Sensory Saturdays

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Sensory Saturdays


Join us for family performances with related activities and alternating adult lectures. All programs are free.

  • Benjammin Music
    December 15, 2018
    11 a.m.
    The Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s new Sensory Saturday series offers a family day full of animal-themed crafts, activities, and silly songs. Families with children on the autism spectrum will enjoy a family concert by BenJammin at 11 a.m., planetarium shows at lower volumes at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., interactive story times from 1 to 3 p.m., and hands-on activities and crafts from 1 to 4 p.m. This free program is designed for families with children on the autism spectrum but is open to all visitors.

    Benjamin Gauthier, better known as BenJammin, has been performing throughout southwest Michigan for over ten years. An accomplished musician able to play a variety of genres, from cowboy style to rock and roll and opera, BenJammin allows children in the audience to guide the performance. His interactive, energetic style will have children dancing in the aisles and playing with him on stage. Join us for some of his sillier songs, such as The Potty Dance and I Don't Wanna Get Out of Bed, which will have the whole audience laughing at the funny side of human nature.

    Hear silly animal stories in the Museum’s second floor ThinkTank every half hour from 1 to 3 p.m. You may choose to be part of the story using puppets, interactive sounds, and repetitive choruses. Create a variety of animal crafts related to the stories. Animal puzzles, games, and activities will also be available in the second floor Innovation Lab from 1 to 4 p.m.

    The 12 p.m. planetarium show, In My Backyard, and the 1 p.m. show, Season of Light, will be shown at a lower volume. Visit our website for a description of other shows throughout the day, played at normal volume. Noise-canceling headphones are available for use at all shows. Tickets for the planetarium are $3 per person.

    The Museum offers sensory tools for use in the galleries, planetarium, and Theater. The Museum has a goal sheet with stickers for positive reinforcement, as well as a printed Museum guide to prepare for your visit. Stop by our information table to see what is available, and let us know what you find most helpful.

  • Reinforcement: How Can I Help Make This More Fun?
    January 19, 2019
    11 a.m.
    Learn what reinforcement is, how it is a part of Applied Behavior Analysis, and what some functional reinforcements are. Specialists from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders will share tips on how to make reinforcement fun and effective.

    All children experience behavioral challenges as they grow and develop. A clear set of expectations, consistent consequences, and personally appropriate rewards can help create stability and self confidence. Every situation and child is different. Come hear a list of suggestions, learn what has worked in different situations, and discover how to adapt a reinforcement or reward to fit different events and environments. You will be given the tools to create a list of suggestions that might help you and your child find ways to navigate positive reinforcement in a fun and creative way.

Sensory Tool Kit Available at the Front desk: Fidget Bands, Weighted Snakes, Visual Calming Cards, Noise Cancelling Headphones.