Engaging Families
What are they?
Backpacks of activities designed around a museum or
an exhibit
Intended to engage children with collectio...
Benefits
 Engaging
Children with museum exhibits
Families
“Museums can be very one dimensional - … it can be
quite dif...
Objectives
Promote an active learning experience for children &
their parents
Designed to engage the museum displays
Br...
United States
Original idea started in the late 1990s in the U.S.
Colorado and Massachusettes
Baltimore, Maryland
“The...
United Kingdom
First used at the Victoria and Albert Museum in
London, in early 2000s.
A staff member had seen the backp...
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
A Museum of Decorative
Arts
Award winning backpack
programme
Focus on museum exhibit...
V&A - 6 different Backpack themes
Fancy Furnishings – 18th
century British
furniture
Emperor’s Party – 16th
century Indi...
Fancy Furnishings Instructions
Activities include
Period Music and period Manners
“personality pots” (personification)
...
Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
 “Cabinet of Curiosities” style museum is an artefact
in and of itself.
Backpack programme wa...
Fashion Museum, Bath
Backpack programme implemented in September of
2007
Handbags exhibit backpack
Silhouette matching ...
Fashion Museum Results
Children’s and parents’ Comments
 One child liked finding the patterns, “It was like
solving a mys...
Fort Frances Museum
Discover History Backpacks
Fort Frances Museum
Small town museum
Small budget
Backpacks are an att...
5 Themes
Fur Trade
Logging
First Nations
Pioneer
Community
Fur Trade Instruction Booklet
5 Activities
Silhouette matching
game
Dress up
Guess the object bags
Children’s book
M...
Silhouette Matching Game
Dress Up
Children’s Book
Guess the Object
Memory
Fort Frances Test Launch
Responses:
“Enables us to go at our own pace and learn more
than on a quick tour”
“Lots of chance...
Engaging families on a budget
Activity Backpacks do not require a large budget
Do not necessarily require backpacks, act...
Trial & Error
Instructional guides are key component
Instruction should be a clear and concise as possible
Labeling ver...
Key points
 Should be free of additional charge
Many large museums require a deposit or another form of security
Does n...
Activity Backpacks for Museums
Activity Backpacks for Museums
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Activity Backpacks for Museums

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  • Community = especially families
  • Activity Backpacks for Museums

    1. 1. Engaging Families
    2. 2. What are they? Backpacks of activities designed around a museum or an exhibit Intended to engage children with collections Types of Activities Hands on Observatory Memory Visual/art V&A Magic Glasses Backpack Photo from V&A Website
    3. 3. Benefits  Engaging Children with museum exhibits Families “Museums can be very one dimensional - … it can be quite difficult for a child to be absorbed….. if you've found ways like in these activity bags to make the actual artefacts [..] come to life, then [children] will remember them.” - mother at the V&A
    4. 4. Objectives Promote an active learning experience for children & their parents Designed to engage the museum displays Bring Families into the museum Contents will ignite children’s creativity and inquisitiveness Increase time spent in the exhibits Provide positive museum experience that will encourage future visits – a relationship with the museum
    5. 5. United States Original idea started in the late 1990s in the U.S. Colorado and Massachusettes Baltimore, Maryland “The idea behind the packs is to promote active learning, involving children and parents with art,” “… they stayed at many of the exhibits longer than they had at any of our previous museum [visits]”
    6. 6. United Kingdom First used at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in early 2000s. A staff member had seen the backpacks in a visit to the U.S. After the success of the Backpack programme at the V&A, many more institutions throughout the UK have begun to implement their own Backpacks.
    7. 7. Victoria and Albert Museum, London A Museum of Decorative Arts Award winning backpack programme Focus on museum exhibits which are not immediately interesting to children Using a Backpack at the V&A Photo from V&A Website
    8. 8. V&A - 6 different Backpack themes Fancy Furnishings – 18th century British furniture Emperor’s Party – 16th century India Chinese Treasures – Chinese Decorative Art Metal Detector – Decorative Ironwork Antique Detective – Victorian Decorative Arts Magic Glasses – Decorative Glass
    9. 9. Fancy Furnishings Instructions Activities include Period Music and period Manners “personality pots” (personification) Finding animals in period furniture Finding things in period patterns Design your own 18th century room
    10. 10. Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford  “Cabinet of Curiosities” style museum is an artefact in and of itself. Backpack programme was winner of the 2005 Guardian Newspaper Family Friendly Museum Award Judged by children
    11. 11. Fashion Museum, Bath Backpack programme implemented in September of 2007 Handbags exhibit backpack Silhouette matching game Fabric pattern matching game Handbag fabric dominoes Children’s story book on theme Describe the bag activity Handbag on display at Fashion Museum of Bath Photo Fashion Museum website
    12. 12. Fashion Museum Results Children’s and parents’ Comments  One child liked finding the patterns, “It was like solving a mystery” “…like[s] things to look up and investigate. Appreciated, “Anything that focuses them on the detail.”
    13. 13. Fort Frances Museum Discover History Backpacks Fort Frances Museum Small town museum Small budget Backpacks are an attempt to generate more community engagement with the museum Entice more visitors and increase time spent in exhibitions.
    14. 14. 5 Themes Fur Trade Logging First Nations Pioneer Community
    15. 15. Fur Trade Instruction Booklet 5 Activities Silhouette matching game Dress up Guess the object bags Children’s book Memory
    16. 16. Silhouette Matching Game
    17. 17. Dress Up
    18. 18. Children’s Book
    19. 19. Guess the Object
    20. 20. Memory
    21. 21. Fort Frances Test Launch Responses: “Enables us to go at our own pace and learn more than on a quick tour” “Lots of chances for involvement.” “Handling cards…[show] you items you may not notice otherwise” “Good way to examine the display closely”
    22. 22. Engaging families on a budget Activity Backpacks do not require a large budget Do not necessarily require backpacks, activity ‘kits’ can be held in various holders Budget determines the presentation, but not necessarily the content or the efficacy
    23. 23. Trial & Error Instructional guides are key component Instruction should be a clear and concise as possible Labeling very necessary and should be very clear
    24. 24. Key points  Should be free of additional charge Many large museums require a deposit or another form of security Does not directly generate revenue, but intended to entice repeat visits by local visitors Activities should designed to reach different age groups

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