Riportiamo qui di seguito il manifesto di Kids in Museums, organizzazione no profit inglese che promuove nelle istituzioni museali una politica di attenzione all’utenza familiare: http://www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk
Suggerimenti semplici, esposti in modo semplice come spesso accade nelle politiche di promozione culturale anglosassoni. Quasi scolastico, anche se trattandosi di un manifesto che pone bambini e famiglie al centro di una serie di buone pratiche…
Kids in Museums
- Be welcoming. Try and greet each visitor. Curators, volunteers, front of house staff and those in the café should all be involved in making families feel welcome.
- Have flexible family tickets. Don’t dictate the size of a family. Families come in all shapes and sizes. If you can’t be free, be flexible.
- Play the generation game. Many families are more than two generations and visit with grandparents, uncles, or older cousins. Conversations between generations should be at the heart of what you do.
‘Oooh, we had one of those… That’s how Granny got the scar on her head from swinging on the mangle handle.’
- Reach out and know who’s out there. Not everyone can come to you. Sometimes it isn’t the kids who are shy; parents need your support too. New families can become your biggest advocates.
‘Not only a fabulous place for kids but a great resource for the town.’
- Don’t say ssshhhush! Museums are places for debate and new ideas.
- Make the most of your Wow! factor. Everyone finds real objects awesome. Exploit what makes your museum unique.
‘I liked seeing the real lamp that Florence Nightingale used.’
- ‘Don’t touch!’ is never enough. Say why. Use positive remarks like, ‘Isn’t that a great painting! Let’s look at it together from further back.’ Teach respect by explaining why some things shouldn’t be touched. Direct to something nearby which can be.
- Let imaginations run riot. Museums are great places to imagine being someone else, somewhere else or to share your family’s past. Everyone likes to tell stories.
‘The whole family played school in the old school area where you can draw on the blackboard and sit on the benches.’
- Don’t assume what each age wants. Toddlers can appreciate fine art as well as finger painting. Teenagers can enjoy dressing up.
- Be height and language aware. Display objects, art and labels low enough for a child to see. Use your imagination with signs, symbols and words understood by all ages.
- Be interactive and hands on, not only with computer screens and fancy gadgets. Lifting flaps, playing games and getting messy are as important as buttons to push.
‘Because it’s got water and I like to play with water.’
- Produce guides, trails and activities for all the family to do together, not just the kids on their own.
- Have different sorts of spaces – big open spaces for children to let off steam, small quiet spaces where children and families can reflect, and somewhere for teenagers to hang out.
- Consider different families’ needs, with automatic doors, decent sized lifts, wheelchairuser friendly activities and Braille descriptions. Design your activities and events for everyone.
- Keep an eye on visitors’ comfort. Make sure the toilets are always pleasant, with room for pushchairs and baby changing facilities. It’s the one place every family will visit. Provide somewhere to leave coats, bags, pushchairs, scooters and skateboards.
- Provide healthy, good-value food, high chairs and unlimited tap water. Your café should work to the same family friendly values as the rest of the museum.
‘The staff are very patient with my children who can’t decide what to have.’
- Sell items in the shop that aren’t too expensive and not just junk, but things kids will treasure and will remind them of their visit.
- Use your website to prepare families for the visit and let them follow up afterwards.
‘I made lots of things and my photo of me holding my work was on the website. I sent it to my grandparents abroad.’
- Ask families to tell you what they think, either in words or pictures. Respect these responses and act on them. Talk to your visitors at every opportunity.
- Stay in touch. Make the visit live on. Invite your visitors back.
‘Way cooler than way way cool’ (six year old)