Let's celebrate the arts!
Fun activity ideas to recognise how much the creative arts have helped us get through lockdown
It’s no secret that during the lockdown, the arts helped to keep us going.
Whether it was through a subscription to Netflix, watching theatre streams and dance tutorials, or doing endless craft projects, the arts have continued to help us find joy during a dark time.
We know that our members and girls love a good crafting session, but there’s lots of other opportunities for creativity out there too! To celebrate the importance of the arts, here’s a round-up of activities, tutorials and quotes to help inspire children through lockdown and beyond. We’ve included some of our own suggestions, but also ideas from other organisations you may not have found before!
‘I think that little by little, I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.’ – Frida Kahlo
More and more resources and organisations are focusing on the positive impact art can have on children’s wellbeing, and lockdown has helped us to appreciate that even more. Even if you’re not very ‘arty’, there are lots of great resources out there to help children create.
- Children’s mental health charity Place2Be put together a series of free downloadable art projects created by a team of art specialists, each exploring a theme to help children feel well and happy.
- The Royal Academy of Arts put together a roundup of art resources designed for children from organisations across the UK. You and your children could do challenges set by some of the most famous faces in British art, explore modern art and sensory play, and explore lots of different techniques from chalk painting to sculpture.
- Of course, at Girlguiding, there’s no shortage of opportunities to have fun with arts and crafts! You’ll find lots of art ideas included in our Adventures at home challenges, and in our daily activity ideas on our social media channels, whether that’s drawing dinosaurs, or creating your own colouring book.
'It is when times are hardest that we need the transformative magic of books and creativity the most.' – Cressida Cowell
It’s no secret that no matter how old we are, writing can be a massive benefit to our mental health. Whether it’s by inventing stories, writing letters or keeping a diary, writing is an amazing way to help children process what’s happening in the world around them.
- Cressida Cowell, UK Children’s Laureate and author of How To Train Your Dragon series, worked with BookTrust to launch a digital hub to help children and their families enjoy book-related activities at home, with writing prompts, reading recommendations and quizzes.
- Have you ever tried out poetry? It’s a brilliant way to write, because there are no rules! With poetry, children can express themselves however they want. Check out these tips from BBC Newsround on how to get started.
- Writing inspiration can come from anywhere! Check out this quick activity from our activity of the day series and imagine what life is like for an animal.
Music and performing
‘Singing songs from more innocent times helped me escape in my head from the gloomy reality of keeping safe during a pandemic.’ - Sophie Ellis Bextor
Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, footage from Italy of people singing and playing instruments from their balconies during lockdown went viral across the world. There’s no question that music has played a massive role in helping us through this time, as the numbers of albums bought or streamed in 2020 increased by over 8%. While public performances have been impossible, artists have taken to the internet, organising online gigs, concerts and choirs, and there’s lots out there for kids too.
- There’s nothing like a good dance session to boost your mood! Pop singer Sophie Ellis Bextor became a regular fixture in UK households all over the country with her Kitchen Disco series, singing feel good hits from her kitchen while she danced with her children. Stick one on, and have a good time! Girlguiding members have definitely had more than a few dance parties during lockdown!
- If your child has missed singing and performing, there’s still ways for them to practice! Singer and presenter Mylene Klass made a whole YouTube series of music lessons with her daughters, with tutorials on rhythm, how to read music, and more.
- Why not challenge girls to explore the arts with an interest badge? Rainbows could become a Storyteller, Brownies can explore Performing, Guides can explore what they love about stories with the Media Critic badge, and Rangers can explore the fascinating world of Costume.