I have recently run some workshops for children which combine reading, story telling and drawing. They encourage little people to be as creative as possible, allowing them to make the most of their imaginations.
I usually start by telling them a bit about the characters, so I might introduce them to Victoria and Hamlet in ‘Victoria Mouse visit’s Shakespeare’s Globe’.
After reading the story, we often talk about other ideas and I encourage alternative endings. We then recreate some of the characters using storytelling techniques. One of the children might pretend to be Victoria Mouse. Another might decide to be Oscar the Cat or Gerald the Horse. Equally, they might decide to introduce a whole new character to interact with the others.
The Victoria Mouse books particularly, are designed to encourage questions about the places she visits. I often get asked about the horses in the Royal Mews or the actors in the theatre. It is great to discuss why the Groundling Gates are at the Globe Theatre or why Politicians argue in the House of Commons – all of which are themes from the different stories.
Finally, we either colour in pictures from the books …
or draw a character from one of the stories …
or play the Shape Game, which encourages children to really use their imagination to create a new and different shape.
Ultimately, workshops create a safe, lively and stimulating atmosphere where children can learn and express themselves through the arts.
Also, meeting an author can increase children’s interest in books, help them understand how books are produced and boost the confidence of young aspiring writers.
Workshops for children are great fun and I always enjoy them as much (and probably learn as much) as the kids who participate.