A Peoria Park District Facility

Exhibits by age

Wondering if there is something at the PlayHouse for your child?

Each child is unique, so the developmental milestones and interests listed below may not apply to every individual. Use this as a very general guide to understand how your child might benefit from a visit to the PlayHouse!

0-12 months...

They are changing rapidly! Some physical milestones during this stage of life include being able to see and point to objects in the distance; sitting, crawling, and maybe even standing or walking. After around 6 months babies may play peek-a-boo, and like to watch what is happening around them.

At the PlayHouse, they may enjoy watching other children. They can play with toys while they practice sitting and grasping, and even walking, in the enclosed tot areas.


They are likely learning basic motor development; they are interested in textures; they are beginning to understand and use words; they are becoming more independent; they are learning about the word through trial and error.

At the PlayHouse, they may be interested in the musical bridge; the tot areas with stuffed animals, toys, and board books; splashing in the water table or playing in the sand table; identifying foods in the Family Farm; or watching balls go up the wind tubes in Motion Commotion!


They are likely to be learning to throw a ball, stack blocks, or wheel toys around; they may engage in imaginative play; they can find things that are hidden; they ask a lot of questions; they are interested in other children, although they probably do not play directly with them yet.

At the PlayHouse, they may be interested in stacking the bricks in the construction area, or moving them around using the wheelbarrows; playing at the sand or water table; offering you food in the Farm kitchen or playing make believe games in Tot Town; or watching the balls circle around in the Zig Zag interactive in Motion Commotion.


They are working on small and large motor skills: they can balance, ride a tricycle, play with clay, or hold a crayon. They can listen to stories and may like to pretend to read.

At the PlayHouse they may enjoy reading the books throughout the museum with their parents, or to dolls or themselves. They may have the physical dexterity to play in the Chicken Coop Climber, and might enjoy "harvesting" food on the farm, weighing it on the scale, and bringing it to the Farm kitchen. They might want to make up stories about the animals in the farm or in the water table!


They are learning letters and numbers, and some four year olds may be able to read simple words. They can cooperate with other children, "use their words" when they find themselves in a difficult situation, and engage in group activities - although sharing is still difficult. They may enjoy role playing activities and have an active imagination.

At the PlayHouse, they may enjoy the theater area, either putting on a performance there, or finding a costume to wear for the rest of their visit. They may enjoy working with other children in Motion Commotion to fill up the ball hopper and catch the balls; if sharing is challenging, the train area is a wonderful place to practice this skill.


They can draw shapes and write letters, and use scissors to cut paper. They can sort and order things in different ways. They may understand times of the day and days of the week. They are curious about the world and ask a lot of questions. They have a sense of humor and may enjoy jokes and riddles. They have friends, and are beginning to understand social relationships.

At the PlayHouse they may enjoy the Sci Lab, where they can ask questions about heartbeats, DNA, and the world seen under a microscope! They may have ideas for things they want to build in Real Tools, where, with a little help, they can use carpentry tools and materials, as well as recyclables, to build anything they want.

six and seven

They have started school, and are growing more and more  independent. They are likely reading, although they may still have trouble sitting still for long periods of time. They are learning lots of new words every day. They may be self-critical, and get frustrated when they want to do something but aren't quite able.

At the PlayHouse, they are seeking new challenges: building with the pipes in the water table, creating a marble run on the magnet wall, and other engineering feats. They may have complicated ideas for what they want to create in Real Tools, and may need the help of a facilitator to figure out how to make their ideas come to life.

Eight and Up

They are clear and logical thinkers, readers, and young scientists. They enjoy social activities, and can hold interesting and lengthy conversations. They are clear about what they enjoy and what activities they want to do.

They may take a leadership role at the PlayHouse, helping younger children or taking on the role of instructor in new games. They are able to design and create sophisticated inventions in Real Tools, related to other interests. They may have ideas for what they find in the PlayHouse that interests them, and how they could further pursue these interests after they leave.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum