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Magic House opens 'calming corner' for nursing moms and special-needs children

Magic House opens 'calming corner' for nursing moms and special-needs children

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"Calming Corner" at the Magic House

The Magic House opens a new room to serve nursing mothers and children who need a quiet space to decompress. 

Nursing mothers and special-needs children will have a new place to relax at the Magic House. The “calming corner” opens Friday and will offer quiet children’s activities and a comfortable spot to nurse.

“So many families with children on the autism spectrum tell us the Magic House is one place they can go and fit right in, but they also have told us that they need a space where they can get away and decompress for a minute,” president Beth Fitzgerald said.

The Magic House is a favorite destination for little ones who enjoy the attraction’s hands-on and frequently noisy activities such as its musical chairs, push-pin board and bubble room. But that commotion can be too much for those children who are sensitive to sounds and other stimuli.

“The research shows that children with special needs can benefit from spaces like these in those places that have such a high activity level,” Fitzgerald said.

The Magic House collaborated with occupational therapists to create a soothing space. The walls are painted a neutral color; the lighting is soft. The room includes books, games and toys designed to both soothe and engage. Another feature is a 6-foot-tall bubble tube.

“The bubbles are constantly bubbling up through it and it’s sort of mesmerizing,” Fitzgerald said.

The room is also equipped with a glider for nursing mothers. Mothers are still welcome to nurse in the museum, as well. Fitzgerald says family-focused museums across the nation are opening nursing lounges.

“For parents who would like a little quieter place where their older children can play while the mom nurses, this would be a good place,” Fitzgerald said.

The room was funded by grant from the Regional Business Council.

The Magic House is located at 516 South Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood. Admission is $9.50. For more information, visit magichouse.org.

Diane Toroian Keaggy covers arts and culture. Find her on Twitter at @dianekeaggy.

Diane Toroian Keaggy covers arts and culture. Find her on Twitter at @dianekeaggy.

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