Child in smock painting on easel.

Toddler Cohort: Smithsonian Early Explorers

The Smithsonian Early Explorers (SEE) and is a program of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) and builds on the more than 30 years of experience Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) educators have in using museums and community resources to enrich the lives of young children and provide a positive foundation for lifelong learning experiences.


Classes meet twice a week from 9:30 – 11:30 at two separate locations on the Smithsonian campus.


The year will be broken up into smaller sections during which children will explore a book. This book will be the inspiration for the play and museum visits that occur during the class. Embedded in these experiences are opportunities for the children to work on important developmental skills that are essential to any early childhood classroom. Our approach also supports the child as an individual, encouraging their interests and curiosity. All this is done within the framework of community and museum visits. We believe these visits give young children strong concrete connections that enhance their learning. The content areas to which the children are exposed are as varied as the Smithsonian collections – science, technology, engineering, math, art, culture, and history.


Parents or caregivers must participate in all aspects of the child’s experience and are required to participate in museum and community visits. Cell phone use is restricted to emergency calls and use as a camera.

Our program also focuses on the caretakers and hopes to build a community in which families feel supported. Through everyday interactions, conferences, and resources, our educators help caregivers better understand their child’s development and support them in being their child’s first teacher.

We ultimately hope to instill a love of learning and a sense of wonder in both the child and adult.

Age Eligibility

When joining the SEE program, children must be at least 18 months. And children must be younger than 36 months in September of the year that they join. Once part of the program, children may continue to participate past the age of three.


9:30 – 10:10: Learning Centers

10:10 – 10:40: Morning Meeting and Snack

10:40 – 11:30: Museum Visit


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