The Children in Museums Award

Each year Hands On! rewards the most excellent children’s exhibition or project dedicated to children with the Children in Museums Award.

Thank you for your inspiring applications!

Check out our shortlisted Museums 2019

The application process for 2020 starts in November 2019


Joint venture The Children in Museums Award is a joint venture between Hands On! and the European Museum Academy. The Award was launched during the Children’s Bookfair in Bologna, Italy in 2011. The EMA cooperates with HO! supplying judges and offering expertise as regards to content. The judges are on the look-out for creative and innovative exhibitions and programmes for the age group up to 14 years old.

The Award 2019 is presented during our 12th Conference in Germany.

Innovation The judges not only value creativity and innovation, but also consider the ways in which an exhibition or programme can change the course of museum thinking or museum practice, nationally as well as internationally. How can elements of the winning exhibition or programme be incorporated into the museum field? That is why the judges pay special attention to interpretation and presentation.

The Award is judged by a panel of experts experienced in many disciplines within the museum field who all contribute their time as volunteers. The judges are looking especially for museums, exhibitions, programmes and museum environments that show:

  • a commitment to children, to encourage children’s curiosity and to stimulate their imagination
  • creativity and innovation
  • quality learning experiences



Applications are welcomed from:

  • children’s museums
  • education, children’s and youth departments in museums
  • specialist subject museums with a particular emphasis on children’s programming
  • applying organiziations may be long-established or recently opened
  • first time applicants & organizations who have applied for a previous Award edition


Selection Process

Applicants are asked to fill out the application form, send the supporting material listed in the application form and pay the registration fee.

The independent jury of 10 museum experts rates each applicant on the basis of their application and supporting materials. The entries with the highes scores are selected for the annual CMA shortlist.

In a second step all shortlisted candidates are visited and assessed by two judges. In the course of a secret jury Meeting, the judges present the reports of their visits and then selects a winner. The winner is announced in the course of a festive ceremony, where all nominees are presented.






This award is brought to you by Mercis B.V.