The Kids in Museums Manifesto is a valuable tool which can have an enormous effect on your museum, as Amanda Hart at the Corinium Museum found out…
We used the Kids in Museums Manifesto to help us draw up a questionnaire that was given to a group of local parents to complete after visiting the Museum with their toddlers. This helped us discover the areas in most need of improvement. A pre-school class was invited from a local nursery to visit the Museum and their teachers were asked to make observations of the children’s interactions in the galleries to find out what they enjoyed doing.
Based on that research, improvements to the Museum were made which now includes flexible family tickets, a picnic area for lunches during the school holidays to make a visit more affordable, more suitable interactives for under 5s, and a permanent trail for under 5’s. The galleries now have children-sized tables and chairs and a reading corner up on the mezzanine with comfy chairs and cushions.
After making all of the changes in the galleries and fulfilling the criteria for the Kids in Museums manifesto a campaign was launched inviting families to nominate the Museum for the Family Friendly Museum Award 2011. The Museum was selected from over a hundred nominated museums for the longlist and then shortlisted by a panel of renowned museum experts, chaired by Jenny Abramsky, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are all very proud that the Museum made the final six.