Kids are just Small Adults (and Adults are just Big Kids)
When it comes to Audience Centered Experiences for our youngest visitors, the play book is largely the same. Children and young adults are deeply curious, love self exploration, and thrive on self-expression. In many ways, they can be even more open to expression and engagement than their parents and adult counterparts. Many of the social biases and a reticence of sharing haven’t been baked in yet.
Younger audiences are open to deep experiences. They love to find out about new cultures, connect with others, and find social spaces for interacting in our parks and sites. They also feel that museums should be about something bigger – making the world a better place. According to a study of young museum-goers in 2019 by Wilkening Consulting, “the majority of us think museums should ‘absolutely’ be forums for civil discourse on controversial issues affecting us today. And we are nearly 50% more likely to think museums should do more to help cultivate empathy for others.”
Our youngest audiences want deeply meaningful experiences. And that curiosity is catching. When parents who accompany young visitors are engaged and curious, their experiences are far more positive as well. Getting visitors – old and young – to share their experiences helps that curiosity cross-pollinate.
Every Junior Ranger Activity can be audience centered, it just takes some imagination and thinking first-and-foremost about what our visitors want from their experience. Here’s a few quick pointers:
|What Makes Great ACE Junior Ranger Activities?|