Guest Blog: Don’t Forget About Kids in Museums!

Abigail Millican, 01.05.2019

Today’s blog is from Kids in Museums Head of Programmes, Laura Bedford. Kids in Museums’ mission is to work with museums nationwide to make them more welcoming of children, young people and families.

Recent statistics have emphasised the importance of including young and family visitors at museums. The 2018 Audience Agency Museum Audience report found that families make up 35% of visitors, making them a significant contributor to your visitor figures and income. They found that 16-24 year olds are less likely to recommend their museum experience than other age groups. The 2017/18 DCMS Taking Part report also showed there had been a 5% drop in 5-15 year olds attending museums.

At Kids in Museums, we are committed to supporting museums to make them more welcoming and inclusive of all children, young people and families. Recently we have made some exciting changes to better support you with your work with these audiences. Here are our latest updates:

New Kids in Museums Manifesto

We launched our updated Manifesto in March. We asked over 200 children, young people and families what they feel makes a great museum visit.

Families told us they enjoy having fun, learning new things and making memories together when they visit museums. However, they want more facilities and to feel welcomed throughout their visit. They appreciate venues that have clear labels to help them know what they can and can’t touch.

With this feedback, we have condensed our new Manifesto down to six simple points. Organisations can sign up to our Manifesto to show their commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all ages. All signatories receive a logo and feature on our online map. They can also take part in our #ManifestoMonday social media campaign, sharing inspiring examples of how different organisations are putting the six points into action.

Takeover Day

In April we launched a new set of Takeover Day resources to help you plan your event. These range from case study films with museums, as well as an advocacy film that you can use to encourage members of staff from across your organisation to get involved.

Our national Takeover Day dates for 2019 are:

Takeover Day is a great way to pilot new ways of working.

Our sixth Manifesto point refers to working collaboratively with children, families and young people on events, displays and exhibitions. Takeover Day provides a platform to enable this kind of collaboration.

Feedback from participants has shown that after Takeover Day young people feel more of a sense of ownership and are more likely to be involved with a museum in future.

New Access Resource

Finally, we have just published a new online resource to help you to be more welcoming of families and young people who are blind or partially-sighted. The guide set outs how to get started, how to improve physical access to your museum and how to create tailored resources at your site. The resource is the latest addition to our free accessibility guides.


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