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 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 […]
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 […]
Created in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, and funded by the National Science Foundation, Create.Connect is an exhibit and program space at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park that brings together science and history focused on Indiana’s history. The activities promote conversation between family members to elicit relevant connections to visitors’ own lives. Create.Connect Conner […]
This exhibition critique discusses how the careful and varied use of labels in the British Galleries at the V&A Museum in London makes for an especially enjoyable and educational experience. Sections include, Segmentation and variety Evocative and succinct language Prompting meaning-making through conversation Hands-on and interactive Foundation laid through research and prototyping
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.
This two-part report details the Denver Art Museum’s commitment to making the Museum a creative and fun destination for families. With a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Museum developed several programs geared toward families with children age six to twelve. The report explains the Museum’s perspective on a family-friendly art museum which emphasizes […]
Abstract: “Three years after the Detroit Institute of Arts opened with all new, ‘visitor-centered’ galleries, the museum’s executive director of learning and interpretation shares the processes, successes, and lessons learned at an institution that embraced an array of hands-on learning models.
Museums have the ability to deliver information and content in unique and memorable ways. In this article, Alan J. Friedman points out that museums can create contexts for artifacts and information, as well as make connections between broader subjects and themes.
In this presentation, Gail Ringel offers advice for including family learning exhibit techniques in your museum while maintaining your institutional identity.
Why should I use this technique? An exhibit is more likely to be effective if a variety of exhibit techniques address of range of visitor learning styles. Smelling the pine tar in the ship’s rigging or the salted cod carried in barrels creates a more vivid experience than simply reading about life at sea.
Why should I use this technique? Lift flaps are inexpensive to fabricate and they can carry a wide range of messages. Sometimes a lift flap adds an additional layer of information, sometimes it highlights an interesting anecdote or makes visitors consider a different perspective.
Why should I use this technique? Discoveries can trigger conversation and encourage visitors to slow down and take a closer look. Shifting scale or including a surprise can stop visitors for a moment and prompt them to share their discovery with another family member.
Why should I use this technique? A flipbook or questioning interactive is simple, cheap, engaging and effective. Families sit, smile and converse, laughing and learning together. It can be used to foreshadow exhibit elements, and it invites the audience to pause for a moment and consider the experience ahead.
Why should I use this technique? This can be a good summary exercise to help visitors review what they have experienced in the exhibition. It is an opportunity to sit and reflect, while encouraging conversation about the experience the family just shared.
Why should I use this technique? Full-body kinesthetic experiences are both an outlet for energy and a moment to pause and reflect on the similarities or differences between the past and the present.
The USS Constitution Museum team describes today’s Generation X families and the challenges they present to history museums.