Featuring examples from the field, this report from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a great resource for libraries looking for inspiration for their child and family programs. Holmes, Paula. Curiosity Creates: Innovative Library Programming for Children. Association for Library Service to Children, 2016.
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 […]
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 […]
Put the family at the center of your family programs. How? Start by getting to know your multigenerational audience and then find ways for them to engage with and learn from your program. Actively Engaging All Ages How and why we design programs so everyone actively participates. Developing Content & Learning Goals What do you […]
This practical guide outlines various ways professionals can develop their programs, exhibits, and general museum atmosphere to best engage the public. Using examples mostly from the UK and Canada, Graham Black offers a synthesis of best practices and research to date, as well as case studies and infographics to illustrate his points.
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.
With funding from an IMLS National Leadership Grant, the USS Constitution Museum turned their attention to identifying strategies of design and facilitation that result in successful intergenerational engagement and learning in museum and library programs. This PowerPoint presentation is a summary of findings from the first summer of prototyping and testing two new programs and redesigning […]
The USS Constitution Museum Team took an existing craft program, designing a model ship out of aluminum foil, popsicle sticks, and masking tape, and transformed it into an intergenerational program that results in fun, active collaboration among family members. Overview: USS Constitution was built in the 1790s to out gun enemy vessels of the same size […]
The USS Constitution Museum Team took a new look at an existing program, an interactive demonstration of caulking (waterproofing) a ship’s planking. By taking a step back, thinking creatively, and doing intensive observation and prototyping, we turned a fun but mostly kids activity into a truly intergenerational program that actively engages adults and kids together […]
Members of the Association of Art Museum Directors from across the country, Mexico, and Canada sent in examples of the best educational programs at their museums. This collection of 100 submissions highlights programs designed for a variety of audiences ranging from young children through older adults. Also included are programs for teens, college students, teachers […]
Eric White describes how Old Sturbridge Village assessed their family audience and how they interacted with museum’s offerings. They then responded by developing exhibits and activities that attracted, entertained, and educated their family audience.
This set of guidelines published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Dublin, Ireland, provides adults with examples of good interactions to have with children that promote the children’s learning and development. It provides strategies for positive and successful interactions such as building relationships, facilitating, organizing and directing which promotes a balance of […]