Supporting Children’s Museums as People-Centred Environments

The report will be published beginning of 2019 by The Association of Children’s Museums

ACM works with more than 400 members located in 48 U.S. states and twenty countries, leveraging the collective knowledge of children’s museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. ACM’s primary focus is working with and on behalf of these members, ensuring that all ACM activities enrich and advance the community.

Children’s museums welcome more than 41 million visitors each year and recent research indicates that parents and caregivers perceive these spaces as supportive of their children’s development. Children’s museums constantly innovate in order to support their young visitors’ greatest needs, and this collaboration with Hume is aimed at bringing a new approach to how these environments and exhibits are designed.

Moreover, children’s museums are frequently “early adopters” in their approach to supporting visitors, and the organization hopes to encourage the broader museum community to shift towards an evidence for the initial design and continuous improvement of their facilities.

This project was made possible with the support of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. It is an effort to exemplify a how the science of child develpment can become the basis for design that results in a built environment that is more conducive to family and children’s health and wellbeing.

One of the drivers for developing the means to measure the positive impact of well designed children’s environments is to ‘make the invisible, visible’. Children’s museums and similar organisations are providing a social service that should be recognised.Though the positive social impact of such environments have traditionally been a challenge to measure, the work of Hume and the Human Metrics Lab aims to provide the tools and context for this contribution to society to be perceived and rewarded.