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Tikitiko: Toddler Studio at San Diego’s New Children’s Museum

by Eugenia Lazaris

Jan 7, 2020

Kawee Srital On | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Baby

Children’s museums offer great ways for families with small children to interact in environments promoting play, learning and development. San Diego’s New Children’s Museum takes this concept to an elevated level with its latest installation, a studio designed specifically for toddlers ages 3 and under.


What was once the Tot Studio transformed into Tikitiko, the brainchild of artist Tanya Aguiñiga. She created an area as unique and beautiful as it is creative and inspiring. The concept behind Tikitiko is to give toddlers a space to explore the world through soft, touchable surroundings. Little ones and adults can relax and explore while they interact with each other and the world around them.


This toddler studio is filled with soft surroundings of various textures, creating a safe play space for curiosity and exploration. Soft, fuzzy pieces of furniture are strewn about the room, giving little ones plenty of huggable objects and comfortable places to relax and play. There are a number of cave-like creations giving kids nooks and crannies to crawl inside, satisfying a need to explore new spaces (safely) while feeling secure and comforted inside a soft space. Even the walls are decorated with soft and colorful textures to ensure your little one will find something fun and exciting to explore.


Tikitiko addresses one of the basic needs for human development, sensory stimulation. Children respond well to soft, touchable comforts, thus opening them up to learning new things, trying new experiences and connecting with the world around them.


By allowing parents and caregivers to experience the soft and cuddly world of Tikitiko, the museum is giving its toddler-aged visitors an opportunity to freely express their need for creativity and exploration.


Tikitiko isn’t just great for little ones, it is also designed to be beneficial for the adults who care for these special little human beings. It creates an opportunity for caregivers that often don’t get the chance to interface with other adults often, or who may be experiencing natural fears or worries about their roles as caretakers, the chance to share mutual experiences, words of wisdom, or some much-needed adult interaction, all while knowing their little charges are in a safe and stimulating environment.


Aguiñiga titled the space Tikitiko based on a combination of the Spanish word chiquitito, which means “little one,” with words her own daughter created as she was developing language skills of her own.


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