You shouldn’t have, but it’s too late now: you offered to babysit your little niece for the week end. She’s a very nice child, she is, but she’s a bit over-excited, it’s going to be raining all day, and you really don’t know what to do with her. Fear not: #MetKids is here!

Announced a few months ago, #MetKids has just been launched. It’s probably one of the best – if not the best – initiatives in favor of education we’ve seen in these past years. The tag line, « a website made for, with, and by kids » says it all: the site is intuitive, easy-to navigate, full of fun content, but more than that, it’s really been thought out for kids and meant to be used by them exclusively.

The website is divided into three parts: an interactive, illustrated map of the museum, with the possibility to jump directly to information about the artworks; a section with videos made by kids – kids asking questions to museum workers or making artwork-inspired animations; and a third section, called the « Time Machine ». In the Time Machine, kids can select a timeframe, a region and a theme, and discover objects linked to their choice. The really interesting part about this section is that it doesn’t just stop with explanations about the piece: it encourages kids to go beyond that, to imagine stories and create objects related to the artworks.

Exploring the website is like playing a video game. The children are free to roam, have fun, and they’re in a universe that has been designed entirely for them. It talks to them in a fun way and yet takes them very seriously. For once, children aren’t viewed as intruders in a adult’s world – they’re not being asked to sit in a corner and listen quietly. They’re welcomed into the walls of the museum and given a true, full role to play. #MetKids is doing more than fulfilling its mission to educate: it’s bringing passion and enthusiasm into it.

#MetKids is not all just fun and games though: it’s also about gaining a whole new audience. The kids using the museum website today, learning things and watching the videos, might go to the museum tomorrow and take their families with them. In a few years, they’ll keep on coming back and bring their own children.
Smart move, MET, smart move.


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