 2 hour time limit. You can secure your spot by signing up online or calling our box office at 540-224-1200. Walk-ins are also welcome if spots are available. Please visit our box office on the first floor of Center to purchase or reserve your spot.
Will museum staff be available for questions?
Museum staff are wearing more hats than ever before, therefore, there may be a small delay in answering voicemails, your patience is appreciated. Another source of communication is via email, our email address is email@example.com
How will this affect our membership?
Memberships that expired March 2020 will be extended for one month after opening, April 2020 memberships will be extended for 2 months after opening. All other active memberships will be extended for 3 months afer opening. However, RENEWALS and NEW memberships will be on hold for a minimum of 5 months so that museum leaders have time to evaluate what our future memberships will look like.
Looks like you are open limited weekdays. I only have a Tuesday-Friday membership. Can I come on the weekends?
All membership levels are invited to join us on the weekends.
Will there be a time limit on play?
Yes, we will have a two hour play time limit.
Has anyone benn diagnosed with COVID-19 at Kids Square?
At this time, we have no known cases of COVID-19 at the museum. Our policy requires any staff member exhibiting signs of illness to stay home.
Will there be a discounted Price?
Unfortunatley, as many non-profit organizations have been affected by this pandemic, Kids Square is no exception. It will take community support to kieep Kids Square open, staff employed and families learning through play at our museum. Please consider supporting our endeavors during this time. We are hopeful this will not last forever.