Family Matters: Festival opens up the world of art for children

Steve Faulkner re: How does he do that event at Sheffield Children's Festival
Steve Faulkner re: How does he do that event at Sheffield Children's Festival
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THE UK’s largest festival aimed completely at children is about to burst into life on your very own doorstep and, put simply, not to make the most of it would be daft.

THE UK’s largest festival aimed completely at children is about to burst into life on your very own doorstep and, put simply, not to make the most of it would be daft.

The Legend of Magnificent Moon event

The Legend of Magnificent Moon event

Money is tight, youngsters always need entertaining and to be able to stop their moans about boredom with events that don’t charge a penny is great.

All we have to do as parents is take a look at what is happening where and watch our little darlings be entertained.

There is a charge for some of the events and others are so popular they have to be booked in advance but the range of events on offer is impressive.

The festival runs from Monday until Sunday, July 10 and is planned to celebrate the arts while giving our city’s children the opportunity to work with professional artists.

L - R ' 'Richard Johnson, Sheffield Children's Festival Manager, SCC  'Keith Shivers, Regional Director VINCI Construction UK 'Catherine Carr, Deputy Head Teacher, Hunter's Bar Infant School'With Children from Hunter's Bar Infants ' 'Image Credit to Ian Spooner

L - R ' 'Richard Johnson, Sheffield Children's Festival Manager, SCC 'Keith Shivers, Regional Director VINCI Construction UK 'Catherine Carr, Deputy Head Teacher, Hunter's Bar Infant School'With Children from Hunter's Bar Infants ' 'Image Credit to Ian Spooner

They can develop their creativity, show off their own work, perform in city centre venues, join in workshops and enjoy dance, theatre and music.

Its whole purpose is to get children involved – so what is stopping you?

It is about much more than having fun and at its best can inspire them for the future and improve their confidence.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families at Sheffield City Council, wants as many families as possible to make the most of the enormous event.

Bad Bill gets ready to tell scary tales at Kelham Island Museum.

Bad Bill gets ready to tell scary tales at Kelham Island Museum.

“The Children’s Festival is all about getting involved,” she said.

“Not just the children who are performing or showcasing their work but parents, carers, families, everyone in the city.”

Hundreds of Sheffield’s schoolchildren have been busy rehearsing for their performances and creating artworks to go on show during the festival.

Catherine Carr, deputy head teacher at Hunter’s Bar Infants School, believes one of the festival’s greatest achievements is getting lots of different people joining in.

She said: “It is a fantastic experience for our children. Because the festival works on many levels, families, parents and siblings can get involved.”

Find out about the events in this year’s festival by picking up a programme at your local library, children’s play centres, shops, cafes, theatres, the Winter Garden or visit www.sheffieldchildrensfestival.org. Here are some of the highlights:

A Twist in the Tale – FREE.

The biggest snake in the world measured 33 feet long but the Children’s Festival’s snake ‘Monty’ is even bigger! He’s living in the Winter Garden during the festival but don’t worry – he’s friendly. Monty has been made by local artist and sculptor Theo Wickenden.

Date: Monday, June 20 to Sunday July 10.

Time: Monday to Saturday 8am to 11pm, Sunday 8am to 8pm.

Venue: Winter Garden.

The Legend of Magnificent Moon – FREE.

Toto Tales have come from Edinburgh to tell you a magical tale about Moon and his jealous brother Sun. This show is based on a traditional east African legend and is followed by a creative workshop session.

Date: Thursday, June 30.

Time: Two shows 10.30am to 11.30am and 2pm to 3pm.

Venue: Sheffield Cathedral.

Age Group: suitable for children aged three to seven years.

Booking: Essential, call 0114 275 3434 or email Danni.fenton@sheffield-cathedral.org.uk

The Flycycle – FREE.

Does your bike fly? Well this one does. Do you want a go on it? Pif Paf Arts have created an amazing bicycle that looks like it is flying when you ride it.

Date: Saturday July 2.

Time: Three minute flights from 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Venue: Tudor Square.

Age Group: Six to 14.

Stone Balancing – FREE.

This is something you really won’t believe is possible. Beautiful sculptures made of huge pieces of natural stone but with nothing holding them together. Join the artists and try it for yourself.

Date: Saturday, July 2.

Time: 10am to 5pm.

Venue: Tudor Square.

Age Group: The workshop is suitable for all ages. Pebbles are available for toddlers to balance.

A Kelham Haunting.

There have been sightings of a spectre at Kelham Island Industrial Museum! One lady even said that one of the old machines in the museum had started up on its own. What’s going on down there? Are you brave enough to help us find out? Join one of our special evening tours and help us find the ghost in the machine.

Date: Saturday, July 2.

Time: Two tours – 7.30pm and 9pm.

Venue: Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY.

Tickets: £5 adults; £3 concessions; £12 family ticket.

Age Group: Most parts of this event are quite scary – suitable for children aged 8 years and up.

Booking: Places are limited, book early on 0114 272 2106 or visit www.simt.co.uk

How did he do that? – FREE.

Forget abracadabra. Forget rabbits and top hats. Steve Faulkner is a magician who relies solely on his amazing skills of sleight of hand and distraction. Steve will be performing magic in the Winter Garden throughout the festival – he’ll show some of his tricks, he’ll show you how to do them and he’ll even give you a trick of your own.

Date: Saturday, July 9.

Time: Throughout the day 10am to 5pm.

Venue: Winter Garden.