Kids in Museums is a wonderful charity that helps Museums, Galleries and Heritage Venues provide kid friendly environments for the whole family. Established in 2003, they have a yearly Family Friendly Award which is more about recognizing good establishments rather than a competition. I recently became a volunteer (and their social media manager) after years of supporting their very worthy cause.
Kids in Museums hold workshops (such as the Family Fortune Workshop), events such as TakeOver Day and most important, provide a Manifesto. The manifesto was the key for me a few years back. It is one thing to have suggestion for venues to follow, but to collate these into a very easy to read and obtain 20-point document for venues to pledge to follow spoke volumes for me.
I encourage all museum, galleries and Heritage Venues to sign up to pledge their support to the Manifesto.
Although I wrote about this subject on a Guest blog Why we need to listen to kids for @unmuseum I’ve never specifically written about my passion here.
For me, ensuring Kids enjoy their experience at these cultural venues is just as important as ensuring they have access to a library – these are our future politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers … and parents. Our kids hold the key to the survival of these venues – we *have* to make them family friendly while maintaining their educational value so they want to return repeatedly.
I’m not suggesting they need to have a Disney-esque feel to them as once suggested. However, research has shown the development of educational retention comes through ensuring diverse learning opportunities are provided.
While the majority of museums and galleries have improved tremendously over the last few years, we still have some way to go. Whenever I visit a venue, I always try to look through the exhibits with ‘Kids-eyes’ on (or I take Charlotte with me 🙂 ). A lot of smaller venues can’t afford their own educational officer and still manage to provide a very fun, excited and educational experience. It need not cost a lot of money.
Do you have a favourite museums or gallery you love taking your kids too? Maybe you work in a museum that does wonderful work? Why not nominate them for the Kids in Museum Family Friendly Museum Award?
To find Kids in Museums: