Summer Festival Art Activities

We’ve just come back from a couple of days at the Just So Festival – you may have heard of it already, as I think quite a few bloggers were planning to go. It’s a ‘magical’ festival specially aimed at children. The weather was quite good overall (hardly got rained on at all really, and when we did, we just did indoors stuff, or activities in the woods) and we have come back inspired with lots of ideas for yet more creative activities.

The Just So Festival is I think a particularly creative festival, in it’s widest sense, with all manner of arts activities on offer, from music and theatre, to writing and dance, all set amongst quirky staging aimed at stimulating children’s imagination. There are lots of science based and physical activities too, so no-one is left out. Anyway, I thought I would share some of the many arty activities we either got involved with, or watched during the weekend:

Action Painting – this was a fun activity which the kids enjoyed – firing paint from a ‘cannon’ onto a canvas. Or using a mechanical ‘remote control’ device to paint a canvas. All provided courtesy of the Pif-Paf Theatre Company.


Stone Balancing – this is one which we observed rather than took part in – some of the demonstration pieces were just astonishing, it took the artist’s (from Sustainable Fishing UK) infinite patience and perseverance to achieve some of the perfectly balanced compositions you see here – something my kids just don’t have, though lots of people were having a go on a smaller scale.


Star Wars Origami inspired by the series of books by Tom Angleberger, which includes Darth Paper Strikes Back and The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Astonishing to say given its popularity at the moment, but we’ve never tackled origami before – my elder son turned out to be rather good at it, but then he seems to have the facility for following diagrams. I remember having a couple of books on the subject when I was about 9 or 10, when it was popular again and which I may still have somewhere, but I remember finding it frustrating even then  – I always wanted to do the most difficult ones, and could never manage it, so perhaps that put me off!


Mud Sculpture – this looked lots of fun, and incredibly messy. Fortunately neither of my two wanted to join in, for which I’m a little ashamed to say that I was profoundly thankful – my younger son especially hates to get messy. I don’t mind mess at home where I can ‘contain’ it, or clean up easily, but I’m not so keen when I’m not prepared for it!


Chromatography – this was one of those ‘art meets science’ activities which I’d always meant to get around to but never have. The finished results are I think rather pretty. We may do this again!


Clay Faces – more land art, but with added heritage and history behind it. I’ve always loved the image of the Green Man which you find in medieval art. This was a very simple way of creating your own, using clay and the natural materials around.

Dragon Fly making – another simple activity which was very effective – the photograph isn’t very brilliant though. We ended up making several of these, as unfortunately Mummy kept losing them. Made using large pipe-cleaners, beads for eyes and see through plastic wings.


There are only so many hours in the day, and we didn’t have time for the badge making, mask making and lantern making which were also going on  – amongst the myriad of other activities – maybe next year!

And finally, I thought I’d leave you with an image of my youngest wearing the ‘Ninja’ mask which he wanted to make while we were there. You were supposed to cut the fabric to decorate a feathered indian style headress, but he wanted to do this instead. Each to his own….



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  • Mummy Whisperer September 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I was one of those other bloggers there too that you mention! Lovely post you’ve written, I’ve pinned Just So’s summary of all of our blogs to my ‘family festival’ board, so hopefully you’ll get a few visitors.

  • jude September 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Thanks – must check that out!

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