The Kids in Museums‘ Manifesto is a set of simple guidelines for museums created with children, young people and families. It sets out what they feel makes a museum a great place to visit.
The first Manifesto was created in 2004 and they have continued to develop it with feedback from children, young people and families on their experiences of visiting museums.
This version was launched in March 2019.
Today nearly 900 museums and heritage organisations have signed up in support of the Kids in Museums Manifesto.
How is it useful?
The Manifesto can be used in the following ways:
- As an audit tool
It can be used to assess how welcoming and inclusive your museum is to children, young people and families
- To help you with Arts Council England accreditation
It links to both ‘Understand and develop your audiences’ and ‘Engage with your users, and improve their experience’
- To show your visitors your values
You can use the logo in your museum to show your commitment to being friendly and welcoming
- As a framework for improvement
You can select certain Manifesto points to focus your work.
- To promote your museum to a family audience
You can use the logo on your communications to family visitors; it’s a great way of telling this audience that your museum is a place for them before they visit.
- As an advocacy document
You can use the Manifesto to demonstrate the need to embed a family friendly approach across your organisation.
- Be welcoming. Create an environment where families can explore, have fun and learn together. Make sure staff and volunteers provide a warm welcome and make all interactions with visitors friendly and informative. Include things that can be touched and make labels clear to explain when they can't. Welcome enthusiastic comments and always keep instructions positive.
- Make it easy and comfortable. Think about your facilities and spaces from a family's perspective. Have seating for all generations to enjoy a rest. Can you provide a picnic area, make your café family friendly or direct people to reasonably-priced eateries nearby? Having baby changing facilities, a breastfeeding welcome attitude, booster steps in your toilets and somewhere to keep buggies is important for those with younger visitors.
- Remember families come in all shapes and sizes. Consider what different family members need from their visit and provide ways for them to explore together. Families can include under 5s, young people, parents, carers, grandparents, cousins and friends. Reflect this diversity in your activities, displays and ticketing.
- Be accessible to all. Ensure all your visitors are equally supported and welcomed. Families face many challenges when visiting museums, including the cost of a visit and language and cultural barriers. For those with disabilities, it maybe difficult to access your space and its collections. Ask a range of children, young people and families how you can better communicate with them and make their visit easier.
- Communicate well. Make sure you let families know everything you have to offer them. You can do this through outreach visits, posters and leaflets, and online through your website and social media. Think about where families might find information before a visit and communicate clearly on arrival.
- Work together. Collaborate with children, young people and families as equal partners on events, displays and exhibitions. This will help you to include their stories and give them a stronger sense of ownership.
How do I sign up?
Sign up your organisation to show your commitment to following the guidelines and welcoming visitors of all ages.