The Newton Free Library in Newton, MA offers several programs for kids and families with a focus on books and literacy. The programs are free but adults do have to register ahead of time. Book Bunch is a book club for 1st and 2nd graders and their adults that takes place for about an hour, […]
The Attleboro Public Library in Attleboro, MA has been running a book club for kids in grades 2-4 and their adult since 2011. The goal of the program is to get a discussion started between kids and their peers, as well as with their adults. Group members read the same title (adults too) then meet […]
The Attleboro Public Library offers an hour-long science program for kids ages 3 through kindergarten one Saturday morning a month from October to June. The goal of the program is to encourage children and their caregivers to learn and discover together. Younger siblings under 3 are encouraged not to attend so that the adult can […]
For the month of January, the Concord Free Public Library in Concord, MA transformed the Children’s Room into a pirate-themed Treasure Island for an extended program for children and their caregivers to take part in activities that engage the imagination and motor skills. Pirate PlayLand was part of a Mind in the Making grant, which […]
The Time Traveler’s Tour is specifically designed for families with children ages 4-11. This tour follows the same route as the introductory tour, but utilizes a sticker activity book and has a portion that can be done outside when the weather is favorable. This tour is essentially for the children in the family, although the […]
The Mother Daughter Book Club at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur DE, takes place on the first Thursday of every month from November to May from 6-8pm. The program is presented as a series, so the experience continues over the 7 months, and the books must be read ahead of time. Each […]
The Bellingham Public Library in Bellingham, MA offers a different take on the traditional scavenger hunt. The Digital Scavenger Hunt is a program that tests the creativity of families. For each Digital Scavenger Hunt, there are a selected number of items or themes for families to find or create and take photographs of. These challenges […]
Family Gallery Tours at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT are designed to provide families (with children aged six and up) with an interactive museum experience. Tours are discussion-based and led heavily with open-ended questions. The tours are held almost every Sunday, run about 45 minutes, are free with Museum admission, and require no advanced […]
The New Britain Museum of American Art hosts a program for toddlers and their caregivers which features art-making, and a self-guided scavenger hunt. Serving children ages 24-36 months, ‘Museum & Me, Too’ includes story time, singing, and dancing for toddlers and adults to enjoy together. Children explore a variety of art materials in the art […]
The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA has been successfully running an annual event called Ten Days of Play. Held during February vacation week for the past several years, this child-directed drop-in activity promotes open-ended, creative play with simple materials in a large open space. Families are greeted briefly by a facilitator, and then the fun […]
Lego® Saturdays at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody, MA is an opportunity for families to come together at the library and get creative together with the Lego® collection on a monthly basis. The program is free, but requires families to pre-register as space is limited. The program is free-form and asynchronous. Participants can use […]
The Lippitt House Museum’s family drop-in program utilizes the historic house’s unique rooms to offer stationed hands-on activities. The Lippitt Lab program, which takes place once a month May through December, explores different aspects of 19th century and Victorian culture in Providence, RI, and in the United States as a whole. The program runs for […]
At the Amesbury Public Library in Amesbury, MA, the children’s department runs a successful Family Lego® Wars program for kids and their grown-ups. Taking inspiration from other libraries, this 90-minute program provides an opportunity for adults and kids to work together to build Lego® designs based on given topics. The design challenges take place in […]
Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA offers several classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers that promote the zoo’s mission of conservation of animals and their habitats. The Zoo Sprouts class is for kids ages 3-5 and their adult. The class requires pre-registration and costs $25 for each child/adult pair. Occurring twice a month on Tuesdays […]
At Denver Botanic Gardens, Family Workshops offer an opportunity for kids ages 5-12 and their adults to create a project together based on a theme. The Gardens offer 5-10 workshop themes per year. Running for two hours, the workshops require preregistration which helps with determining how much to buy for materials. The program costs between […]
In an interview with exhibit and program designers at the Boston Children’s Museum, Margaret Middleton explores some of the common questions museum professionals might have about creating successful “multigenerational social learning experiences” that engage both children and adults. Middleton, Margaret. “Bring the Family: Children’s Museum Wisdom for the Rest of the Museum Community.” WestMuse Blog. Western Museums […]
The “Impress with a Quill Pen” program was always popular with families, but facilitators at the USS Constitution Museum thought it had potential for more variety, deeper content, and greater intergenerational participation. With simple changes like relocating the program, introducing new elements, and adjusting the setup, they were able to design a better intergenerational family experience.
From 2007-2011, three major art institutions, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, High Museum of Art, and The Speed, participated in a study examining “families’ value and use of interactive galleries in art museums and their motivations for visiting the spaces.” The Family Learning in Interactive Galleries website includes multiple resources related to the project, […]
This report, published by the Denver Art Museum, details the Museum’s process of creating new experiences for children and their caregivers by increasing the Museum’s relevance and providing opportunities for family participation.
Protoyping can be a valuable tool when designing exhibit elements for any audience. Here’s a quick overview of why you should incorporate prototyping into your exhibit design process and the dramatic impact it can have on your final product!