Fifteen museums around Taiwan have joined forces to review their services and facilities and to develop a vision of the children's museum of the future. Together, these museums have launched an online "virtual museum" that they hope will inspire offline visits. Harnessing their family-focused educational resources, they have created an easy-to-use interface that aims to provide a convenient search platform for users from Taiwan and abroad.
The effort is designed around a concept named "hand in HAND," with the stylized forms representing visitors small and large — children and adults — and the connection between them. The virtual museum spans the three areas of art, science, and history/culture, providing a multifaceted map for family learning.
The "Joint Operation for Family-Friendly Museums" spearheaded by the National Palace Museum has the support and participation of four institutions affiliated with the Ministry of Culture ― National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA), National Museum of Taiwan History, National Museum of Taiwan Literature, and National Taiwan Museum.
For example, the NTMoFA has a long history of developing art education for children, and for the art section of the online museum, curators will use items from their collection to lead children on an exploration of style, color, and media to help them better understand and appreciate art.
The NTMoFA's Picture Book Area and Playroom have also earned the museum a reputation with family groups as a prime spot in central Taiwan for learning through play. In addition to Chinese and English picture books, the Picture Book Area's rich collection also includes books in Southeast Asian languages like Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, and Malay, along with books in braille.
The Picture Book Area also hosts occasional storytelling and DIY activities, with professional instructors guiding the children through the magical world of picture books. The Playroom, meanwhile, emphasizes an aesthetic experience, with the space divided into an infant-only area, a multidisciplinary learning area, an interactive experience area, and more.
With a variety of teaching aids to guide them, children can take a hands-on approach to learning, and with their parents by their sides, they can also explore the art world through various activities the museum organizes to go with special exhibitions.
The Joint Operation for Family-Friendly Museums has brought together 15 institutions around Taiwan and aims to help the next generation through the exploration of different topics each year. The 15 museums driving this force for positive change are: