I chanced upon an interview with writer Dea Birkett on CBC Radio One’s Q on Monday talking about the Kids in Museums Manifesto. It’s a brilliant piece of work with a compelling back-story that should not only be adopted by all museums and galleries, but by any public or private facility that might engage with families.
My favourite item from the Manifesto is #19:
Remember there’s no typical family. Families can span generations, including toddlers, teenagers and grandparents. A visit should be enjoyable for the whole family together — not just the kids.
Even museums that do well otherwise often break down on this point, positioning “family activities” for a narrow age range, and structuring them so that it’s really more “adults watch or assist while kids do crafts” than it is “engaging activity for everyone.”