Early Learning Programs

A Space of Learning and Discovery Preschool Wednesdays and Budding Scientists

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.



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Budding Scientists: Monthly Programs held on Thursday and Saturday

Curious little explorers conduct simple, safe, science and nature experiments in the EcoTarium's Budding Scientists program, learning basic scientific principles while having fun with hands-on activities.

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.


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

Saturday: 10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

  • September 12 and 14: Our Senses: Sight Let’s explore our sense of sight.  Experiment and play with materials as you discover how your eyes and brain work together. Find out why two eyes are better than one!
  • October 10 and 12: Be a Scientist: Fall Birding Sharpen your observation skills, learn how to use binoculars as we discover which birds are sticking around through the fall and which are migrating.
  • November 14 and 16: Young Naturalist: Fall Leaves After examining the variety of leaves found on the EcoTarium grounds, we will conduct an experiment to discover what colors might be hidden within our leaves.
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Preschool Wednesdays: Program for Kids Ages 0-4

Preschool Wednesday is held weekly. The experience room includes snack, craft and hands-on themed science exploration.

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


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). 

  • August 21 Theme: Chickens!
    Book: Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein
  • August 28 Theme: School Readiness
    Book: Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
  • September 4 Theme: Life in the Meadow
    Book: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
  • September 11 Theme: Sense of Hearing
    Book: Oscar and the Bat by Geoff Waring
  • September 18 Theme: Slimy Salamanders
    Book: A Salamanders Life by John Himmelman
  • September 25 Theme: Turtles
    Book: Nuts to You! By Lois Ehlert
  • October 2 Theme: Squirrels
    Book: Nuts to You! By Lois Ehlert
  • October 9 Theme: Fall Changes
    Book: Countdown to Fall  by Fran Hawk
  • October 16 Theme: Camouflage
    Book: Who’s Hiding Here? By Yoshi
  • October 23 Theme: Fall Colors
    Book: Leaves by David Ezra Stein
  • October 30 Theme: Halloween
    Book: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

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