Online Fun For All The Family

Every year our festivals run programmes for children and families both during festival time and throughout the year. Although this year’s lockdowns led to the cancellation of much of that work, a number of our festivals have created a range of online activities that everyone can take part in at home, everything from learning stop motion animation to making a tactile book. Using a mix of downloadable guides and video presentations, the activities listed below should be fun for all the family, especially during the forthcoming festive period.

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Edinburgh International Children’s Festival

  • Fort Building: Join artist Niamh O’Loughlin as she builds forts of all shapes and sizes - from a cave to a disco, a tent to a castle - all inside your own home. Niamh has created five different den-building films, each with a different style, and she will show you how she made her creations, using items found around the house.
  • Granny Fenella: Artists Christine Urquhart and Zoe Bullock will tell you the story of Granny Fenella over a series of three animated films, each of which will come with activities, including creating your own stop-motion animation video, or making something with your hands at home.
  • Small Small Rainbows: A celebration of tiny stories: reading them, writing them and playing with them. Writer and comedian Siân Bevan shares very short stories for families to share, over breakfast, after arguments or just before bed when everyone’s slumped. The stories are tiny and joyful, and include tips for grown-ups on ways to read the stories and chats you can all have about them
  • Stop Motion Animation workshops: Artist Tim Reid has created a series of three short pre-recorded workshops designed to help people use stop-motion software on a smartphone or tablet. These are straightforward, accessible, and suitable for a wide range of ages - from young children with help from their grown-ups to older children and young adults

Edinburgh Art Festival 

  • Making a Dream World by Tamara MacArthur: Alongside the piece It’s All Over But the Dreaming presented as part of their August offering, artist Tamara MacArthur has created a special DIY Art activity which invites you to imagine your own dream world, and turn it into a paper theatre set at home. You can find costumes for your characters using everyday things from around the house. Then, using a filming device like a phone or laptop, you can create your own show.
  • WOW ORANGE by Naomi Garriock: Artist and educator Naomi Garriock’s WOW ORANGE art pack invites young people, their family/carer or teachers to focus on colour, patterns and shapes from the natural world and drawing as a way of exploring therapeutic and meditative creative processes.
  • WAITING PAINTING by Alexa Hare: Artist Alexa Hare presents WAITING PAINTING, an art pack asking you to slow down and use the act of listening as a starting point for creating your own visual statements combining writing, paint and collage. This process will help you get lost in making, ordering your thoughts in a visual way to create a series of collages. 
  • Housemates by Sofia Niazi: Artist and illustrator Sofia Niazi has created Housemates, an art pack inviting young people and their family/carer to explore their homes in new ways, identifying interesting patterns, and using books, newspapers or magazines to combine collage and drawing to create colourful creatures, animals and people to populate and brighten your home. 

Edinburgh International Science Festival

  • Dinosaur Detectives Puppet Snippets: Instead of the planned Dinosaur Weekend, the Festival designed a series of dinosaur cratfs to download and make at home. For a new way to reuse and recycle bits and pieces you might have lying around the house, join Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre for Puppet Snippets, where Leigh and Steve will be uploading tutorials of videos teaching children how to make puppets of their very own. 
  • Defend the Hospital: The Festivals has included a range of online Cyber Skills Live Lessons, developed by Digital Skills Education as part of Elements of #EdSciFest. In this online lesson, you’ll become a programmer and help keep hospital patient’s data safe by backing up the records of Glenmargaret Hospital.
  • How to steal a pizza: Nowadays, many shops and companies rely on technology to run their business. From taking customer orders online, to emailing suppliers, to trading with other businesses. We need more cyber security specialists to help defend against cyber criminals. In this interactive lesson, you'll step into the shoes of a cyber security consultant and help a business test their website's security.
  • Earth Live Sessions: In a partnership with Earth Live Sessions - which creates 20 minutes of earth lessons by some the most inspiring scientists, conservationists, wildlife filmmakers and more from around the world - the Festival created two special online events:  Where in the Wild, looking at conservation and wildlife in Scotland, and Coral Bleaches and Sandy Beaches, examining Scotland's coastline, both of which include downloadable resources to help children learn more.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

  • Sensory Stories and Crafts with Ailie Finlay & Kate Leiper: Storyteller Ailie Finlay and artist-illustrator Kate Leiper take you on a fun-packed sensory adventure, all from the comfort of your own home. Inspired by the multi-sensory stories and rhymes you'll hear, Ailie and Kate show you how to make a tactile book so you can create your very own adventure stories. Fun for everyone but particularly suitable for children with additional needs. 
  • Poems Aloud with Joseph Coelho: Children's author and performance poet Joseph Coelho takes you on an adventure into the wonderful world of poetry. Joseph’s book Poems Aloud features rhymes specifically written to be read aloud: tongue twisters, poems for shouting across the room and poems for whispering in a friend’s ear. In this event you’ll learn top performance tips like how to make fantastic use of your voice, your actions, your acting skills and even your friends, as well as how to write poems that jump off the page and into your mouth.
  • Magical Moggies with Philip Ardagh & Rob Biddulph: Imagine every time you went for a nap you woke up at the start of an adventure. That’s exactly what happens to the star of Philip Ardagh’s new series, The Nine Lives of Furry Purry Beancat. When Beancat wakes up and discovers she’s a railway cat, can the magical moggy help her friends solve a mystery on the tracks? Find out as Philip reads an exciting extract from The Nine Lives of Furry Purry Beancat: The Railway Cat, then draw along with illustrator Rob Biddulph as he shows you how to create your very own Beancat.
  • Pony Pals with Kate McLelland: Isla and her mischievous miniature Shetland pony Pickle are the best of friends. But when they are invited to a pony party on the beach will Pickle be able to behave himself or will the party end with a cake-related disaster! Find out all about this adorable duo and watch as author and illustrator Kate McLelland reads and draws from her new book Isla and Pickle: The Pony Party.

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