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Kids In Museums – The Guardian Award 2009

Kids in Museums is a charity that is very close to our hearts. For the charity, as for us, museums aren’t collections of dusty old objects, lying idly in a musty, dim room. Instead they are places where families can go to enjoy interactive exhibitions, where the kids can dress up, play around, get hands on and learn something as you enjoy a fresh cup of tea. Happily, a move toward this is what many museums in London and around the UK are making, in no small part, thanks to Kids in Museums and their push for change.

The story of how the charity came about might well chime a few bells of recognition with all those of you lucky enough to have a toddler (even luckier in the plural).

It all started back in 2003, when journalist Dea Birkett wrote an article in The Guardian, describing how her two year old had been thrown out of The Royal Academy for shouting “monster” at a five foot Aztec statue of an eagle man. Told you it might sound familiar.

Anyway, Dea’s sounding off of this (mis)treatment of her child gave rise to a wave of public opinion, voiced on The Guardian website. People were generally split on the question of how to deal with children in museums, but what became clear was that a system was needed to appease those who didn’t want to go to a museum full of energetic kids, and those that wanted to take their energetic kids to a museum. Born of this was a manifesto, detailing what parents wanted from a museum, and born of that was the first Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award in 2004. This award allows families to judge which is the best museum for them to visit with their kids, based on facilities, entertainment, and child friendly places to stop and refuel.
Kids in Museums are basically doing everything for museums that we here at are trying to do for… well, everything. For this reason we think you should definitely get involved and cast your vote . You can even apply to be one of the families who will decide on the overall winner for 2009’s award, the details of which you can find here.

If you want to check out what people have made of London’s museums, including the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum, then look them up on, where we have descriptions and reviews of most of the museums in London. If you’ve got a few minutes, why not write a review (good or bad) of one of the museums below, and help another family enjoy (or avoid!) the same experience you’ve had.

– George

p.s. For easy access to some kid friendly information about some of London’s most popular museums, here’s a quick list of links for your perusal:

Museum of Childhood
Museum of London Docklands
Science Museum
Natural History Museum
National Maritime Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
British Museum
Imperial War Museum

originally published on September 25th 2009 (124 reads) 

Written by Janis P.


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