Kids' Programs: Preschool Wednesdays and Budding Scientists | EcoTarium

Kids' Programs: Preschool Wednesdays and Budding Scientists

The EcoTarium has been a space of learning and discovery for young children for many years. Our Preschool Wednesdays offer toddlers and their families to go on a journey through story time, a live animal experience, and a maker space for crafts. Budding Scientists is an immersive experience for kids ages 4-6 to learn basic scientific principles through hands-on activities and experiments.

These educational programs have been very popular and the education team is committed to improving the quality of depth and experience.  This year, there will be several modifications organized to enrich our preschool programs.  

As of January 1, 2019:

  • There will be an additional educator leading hands-on explorations in our craft and snack drop-in room during Preschool Wednesdays. Enhanced educator-led sessions will aim to engage more children to playfully exercise curiosity and creativity, and result in deeper learning and discovery.
  • Our Budding Scientists program will expand from 30-minute sessions to 45-minute sessions, and continue to be offered monthly on Thursday and Saturday.
  • Preschool Wednesdays and Budding Scientists will be offered at an additional cost to museum admission:
    • Children under the age of 2 are free
    • $3 per child 2 years old+ (member rate)
    • $5 per child 2 years old+ (non-member rate)    
    • Tickets can be purchased at the Tickets & Information Desk upon entry

Every Wednesday*

Preschool Wednesday is 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. with story reading and live animal visit at 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. (same story and animal). The experience room includes snack, craft and hands-on themed science exploration. After the program, be sure to explore the museum and visit our Preschool Discovery Area.


January 2  Theme: Dinosaurs
Book: Dinosaurs Roar! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland 

January 9  Theme: Winter Homes
Book: The Mitten by Jan Brett

January 16 Theme: Patterns
Book: Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

January 23 Theme:Tracking
Book: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

January 30 Theme: Shadows
Book: Guess Whose Shadow? by Stephen R. Swinburne 

*Preschool and Toddler Wednesday programs are not held during the February, April, and December school vacation weeks (Worcester Public Schools schedule).


Program for Kids Ages 4-6

Monthly Programs held on Thursday and Saturday

Thursday (Two Sessions)
10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. - 12: 15 p.m.

10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Please purchase a ticket for your session at the Tickets and Information Desk when you arrive at the museum. Limited to first 10 adult-child pairs per session.

Curious little explorers conduct simple, safe, science and nature experiments in the EcoTarium's Budding Scientists program. Now with three identical sessions held monthly on both Thursday and Saturday, you and your child will learn basic scientific principles while having fun with hands-on activities. 

Budding Scientists is designed for families and their children aged 4-6. You bring the curiosity, we'll provide the smocks: This is active and interactive science, so children may get messy.


January 10 and 12: Young Engineering: Tinkering

Join us as we find creative uses for everyday materials and ask important questions like "what can I do with this?" and “how does this work?” We’ll tinker with tools, experiment with everything, and make sure to make a mess!  

February 14 and 16: Our Senses: Touch

Let’s learn about our sense of touch! Explore and experiment with a variety of materials to discover how your sense of touch helps you stay safe while experiencing your surroundings.

March 14 and 16: Be a Scientist: Take a Closer Look

Learn how to use scientific tools to explore the world of the very small and unseen. What wonders will we discover inside a drop of water?