Adaptive Play

Our Mission Is to Provide Play for All!

Kidzu believes that a children’s museum serves as an integral community hub for children, families and those who care about them. Children’s museums level the playing field, with inclusivity at the core of their philosophy. At Kidzu every child is valued, every family is welcome and diversity is celebrated.

Adaptive Play: Sensory-Friendly Nights

Adaptive Play: Sensory-Friendly Nights at Kidzu aim to bring families together to learn through play in an environment that supports the unique needs of children with ASD and/or sensory differences.Kidzu Children’s Museum is dedicated to being an accessible, inclusive learning environment designed with ALL families in mind. Adaptive Play Nights at Kidzu offer an exclusive experience for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and sensory processing differences to explore the museum.  In partnership with the Town of Chapel Hill, this program is FREE and offered during times when the museum is closed to the general public, offering a less crowded environment.

These exclusive events include the following modifications:

  • Limited registration to promote a less crowded environment
  • COOL DOWN KITS: Packed with noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, sand timers, and weighted items to assist with transitions and self-regulation
  • Social Narrative – written from a visitor point of view, to provide a visual story about what to expect at Kidzu (available to read prior to your visit by clicking here)
  • Visual Schedules with images from each Kidzu exhibit to promote independence in decision-making and assist with transitions
  • Dedicated Kidzu staff members and volunteers that are eager to assure a welcoming, safe, and supportive learning environment

Cool Down Kits

When things get overwhelming, pick up a Cool Down Kit at the front desk. They include items like headphones, fidget toys, sand timers, weighted neck wraps, bubbles, and more!

Cool Down Kits, Social Narratives, and Visual Schedules are also made available to visitors at all times when Kidzu is open. See a member of the Kidzu team if you think these items will be helpful to you and your family while visiting our space.

Kidzu has compiled resources that are helpful for families with special needs, especially during these uncertain times! 

STEMIE: Adaptations for Engaging Children with Disabilities in STEM Storybooks
TEACCH: Tips for Families on How to Support Individuals with Autism During Time of Change
Family Implemented TEACCH for Toddlers: How to Modify or Create Play Activities that Help Toddlers with ASD Stay Engaged
An Educator’s Guide to Virtual Learning: 4 Actions to Support Students with Disabilities and Their Families
Caring for Children with Special Healthcare Needs During COVID-19 (Webinar)
NCPMI: Helping Children Understand Emotions When Wearing Masks
Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center: Remote Service and Distance Learning
CARA’s Kit: Creating Adaptations for Routines and Activities

Thank you to our partners for providing resources for our Adaptive Play families!

To register for one of Kidzu’s Adaptive Play: Sensory Friendly Nights, visit the Town of Chapel Hill website and search for “Adapted Recreation” programming. Pre-registration is required.

For children and families with specific needs that may not be met within this program – we encourage you to reach out. Kidzu Children’s Museum is here for every child in our community and beyond. Private play times for at-risk children are available on an as-needed basis. Reach out to our Visitor Services Director for more information.

Your feedback is what drives our mission! We welcome and encourage participants’ feedback on every aspect of our sensory-friendly programming. Reach out via email –

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