great arts & cultural stuff to do at home

SPECIALLY SELECTED & COMMISSIONED FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE IN CARE, THEIR CARERS AND FOSTER SIBLINGS

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tabletop challenges

Things you can do from a desk, table, sofa, etc. Includes making, crafting, research, small movement, writing and composing. Click on a heading below to zoom down to the films.

The Walk with Amal

 

From July to November 2021 a giant puppet of a 9-year-old Syrian refugee girl called Little Amal will walk from the Syria-Turkey border, across Europe to the UK, travelling 8,000km to focus awareness on the refugee crisis.

Before, during and after her journey Little Amal will connect people from refugee and non-refugee communities through creative learning projects to help forge lasting bonds of friendship.

The Walk is coming to Coventry and Birmingham! The dates are subject to change, so you can sign up for updates at the bottom of this page: www.walkwithamal.org

The site has loads of info about The Walk, and we've picked out a couple of links with great activities for young people:

 

Make with Amal

Along little Amal’s route, we ask everyone the same question: a young refugee girl will arrive in your locality needing care and friendship how would you welcome her?

Friends of the Walk will welcome her in many ways and some of them will invite young people across the world to join them virtually by making a specific act of welcome.

Schools and young people can sign up to take part in this venture and will be sent a digital postcard detailing how and what to make.

Education resource packs

Free activities for different ages from 5 to 16.

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WINTER CHALLENGES

Why not try a creative challenge over Christmas? We've something for all ages!

Photography challenge

Particularly suitable for secondary ages, but younger people could try it too! Capture that magical winter light with our photography challenge. Click on the image to download the challenge, and pick up tips from our professional photographers Adrian Burrows and Mark Anderson.

Make & Create challenge

Particularly suitable for primary ages, we challenge you to come up with wintery creations! Click on the image to download the challenge

Sensory challenges

Head over to the NurtureStore website, where you can find some lovely winter themed sensory activities.

N.B. page contains lots of ads.

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Give it a Go - Photographing Nature

 
by Adrian Burrows

Meet Adrian, a professional photographer and film-maker, who can help you get started on photographing, up close, the things you find in green spaces around where you live.

Commissioned from Adrian Burrows for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Chill Skills

There's lots of scientific evidence that being out in nature can be really good for our mental health, which is why we're running a feature on photographing nature this week. And a big thanks to everyone who filled in our Chill Skills poll - overall your most popular way to chill/de-stress/get motivated is to go for a walk or get into a different space. 

We asked the artists who took part in our Awesome Arts Festival to make short clips of how they chill, and being out in nature is a common theme for them too. Check out their short films here.

Make & Create - Photographing Nature - share your pics!

by Adrian Burrows

Already a keen photographer? Watch Adrian's film and get started on shooting great pictures of plants and wildlife. You can also download Adrian's guide to shooting on smartphones - some really useful pointers on getting that perfect shot. Click on a flower below to download!

Commissioned from Adrian Burrows for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Why not share the pictures you've taken with people you know, and find out which ones they like most and why? Or send them to us and we'll feature them in our gallery (plants and/or insects only please).

Find out more about life as a professional photographer from Adrian Burrows' interview on our Career Pathways page.

See more of Adrian's images at https://adrianburrows.co.uk

Give it a Go - food poetry & literature

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Make & Create - food tales

  • Head to our Literature page and watch Tales from Different Places - a selection of wonderful animated tales from around the world.

  • Pop into our Food & Stories Tent at the Awesome Arts Festival and listen to 5 stories which combine food and a tale.

  • Try writing a story which features your favourite foods or an acrostic poem using your favourite food as the letters for each line. Use our Creative Challenge by Matt Windle to help you.

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Make it Mine - writing styles

Explore different writing styles and genres from story and novel writing with:

  • David Almond (YouTube) Here

  • Michael Morpurgo (YouTube) Here

  • Journalism with Vimal Korpal Here

  • Try poetry, graphic novels, comics and writing reviews - get some ideas from our Literature page

  • Hear Dreadlock Alien talk about his work in live literature where you ‘digest words with your ears' on YouTube Here.

  • Try Jas Gardiosi’s spoken word quiz in our Poetry Palace.

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Research where you can get your work shared and published. We have a gallery that we would love to feature your work on!

Careers - food

Check out how to become a baker Here, a social media chef Here or a chocolate maker Here

Creative Challenge - Making Beats

 
by Mason Le Long
(as featured in the Artslink Awesome Arts Festival)

Create sweet beats on your phone using a free app.

Older festival goers - create a whole song using Apple Garage Band.

Go & Look Challenge 1 - how music works

by Make Some Noise

One of the best explained introductions out there about how music works. Check out Staffordshire Charity Make Some Noise's Music with Dan on YouTube, and explore building chords, creating melodies, song structure, harmony, playing in different keys and rhythm, meter and tempo, as well as an introduction to making music online. You don't need a musical instrument to take part.

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GIVE IT A GO - Animation Challenge

by Sophie Burrows

Brilliant animator Sophie gives you a complete guide to Stop Motion animation using cut-outs.

