Step, crawl, or scoot into WonderLab’s newest exhibit area designed especially for infants and toddlers. Open year round, six days a week, Science Sprouts Place supports learning, exploration, and growth in all children birth through three and their caregivers. 

The exhibits in Science Sprouts Place meet the needs of very young children’s natural curiosity and desire to explore and make sense of their world. Exhibit design and selection is informed by current research and input from the Early Childhood Education Community Advisory Group, which includes early childhood professionals and faculty from the Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Concepts such as joint attention, serve and return, and social cognition inform experiences that meet the needs of infants and toddlers, and their caregivers.

BABY WONDERS

An assortment of boxes with items such as mirrors, blocks, textures, books and sound devices that promote child/ adult interactions.

Images and information about promoting brain development through interactions between babies and caregivers.

Interactive panels and activities for infants and crawlers to explore textures, discover shapes and sounds, investigate mirrors, and solve problems through cause and effect.

A communication space for caregivers for observations and discoveries as children play in Science Sprouts Place.

Activity mats to encourage babies to play while on their tummies.

STORY SPACE

A quiet spot with books and cozy pillows. Draw the curtain to create a private space for nursing, quiet time, or less stimulation.

TODDLER TRAILS

A separate space for young toddlers who are new to walking, to encourage exploration and investigation, and to help develop navigational skills and confidence.

Special spaces to crawl, slide, climb and explore, with interactive stations to discover.

Changing building activities suitable for little hands and emerging imaginations.

Sort and class manipulatives. Investigate nature patterns. Building and construction projects with a variety of materials including tech!

This two-story loft has “just the right height” lookout spaces and areas to explore under the loft. Children will encounter activities to explore and investigate, including sound and music, light and shadows, hidey boxes, switches and problem puzzles, a Hexascope crawl-through and pulleys to move things from here to there.

Experiment with ramps, rolling objects, pulleys, and wind tubes.

A dedicated laboratory space for our youngest scientists. Children can explore and expand their creativity while participating in sensory experiences that help develop fine motor skills, cognitive development, as well as communication and emerging math skills. At special times this area will be open to older preschool children.

An experiential flooring area with a variety of colors and textures featuring hills and valleys to navigate.

Watch as your child pretends to be an ant, bird, or squirrel as they climb, slither, and slide through this custom designed climber. Child-sized pathways are situated behind a safety meshed wall with multiple embedded windows. Caregivers and children can see each other at all levels of this unique climbing experience.

CAREGIVER RESOURCES

A variety of visual, print and sign materials will provide information about infant and child physical and brain development and helpful resources for promoting child/adult interactions.

Science Sprouts Place is made possible by generous funding from:

Tichenor Endowment for Exhibits

WonderLab Board of Directors

A very special thank you, to all the donors who helped create Science Sprouts Place and Sprouts Lab.