Hundred Acre Wood Mural by Susie Alexander

Contact: Carol Meagher, Executive Director

Feb. 1, 2024

KidZone Museum’s new exhibit, “Hundred Acre Wood,” has a social-emotional focus

TRUCKEE, CA — KidZone Museum, Truckee-Tahoe’s only children’s museum, has launched a first-of-its-kind exhibit geared toward teaching young children about their internal worlds.

Hundred Acre Wood is KidZone Museum’s first new exhibit post-pandemic. The installation brings to life the century-old Winnie the Pooh stories of author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard with a focus on the relatively new concept of social-emotional learning for the museum’s young audience, which is geared toward children up to age 6.

“Play has always been at the center of our exhibits, but this is the first time we’ve introduced a social-emotional learning component,” said Maria Snideman, a KidZone Museum board member.

While the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has ramped up their social emotional education through wellness centers in their schools starting in kindergarten, the KidZone Museum’s new exhibit presents an opportunity for younger children to become familiar with concepts of understanding and identifying their feelings, self-reflection, empathy, and connection.

“Throughout the exhibit there are spaces for each of the Winnie the Pooh characters, and the different characters’ personalities represent what we see in children and ourselves,” Snideman said. “It’s fun to do this with a younger population, where they are finding a vocabulary for their feelings.”

When they enter the exhibit area, children are invited to look at themselves in a mirror and with a prompt asking how they are feeling that day. The museum has sections representing each character and a trait: Winnie the Pooh is happy-go-lucky, Piglet is anxious, Eeyore is sad, Tigger is energetic, Kanga is nurturing, Roo is curious, Rabbit is organized and sometimes-critical, and Owl is wise.

Owl’s section in particular features lots of books about social-emotional concepts – for both children and adults – and the classic Winnie the Pooh storybooks.

Another component of this installation includes a generous donation of materials and resources from The Toolbox Project. The Toolbox Project is a research-based, community-tested social and emotional learning program that builds and strengthens children’s inherent capacity for resilience, self-mastery and empathy for self and others through its curricula, methods, and strategies. The Toolbox Project currently serves 250,000 students worldwide and this collaboration will be the first time they have worked with a children’s museum.

At the center of the new installation is the Gathering Table, which mimics the table where Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and friends would get together, celebrate , and connect. At the museum, it’s a place where children, families, and caregivers can chat about the themes throughout the exhibit, pretend to have a meal, and simply be present with one another.

Throughout the museum are intricate murals by local artist and longtime KidZone Museum supporter Susie Alexander, who captured the spirit of E.H. Shepard’s illustrations.

“It has been really fun to have the continuity of Susie’s style in our exhibits throughout the years, but in this exhibit she really captured the style of E.H. Shepard’s illustrations,” said Jen Parker, KidZone Museum philanthropy officer.

Jerry Johnsen, another important contributor to the museum’s exhibits over the years, built nearly all of the structures throughout Hundred Acre Wood. Affectionately called Grandpa Jerry, Johnsen spends countless hours building features so they are safe and durable for use by the little ones.

“For over a decade, he has volunteered to build exhibit items, fix items,” Parker said. “You know, kids are hard on things, and he knows how to make things safe and stable. Sometimes we say we’re going to buy something for an exhibit, and he says ‘No, I can make that better.’”

“He’s our most treasured volunteer,” she said.

The new exhibit has been popular with local and visiting families, and the museum has been at-capacity often, Parker said.

“We’re really looking forward to having a larger space, where we can accommodate more children and a wider age range,” Parker said.

KidZone Museum has raised nearly half of the funds needed for their new, 10,500-square-foot museum at Truckee River Regional Park. In the spring, they plan to launch the public phase of their fundraising campaign. This project includes a science and art center, a teen studio, a sensory space, a traveling exhibits area, and an expanded play space. Museum officials estimate the new museum will see more than 50,000 visits per year.

Major funding for Hundred Acre Wood was provided by Lahontan Community Foundation. Additional funding from the Zappettini Family Fund, an anonymous family foundation, and museum donors. In kind support from Easterbrook Painting, Truckee Paint Mart and Ace Mountain Hardware & Sports.

“These exhibits come to life thanks to the generosity of our donors,” Snideman said.

Contributions to KidZone Museum’s current exhibit and programs can be made at For more information on the new Museum please email

KidZone Museum is the only children’s museum serving North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, with more than 30,000 visits annually. The creative play spaces, including an outdoor nature play-space, are optimal for children under 7 years of age. Learn more at