Family activities

From Our Toolkit

Ensuring you are family friendly is a good way to ensure you are welcoming and accessible for all. Many of the tips and advice for welcoming families on-site are a good starting point for other audiences. The activities you provide for families can be as variety as your collections – you could add a fun family trail around your exhibitions, or offer a ‘making day’ inspired by one of your star artefacts.

Getting started with planning family activities

There is lots of advice available about how to work with families.  A good starting place for developing learning activities is the Good Practice Learning Guide for Developing Learning Programmes in Museums.  Although this is primarily aimed at developing a schools programme in a museum environment the principles can be applied to family activities run by non-museum organisations.

Welcoming families

When thinking about setting up activities for families it is worth thinking what other arrangements can be put in place to make your organisation, site and team family friendly.  Kids In Museums work specifically focuses on this.  They have a manifesto which outlines what makes a family friendly organisation. Not everything will be relevant or appropriate for your site but it provides a good checklist. They have also created top tips for welcoming families to your venue which are accompanied by two training films on welcoming families.

Inspiration for family activities

  • If you are not sure where to start and are looking for ideas for your family activities Share Museums East have put together a Family Learning Ideas Bank with a range of activities.
  • Alternatively it is always worth looking around at what other organisations are doing whether they are local clubs, national organisations, museums, galleries or archives.
  • For Make & Take’ style craft based activities websites like Pinterest and YouTube are good source of creative ideas.
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