Fun for those under five
Looking after your littlest ones, we’ve a couple of free events that are specially conceived for the under fives. On Friday 14 February they can sing along and dance to jazz and soul singer Mellow Baku as she performs music from her animated online album for children Mmm Ahhh Whoosh. And on Monday 17 February there’s the opportunity to join the National Poetry Library puppets, Federico and Firebird, on their poem rug for poetry about the planet in Eco Rug Rhymes.
Get arty and involved
If your little ones like to draw and make then this trio of activities are for them. On 18 and 19 February, the Parade illustration team invite kids to scribble and sketch their own cover for their favourite book in Picture It! Print It! Or if they don’t fancy printing their own book, they can always, er, eat it; Chloe Spicer’s Edible Books Craft Workshop takes place on Tuesday 18 February. And get those pens, pencils and crayons at the ready on Wednesday 19 February as illustrators Gary Northfield and Nadine Kaadan lead children through arty story workshop, Top Draw.
Settle in for storytelling and performance
How do you stick up for planet Earth? Find out on Monday 17 February by watching, listening to, and joining in with performer Timberlina, who encourages children to think about the best ways to look after our world in A Delicate Balance. And on Thursday 20 February there’s the chance to set sail for adventure with drag performers ShayShay, Sophie Brian and Mahatma Khandi in The Quest for the Treasure Chest. Expect, singing, dancing and riddle-solving as you make your way across the ocean.
Make a song and dance
There are plenty of opportunities for children to sing and dance across Imagine Children’s Festival, starting with a day of belting tunes for kids at Big Songs for Little Singers on Saturday 15 February. The following day it’s All Hands on Decks, and a chance to get down and p’arrrr’ty at a pirate themed afternoon of dance, crafts and games.
On Friday 21 February Groove Baby, invite you to Groove Into the Woods with a collection of kooky characters on a jazz and funk fuelled family adventure for ages 3 to 7. The brilliant HomeBros School of Afro Dance join us on Saturday 22 February to slide their way through a story of the first day of school, as well as teaching the kids some new moves to show off in the playground. And the following day the junior orchestra Chineke invite children to scale the heights of musical adventure as they explore music-making and story-telling.
Play and explore
Don’t fancy sitting still? Come and Play Out throughout the festival on our Riverside Terrace, on a huge illustrated activity playground. Or if the weather takes a turn, head to the Cloakroom Foyer and add your own illustrations to our Giant Chalkboard. Or, if you fancy an adventure, grab an activity sheet and take to our Earth Activity Trail and lead your family on Anna Bruder’s do-it-yourself eco adventure.
And remember you’re never too young to change the world
Each day of Imagine Children’s Festival, at 3.15pm in The Clore Ballroom we wrap up the day by listening to children answer the question ‘What are you doing to change the world?’ and there’s the opportunity to hear inspirational stories about real-life kids, like Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai and fictional characters like Pippi Longstocking or Neville Longbottom.