Free family activity: 'Sensory-Friendly Mondays' now open at The Leonardo

Fun with static electricity. (Photo: Adam Forgie, KUTV)

In an effort to be more inclusive of those with sensory processing sensitivities such as autism, The Leonardo Museum along with Vivint Gives Back, has officially launched "Sensory-Friendly Mondays" at the Salt Lake City museum.

For the next year, the first Monday of every month will be "Sensory-Friendly Monday" and from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., admission to the museum will be free for individuals with sensory processing sensitivities and their families.

You can see photos of what you can expect in our gallery above or by clicking here.

During that timeframe, the museum will lower the lights, reduce noise and "offer sensory-specific programming developed with help from the DDI Vantage Early Head Start program. The exhibits at the museum are part of STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).

Marissa Day, Special Projects Director at The Leonardo said:

At the Leo, it's really critical to our mission that learning is accessible for everyone and that everyone feels welcome here at the museum and because of that we recognize that there are a lot of different ways people learn and so this is a day we can change the environment a little bit at the museum and create specific activities that will make people feel comfortable coming in, they can learn at their own pace and they can learn in ways that our team has studied.

Sensory bags, which contain noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, maps, guides, and verbal cue cards, will be available for check out. Weighted lap pads will also be available, but their numbers are limited.

Alexandra Hesse, executive director of The Leonardo Museum told 2News:

Inclusion is a big topic in museums, Id' say, so we've often thought about how we can be more inclusive, more friendly for different types of groups and this was an opportunity that one person on our development team connected with Vivint about and their focus on this particular type of program. It's been in the making for six months or so. Having Vivint's support we decided to launch it now.

"Our team has been working on a lot of different learning opportunities, we have tactile hands-on experiences, we have finger painting, playing with Play-Doh, lots of creativity-based activities," Day told 2News. "We also have a lot of sensory-learning activities [like] color science, we are making noise-makers, we're making something called exploding rain, which is supposed to be really, really cool, really visual for kids."

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Vivint Gives Back, the philanthropic arm of Vivint Smart Home got involved in causes related to people with developmental disabilities after some families said the Smart Home security system cut their stress levels in half when it comes to monitoring children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Holly Mero-Bench, director of "Vivint Gives Back" told 2News:

We have an obligation to help this community with what our business already does.

Learn more about Sensory-Friendly Mondays at The Leonardo here.