Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keeping It Clean

Cleaning is a constant activity at the Children’s Museum. We strive to keep each space and surface as clean as possible and make sure that all staff and volunteers are playing their part.

Keeping clean begins with exhibit design and development. In designing exhibits, we take into account how the material will be used – for climbing, pulling, sitting on, etc. – and then choose materials that we know will be safe and easy to clean. Once a material is chosen and an exhibit installed, the designer (Chris) informs our cleaning crews about the appropriate cleaning procedures and a regular cleaning schedule is established.

Our staff keep the Museum clean and tidy throughout the day. Our housekeeper (Delida) cleans and sanitizes the bathrooms, lunchrooms and a host of exhibit components on a rotating basis. Staff wipe surfaces as needed and we launder exhibit costumes, stuffed animals and other washable components – including the bedding in the ship and Estrella’s gloves.

Our woodland friends take a spin in the dryer!

Littlewoods staff wipe down the Baby’s Nest after each child plays there, ensuring that the space is clean and ready for the next infant. Toys that are mouthed by infants and toddlers are also cleaned immediately or put aside to be washed later in the dishwasher.

The water in the
Water Ways tanks is cleaned throughout the day. Water goes to large pools in the basement, where it is filtered with a peroxide solution and pumped back up to the tanks. Staff test the water each morning to ensure its cleanliness – it’s cleaner than most pools! – and adjust the cleaning solution as needed.
We encourage visitors to wash their hands with soap and water in the bathrooms and in our lunch and activity rooms. Hand sanitizer is also available in locations where a sink is not as accessible. (Click here to learn more about what you can do to keep clean and stay healthy.)

Of course some things can’t be cleaned while visitors are busy playing. An evening crew does a full cleaning each night – vacuuming, dusting, and sanitizing – leaving the Museum spotless and ready for the next day.
A few times a year the Museum also hosts a volunteer event called “Team Sparkle” where volunteers and staff meet after the Museum closes to listen to music, clean and touch up exhibit components. Everyone loves working together to make the Museum sparkle. We think that cleanliness is next to playfulness!

This post contributed by Visitor Services & Volunteer Manager Kelly Fenton – the queen of clean!

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