#MetKids is The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new online feature made for, with, and by kids. The feature launched in September 2015. The multimedia content—which opens with an illustrated interpretation of the Met’s collection and galleries—was created in collaboration with specialists from across the Museum including educators, curators, conservators, and researchers—and of course, kids themselves. #MetKids demonstrates even further our commitment to making the Met—and to making art in general—as accessible as possible to kids and families.
Developed for 7-12 year olds, #MetKids launched with 40 videos and more than 125 featured objects, fun facts, and project ideas drawn from across the collection and accompanied by kid-friendly prompts. #MetKids contributors—kids from all five boroughs of New York City and around the world—informed the content, design, spirit, and user experience of the website. The iterative feature is updated continually with new content and opportunities to participate.
#MetKids contributors from around the world identified their expectations for a digital museum experience. They said they saw the Met as a huge time machine that they wanted to jump into and explore, in terms they could understand. They wanted to learn from specialists and from each other—and to have the opportunity to share what they know. We took their suggestions to heart and brought them aboard as real partners. In the process, it became clear that we can all learn about art and the world from the questions kids are bold enough to ask.
Designed to scale from desktop to tablet to mobile, this feature serves as a digital companion before, during, and after a visit to the Met. It’s accessible to our international audience, with whom we are always trying to connect better from afar.
The #MetKids feature is divided into the following three primary navigation channels:
1. Explore the Map: The interactive map invites users to delve into the collection. Pins leads users to the object entries, divided into categories Watch, Listen, Discover, Imagine, and Create. Glossary terms are sourced from the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts, a guide developed by NYC visual arts educators for grades PreK-12 and included by agreement with the NYC Department of Education, Office of Art and Special Projects.
2. Hop in the Time Machine: Customizable search feature allows users to select their areas of interest from 5,000 years of art. Objects can be searched based on time period, geography, and Big Ideas—topics resulting from audience R&D with the #MetKids Advisors.
3. Videos: Short videos feature kids as investigative reporters, animators, and producers. There are 4 subject categories: Q&A, Made by Kids, Create, and Celebrate. Videos are close captioned and translated to 11 languages for accessibility
The #MetKids blog is a companion to the online feature. It includes timely updates and highlights selected questions and submissions by kids.
#MetKids is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.