Now in its seventh year, Kids in Museums’ Takeover Day has grown over the years to become a prominent fixture on the museum sector calander. The event provides the opportunity for children to take on meaningful roles in museums and heritage attractions across the country and also gives them the chance to have shared experiences with their peers.
That’s why three years ago when I met Takeover Day Project Director, Caroline Marcus at the Museums + Heritage Show, we agreed to let the Advisor website be taken over with the kids stories and photos on the day.
It’s practice for when I grow up and get a job. I used to want to be a GP but now I have a really tough choice to make because I want to work in the Imperial War Museum too! (Jada)
And since then it’s been thrilling to see the different stories sent in to Advisor of kids talking to visitors about objects in the museums’s collection, such as children from Charlotte Sharman Primary School taking over the Imperial War Museum, or providing guided tours as Stonehenge School did at their neolithic neighbour.
Takeover Day is a time when the children and young people really get to see how organsations work and offers them a perspective not only on the roles they take on but also on society and the role they play within it.
It is also an opportunity for museums to make meaningful relationships with the children and their schools, to hear first hand what they think about the museum and their ideas for change. As one Kids in Museums champion puts it ‘they are the programmers, producers and changemakers’.
Handing over the space on the Advisor website to those children and their ideas adds another layer to Takeover Day and its quest to get children experiencing life in the grown up world. It shows them that these jobs are there for the taking when they grow up and also that museums are places that need their involvment to survive.
Organising this is quite challenging but (with thanks to Catherine McKeag, Takeover Day project manager) worth the effort and the results will be there for all to see tomorrow.
So keep an eye out for some truly exciting projects by children and if you have a Takeover Day event send in your photos and stories to [email protected] and follow @takeovermuseums #TakeoverDay.