Museum learning has a vital role to play in the cultural education of all children and young people. Children throughout the country benefit from the unique learning environment that museums and galleries can offer, using their collections and stories to encourage interactive experiences.
Learning materials and resources play a key role in engaging with children and families to enrich their experience at a visitor destination. From families looking for an experience together to teachers wanting to engage their class in hands on activities, formal and informal learning resources are a truly essential part of the visit.
Even before the visitor arrives they can be encouraged by downloadable activity materials presented in a way that can enrich their experience. And of course during the visit the communications are a companion to learning, development and an opportunity to create a deeper connection with the visitor.
With a depth of experience creating inspiring learning resources here are a few of our own learnings:
Set a visual style
The visual style of your learning materials is key to building familiarity and recognition with your museum or gallery. It is a chance to build your brand and engage with a younger audience. Your learning visual style should evolve your visitor facing brand in a way that is playful, relevant for the younger audience and importantly fun.
To communicate different activities, iconography is important to highlight themes in your learning material – icons to suggest a drawing, sensory, making or imaginative exercise work well to help navigate the different activities.
Be inventive with formats
It’s important to maximise budgets for communications in the arts, but it is still possible to be innovative and inventive with your learning materials. If you create something that people want to keep, they are more likely to remember their experience and make a return visit. Think about how the format can add to the interactivity of the material, for instance cut out windows that can act as a view finder or even a simple fold out can feel more exciting and capture the imagination of young visitors and their accompanying adults.