Entries Tagged as 'arts and culture'

tate modern art activity book kids

During the Summer holidays do you plan an outing everyday for your kids?  I don’t because I think it’s important for kids to have unstructured play time.  By that I mean simply spending time at home and letting them use their imaginations to just play.  By planning too many activities and trying to fill every minute of their time, I think kids lose the ability for creative play.  So at our house, we tend to mix it up – a few planned outings each week and lots of home time in between.  For home time I like to have a few things up my sleeve to help keep Anya occupied and one of her favourite things to do is work her way through a kids activity book.

tate gallery books for kids

I recently came across this really fun and creative activity book called Tate kids Modern Art activity book and it sounded really good so I bought it.  It’s by the Tate Gallery and includes lots of fun activities based around the modern artists of out time.   This book isn’t about drawing and colouring within the book, but its a book of arty ideas that can help you come up with even more creative and fun ideas.  Some of the suggestions would also make fun party or play date activities especially for crafty kids.  So for e.g. you have things like a Henri Matisse activity where you’re encouraged to paint pieces of paper in the brightest, boldest colours like Matisse’s famous colourful collages and perhaps make an animal shaped collage of your own.  Or a Salvador Dali art project where you cut out pictures from magazines and then mix and match the most unlikely pairs.

art activity books for childrenbest art activity book for kids

Anya is really enjoying this Tate Kids Modern Art Activity Book which comes in especially handy when we don’t have a planned day and also on rainy days.  The collage activities have appealed to her the most so far.  Our home is already full of all kinds of collages and we’ve only had the book a few days.  But there are lots of other fun ideas in this kids activity book all of which are engaging, creative and fun to do.

{all photos by ebabee}

"free summer workshops for kids London"A few weeks ago I attended a bloggers networking event at the National Portrait Gallery.  I got to meet some inspiring bloggers and I also found out that the National Portrait Gallery has loads of free Summer events, workshops and activities for kids.  Most of these events are held on Thursdays, Fridays and the weekend.  So last Friday we decided to check one out.  We attended a clay modelling workshop where kids get to pick a portrait from the gallery, draw it and then create a clay sculpture of it.

"free Summer activities for kids in London"

Even though the workshop was aimed at the kids, I totally got in to the clay modelling part and really enjoyed it too.  And I wasn’t the only mum there that was almost taking over their child’s clay!  Anya wasn’t crazy about the drawing bit but the clay modelling was a huge hit with her.  The clay is cool and soft to the touch so it was lovely to feel and it was really fun to be able to mold and shape it and see a head and shoulders emerging.  I’ll admit our end result looked a bit frightening but we had so much fun making it.

All the free kids activities on offer at the National Portrait Gallery are arty and creative which is why we were drawn to them in the first place.  The clay modelling workshop is only one of many – others include colour workshops, using loom bands to create portraits, drawing sessions and more.  Each year, as I discover more and more of the wonderful free events for kids in London, I feel so lucky that we can take advantage of these.  Have you discovered any?  Please do share in the comments so that others can try them too.

{all photos by ebabee}

"Alice in Wonderland theatre"

With the Summer holidays in full swing, we have been enjoying some of the amazing family events on offer in London.  So I thought I would share a few of our favourite picks over the month of August.  The first one I wanted to share is Alice in Wonderland, the Opera which is held at Holland Park.  I found out about it last year but didn’t manage to get tickets for the 2103 season.  This year I was prompt and Anya and I ended up going twice!

"alice the opera kids theatre London""kids theatre London Alice""alice the opera for kids"

Any concerns I had about a 5 year old child getting bored at the opera were completely unfounded.  The opera was fantastic.  Each and every child sat there completely captivated and even though it’s an opera, every word was clearly understandable.  It’s ideally suited to 4 years and over but there were younger kids who were never once bored.  It’s a very intimate show, where you sit extremely close to the actors so you really feel like you’re a part of it which just adds to the charm.  My favourite character was the Queen of Hearts who was absolutely outstanding but the rest of the cast were great too.  The show usually takes place in the Yucca Lawns of Holland Park, weather permitting (this is London after all!).  We ended up seeing the show once inside due to rain and once outside.  The outdoor performance is probably even better for kids as you get to follow the cast around the gardens but the indoor performance really wasn’t lacking in any way either.

"family friendly operas London"

Even though tomorrow is the last day of the show for this Summer, they will return for the 2015 Summer season but in the meantime there will be other events around the country as 2015 is the Centenary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland.  So check Alice the Opera for updates on interim performances.  Otherwise, if you’re going to be anywhere near London next Summer, definitely put it in your diary now for July 2015; it’s unmissable.    I’ve mentioned how much the kids enjoyed it but I went with my mum and Anya and all three generations loved it equally.  Family events like these are such a treat and I’m wondering how I’m going to top this one.

Disclosure: I bought tickets the first time and was invited the second time.  I was going to share this even before I knew I was going to be invited because I loved it and highly recommend it.

{all photos by ebabee}

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