The Kids in Museums’ Manifesto was first put together in 2003 and has been added to since. Put together by parents and from the visitors’ point of view – it contains the main points needed to make your museum, gallery or historic site family friendly.


Kids in Museums Manifesto

  1. Be welcoming – from the car park attendant to the curator. Emphasise that the museum is family-friendly in publicity and leaflets.
  2. Be interactive and hands on – where kids can touch objects, and learn to know what they are allowed to handle, and what they aren’t.
  3. Be pushchair accessible – with lifts where there are steps, automatic doors, and a place to store a pushchair.
  4. Give a hand to parents to help their children enjoy the museum.
  5. Consult with children – not just adults and parents – about what they want.
  6. Be height aware – making sure that objects and art are displayed low enough for a child to see, and that signage is at a child’s height. Footstools should be provided to help.
  7. Have lots of different things to do – art carts, picture trails, interactive experiences, storytelling, dressing up – so parents don’t have to do all the work.
  8. Produce guides aimed at children, but also ones that children and adults can use together.
  9. Provide proper, good-value food, high chairs, and unlimited tap water.
  10. Provide dedicated baby changing and breast-feeding facilities, and good toilets where you can take a pushchair.
  11. Teach respect – help children to learn that there are objects they should not touch.
  12. Sell items in the shops that are not too expensive and not just junk, but things that children will want to treasure.
  13. Have free entry where possible, or have family tickets and children’s discounts. Children may only want to spend a short time in a museum, so paying a lot to get in puts many parents off. Issue special tickets to families with young children which allow re-entry, so they can go outside for a break or even come back the next day.
  14. Provide some open space – inside and outside – where children can run about and let off steam.
  15. Provide some quiet space, where children can reflect.
  16. Make it clear to child-free visitors that the museum is family-friendly. Have special times when children are less likely to be there.
  17. Have dedicated family-friendly days, when extra activities are laid on for kids, and those who want to avoid the crowds can choose not to attend.
  18. Provide a creche for young children at major museums.
  19. Attract all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, without offering separate facilities for each. It should be enjoyable for the whole family – parents and children.
  20. Don’t make presumptions about what children do and don’t like. Some kids can appreciate fine art as well as finger painting.

Kids in Museums manifesto >>




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