 

Commissioned from Sophie Burrows for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

 

GIVE IT A GO - Graffiti Art 1 - tags

by David Brown - graffitiartist.com

David shows you how to create your own tag using pens and paper.

Commissioned from David Brown for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO 2 - Graffiti Art 2: sketching

by David Brown - graffitiartist.com

Learn how to sketch a spray-can and a side profile face.

Commissioned from David Brown for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

On our Career Pathways page David talks about being first inspired by hip-hop and before building a successful business as a busy graffiti artist.

GIVE IT A GO 1 - Journalism 

 
by Vimal Korpal

Vimal introduces the 5 Ws of asking great questions

Commissioned from Vimal Korpal for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO 2 - Getting Creative with Characters

by Vimal Korpal

In this brilliant film Korpal shows how to create and enact your own characters, and use them to support the journalistic activities in part 1.

Commissioned from Vimal Korpal for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

On our Career Pathways page Vimal talks about getting into the industry through creating a stand-up character and having lots of patience.

 

GIVE IT A GO - Making a Mouth Puppet

by Tess Hills

Make fantastic puppets from envelopes!

Commissioned from Tess Hills for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Making a Rod Puppet

by Tess Hills

You can make these amazing puppets from recycled materials from around the home. Check out the accompanying notes to help you with your task:

Commissioned from Tess Hills for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

On our career pathways page Tess talks about her work as a street theatre artist, community artist and maker with her company Curious Cargo, and about her background in theatre, television and puppeteering.

 

GIVE IT A GO - Making from Recycling 1

by Claire Witcomb

Learn how to make a feather from rolled up paper.

Commissioned from Claire Witcomb for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Making from Recycling 2

by Claire Witcomb

Claire shows you how to make flowers from plastic milk bottles.

On our career pathways page Claire shows some of her work and talks about her insatiable desire to make stuff, which she's had since she was young.

 

GIVE IT A GO - drawing basics

by Jamie Neville

Jamie shows you how to draw expressive faces.

Commissioned from Jamie Neville for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - more advanced drawing

by Jamie Neville

Jamie gets you drawing superheroes.

Commissioned from Jamie Neville for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

How do you make a living as an illustrator? Find out from Jamie on our career pathways page

 

GIVE IT A GO - drumming for primary ages

by Sarah Westwood

Sarah introduces some basic West African drumming rhythms based on the 'heartbeat' pulse.

Commissioned from Sarah Westwood for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - drumming for secondary ages

by Sarah Westwood

Sarah introduces some basic West African drumming rhythms based on the 'heartbeat' and the Macru rhythm

Commissioned from Sarah Westwood for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Find out more about Sarah's career as a drummer and drum teacher on our career pathways page

 

GIVE IT A GO - pottery for secondary ages

by Jon the Potter

Jon shows you how to make a coil owl from clay*, using only a plant pot, a bag and some makeshift tools.

Commissioned from Jon Williams for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - pottery for primary ages

by Jon the Potter

Jon shows you how to make a pear from clay* using just a pencil!

Commissioned from Jon Williams for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

* If you don't have clay, you can try it with Play-Doh or make your own. Either of the recipes below should work, depending on what you have in your cupboard, but please check with an adult before you go making a mess with their stocks!

Homemade Play Dough 1

Homemade Play Dough 2

Check out some of Jon's own ceramic work in our Gallery

GIVE IT A GO - Matt's Big Shout Out

 
by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Matt shows you how to create rhyming couplets. Send us your rhyming couplet via our Contact page and Matt will combine everyone's into one Big Shout Out poem!

 

GIVE IT A GO - Acrostic poems

by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Aimed at primary ages. Write your own acrostic poem using the theme and example set by Matt.

Commissioned from Matt Windle for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Acrostic poems

by Matt Windle - boxing poet laureate

Aimed at secondary ages. Write your own acrostic poem using the theme and example set by Matt.

Commissioned from Matt Windle for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Want to find out about Matt's unconventional career pathway to becoming both Birmingham Poet Laureate and ranked 6th super flyweight boxer in Britain?

Watch his career pathways film.

Check out some of Matt's own poems in our Gallery

 

GIVE IT A GO - Photography Challenge 1

by Mark Anderson - Infuse

Create 4 photo images of hands making a pattern. Each photo needs to have a different hand pattern and a different background. 

Commissioned from Infuse for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

GIVE IT A GO - Photography Challenge 2

by Mark Anderson - Infuse

Create 4 photographs, each photograph based on a different word. No faces to be in the image, but you can use feet, hands, arms, back views, objects, shadows etc. Choose 4 words, make your own up or choose a word like support, connections, flight, rest, community, strength, etc. Each photo needs a different background.

Commissioned from Infuse for streaming by Artslink Connect & Create participants only. Please do not use for any other purpose.

Want to find out how Mark built a successful career as a dancer, dance leader, photographer and film-maker? Watch his short career pathways film.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Children & Young People: please make sure you stay physically safe when doing any of the activities, and check with an adult before starting, as Artslink can't accept liability for any damage to yourself or property!

Children & Young People and key adults: please be aware of the importance of e-safety.

We strongly recommend the Thinkuknow e-safety website.