Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Fabula Workshops at Hove Museum

The next workshop "Toy Stories"at Hove museum will be at 10.30 on Saturday 28th January. 

This is a creative workshop for children aged 7+ based on making story books inspired by characters in the toy collection and throughout the museum. Further details from:

Read about our previous two creative workshops to get an idea of what to expect!....


Before Christmas families enjoyed this story-themed workshop at Hove Museum. Everyone had seen our exhibition Many Ways To Tell A Story beforehand (still on until May 9th at Hove Museum) and they were ready for some of their own story making.  Grown ups joined in and it was a lively family session!

The tables were laden with making materials, wrapping papers, foil, sequins, glitter, ribbons and glue as well as an abundance of recycled toilet rolls! Time to make some Christmas crackers!

Families in the process of making and two children show their crackers off proudly

Fabula member Juliette Rajak kicked off the proceedings by explaining how these were going to be different from normal Christmas crackers - how the children could use small toy animals, worry dolls, pom poms and their imaginations for inspiration to help them come up with stories to put inside.

Some children did lots of writing while others mainly made images. You could almost see the brain activity as the children started thinking about how they were going to tackle it - and it was tackled in as many different ways as there were children in the room. Some told touching tales about animals inspired by the worry dolls. There were stories that were based on fairy tales - perhaps inspired by the exhibition. There was a three-dimensional story with a secret part, a comic strip with no words, a miniature book made to go into the cracker - and more.  The whole room was sparkling with children's ideas (and glitter)!

One child carefully writes her story
The story, written and illustrated
Then we explained how to make the crackers themselves - placing the cracker snap inside, wrapping, twisting, a little bit of ribbon and hey presto!

Each cracker was individually crafted and unique and decorated both inside and out.  The children seemed very pleased with what they had made and some crackers were taken from the workshop very carefully wrapped up - we suspected they were going to be special Christmas presents.

Wrapping up the story to hide it in the cracker
This workshop certainly got us in the Christmas mood - we hope you all had a happy Christmas!

Story Houses

If you've already been to our exhibition then you'll know about The Story Cabinet - our collaborative piece made predominantly from cardboard and based around fairy tales. Likewise this workshop was inspired by fairy tales and makes use of lots of cardboard!

A house is a great place to stage a story: many fairy tales feature a house in the woods. The house could be friendly, a place of safety, mysterious, dangerous or magical. It might be different on the inside - not what it seems from the outside. Houses are also the place where our real life stories take place and children play with miniature versions - dolls houses and wendy houses.

A snowy house with smoke coming out of the chimney and a bit of magic sparkle on the roof
The children didn't need much encouragement to stage their own stories. Using pens, papers, fabrics, glue and their imaginations they set to work.

The concentration was evident as they got involved in the details of their individual creations. Their grown-ups joined in and offered assistance - at times seeming that they wanted to make their own house too! But the children had very definite ideas about what should be included and what should not. This child (above and below) spent ages on the details getting it just right

A very detailed house with individual bricks drawn and decorated with coloured fabrics
This child (below) focussed on who lived in the house. A funny story emerged around a penguin in the shower, a frog eating flies and a female super hero!

Inside the house live the penguin and the frog...

...and the super hero (girl)

And then the outside was collaged and drawn to make a flower garden.

A sleeping bird peeps out of the door - making it four occupants of this house
The inside is hidden (but you can peep through the window) and the roof is put on. 
There was lovely relaxed atmosphere as everyone got into their creative zone. We all worked right up to the end of the session - there's never enough time when your ideas start flowing!

Then, just before we said goodbye, we lit the houses up with candles (battery operated!) and turned the lights off

The house looked magical when they were all lit up

The next workshop "Toy Stories"at the museum will be at 10.30 on Saturday 28th January - we hope you can come! 

This is a creative workshop for children aged 7+ based on making story books inspired by characters in the toy collection and throughout the museum. It  will be facilitated by Fabula members Juliette Rajak and Louise Dennis. Further details from:

You can buy tickets by telephoning the Events Booking line on 03000 290902 (Mon-Fri) or in person at any of our venues. You can also email visitor.services@brighton-hove.gov.uk if you have any queries. A £1.50 booking fee may apply to some events. Tickets cannot be reserved without payment.

£5 per child, members £4 per child, advance booking advisable. 7 years and over. 
Just bring your imagination!

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