Eureka! is the UK’s only museum dedicated entirely to children. Play is at the heart of everything.
After 20 years, 6 million visitors and a lot of play, Eureka! needed a new human biology gallery. After consultation (especially with children), creative thinking and hard graft, the new 'All About Me' space opened in 2013.
A central ambition was to encourage adults and children to play together. A review in the Museums' Journal showed us that we had succeeded
"Everything about All About Me is interactive and child-centred... but what really struck me was how successful it is in encouraging adults and children to play and learn together.
It would be easy to assume that a gallery so focused on play and having fun might be frivolous and light on content but this is not the case. This is serious stuff that children and adults need to know in order to understand themselves and be healthy.”
As interpretation consultant for the 18 months leading up to opening, we helped the team develop their Strategic Plan and Text Strategy and, as text editor, we planned, wrote and edited fun, short and lively texts which encourage children to play, share and explore.
We were pleased to get a review for the text too
‘the text is skilfully written – explaining complex concepts concisely and accessibly for children is not easy’
Fraser Swift, Head of Learning, Museum of London & Associate Tutor, Dept of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
Every piece of text is written for an 8 year old reader and all texts are 25 words or less. We've tapped into what children know, their frames of reference and their unerring fascination with bodily functions.
We were so determined to keep the focus on play, that we nicknamed our approach an 'anti-text' strategy.