Pass through portals of light into the worlds of your imagination

Lincoln Luminarium 2019

Advertisements

“Enter a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes” 

There are lots of events and activities on offer to keep you and your mini ones entertained this Easter but few can be as sensorily stunning as the return of a Luminarium to Lincoln.

Our minis were guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) for the launch of the interactive sculpture last night which the Brayford venue is hosting for an extra day this year due to its popularity in 2018.

For 2019, the city is hosting the QODLUMIN, inspired by the beauty of natural geometry and by Islamic architecture.

Luke was won over even before passing through the airlock when he was handed a map of the domes as cartographer may feature highly in what he wants to do when he grows up.  As Willow often cites rainbow colours as her favourite colour, an experience that immerses you in radiant light and colour was sure to impress and she made it quite clear that, because she was enjoying it so much, she wasn’t ready to go when it was time to leave.  And I loved that it was as much of an experience for Faith who, as well as enjoying the freedom to crawl around the space, enjoyed spinning under the beautifully patterned ceilings.

Entering through the green portal-like dome was a highlight for me as I felt it immediately transportative but it was the monochrome dome (“inspired by the chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp designed by Le Corbusier”) that Luke was fascinated by and kept returning to.

Visitors are invited “to wander, to lie down, to sit down and enjoy the ambience and the space” – for Luke, he was moved to dance through the interconnecting tunnels, pods and domes which, of course, added a delightful new dimension to the experience for me to see.

An immersive experience in itself it’s also a springboard for imaginations both young and old.  Step into the picture, fall down the rabbit hole, follow the yellow brick road through the looking glass, pass through the irresistibly enticing portal, hack into a digital state of being, ride through a wormhole and find yourself in an otherworldly forest as you’re transported to extraterrestrial territory – the only limit to your mind’s travels is your own creativity.

It’s only here until Sunday so find out more quickly at https://lpac.co.uk/ and www.architects-of-air.com 

Putting the story into Easter

Literary family fun can be found throughout Lincolnshire this Easter with perfect events and activities to encourage your mini readers to celebrate stories off as well as on the page.

If your bookworms are keen to go down the rabbit hole then they have a choice of two venues to visit that are currently celebrating the curious world of Alice in Wonderland.

Castle1Follow the White Rabbit and solve the riddles to claim your chocolate reward at Lincoln Castle which is also currently hosting a first edition of the imaginative novel in its Magna Carta Vault.  A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Flamingo Croquet, An Audience with Lewis Carroll and Easter Weekend events are also planned in support of the exhibit and quest.

Events are also getting curiouser and curiouser at Rushmoor Farm Park and Falconry Centre near Louth.  Crafts, scavenger and egg hunts, small fluffy animal handling and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party are part of its Easter Special activities.

It’s the turn of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit to stand in for the Easter Bunny at Ark Wildlife Park in Stickney with a treasure trail and the chance to meet the long-eared children’s favourite in “Mr McGregor’s Tropical House Garden”.

WizardOzFantastical theatrics at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln are taking L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz as inspiration for its Easter pantomime.  Follow the yellow brick road to the Clasketgate venue to join Dorothy, Toto, the Lion, Tin Man and the Scarecrow on their perilous journey to the Emerald City.

tigertea.jpgJudith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea is celebrating its 50th anniversary and having sold more than five million copies and National Trust property Gunby Hall near Spilsby is the latest stop for a touring exhibition that brings the story to life with a giant cuddly tiger and an interactive kitchen.

With a frog-themed storytime at Waterstone’s, High Street, Lincoln and interactive storytimes with Rhubarb Theatre at Tattershall Farm Park, there’s plenty of book-themed fun to be had during this school break.

Looking for other Easter holiday ideas?  Click on Lincoln Mums or Visit Lincoln for more events taking place across the county.

Author school tours will launch Newark Book Festival 2019

NBF1Children’s authors are set to visit Newark’s schools as Newark Book Festival returns for 2019 with an even bigger programme of events for children.

This year’s theme, Home and Away, will be brought to life with tales from Newark and beyond, circus and carnival themed entertainment at Newark Castle, seaside fun, Paddington Bear crafts, stories from the moon and back, plus The Greatest Show in the centre of Newark to launch the festival which will take place from July 12th to 14th.

In 2018, the more than 30 authors, poets and illustrators that hosted talks and workshops attracted 3,500 avid readers and aspiring writers to visit the town.  This year, the festival will take over 12 venues across three packed days, including the Church of Mary Magdalene and the Buttermarket for the very first time, and includes an expanded children’s programme.

LincolnPeter & the Wolf will be performed at the popular Music for Market concert in the Church, while an 8ft tall living fruit and vegetable man named Froojamaflip and his friend, Fred the gardener, will be sharing stories of the spring-time garden.  Adambara and Zhim, an elephant and mouse duo, will tell the enchanting Indian Panchtantra tale in a puppet show for all ages. Both imaginative acts are the work of Lincoln-based theatre production company, Curious Creations.

The stories of people who have passed through Newark throughout history will be unpacked in a suitcase-themed show from Can Do Theatre at Newark Castle. “Roll up, roll up” tells the tales of the Ringling Bros. Circus, once billed as the greatest show on Earth, which came to the town from America during its travels. Visitors of all ages can also take part in a circus skills workshop with NSDC arts team.

Newark Book Festival Paddington SuitcaseCraft workshops dedicated to Darkest Peru’s most famous bear will be available for children who want to make and create, while a children’s 9-12 year-old panel highlighting the golden age of children’s literature will also give visitors a chance to hear more about the rise in popular fiction for younger audiences.

CWpic3NEWARK FESTIVALFor the first time, Newark Book Festival will hit the road ahead of the event.  Authors including Gareth Baker, Chris White, Ian Douglas, James Nicol and Thomas Taylor will be visiting local schools to work with the children through writing and art workshops, readings and inspiring a love of books and reading to all.

Sara Bullimore, organiser for Newark Book Festival, said: “We had an incredible turn out and response last year from local people and visitors from across the country.  This year, we’re building on that momentum to create a rich tapestry of events woven across the lovely town of Newark.  We’re partnering with more authors, local businesses and artists than ever before to make sure that happens.

9781406386288“From lively performances and spectacular children’s authors to calming craft workshops and storytelling, the festival is set to be an incredible celebration of the concept of home and away – no matter what that means to each individual person. We’d love for more local people to support the hard work of everyone involved by becoming a Friend of the Festival, visiting us or by sponsoring an event.”

For more information visit www.newarkbookfestival.org.uk or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/newarkbookfest/ and on Twitter www.twitter.com/NewarkBookFest.

Discover the latest trends in kids’ fashion

LFWBannerFashion-loving youngsters can be surprisingly choosy when it comes to what to wear – and it isn’t always what their mums and dads would prefer!

Thankfully, parents can look forward to getting ahead of the game during Lincoln Fashion Week (LFW), by enjoying a sneak preview of the latest looks.  Whether your child is crazy about T-shirts emblazoned with their favourite storybook or TV character or determined to arrive at their friend’s birthday bash in a dazzling “you can’t miss me” beach dress, there will be plenty of inspiration on offer.

During Lincoln Fashion Week, which runs from May 10 to 17, organiser Lincoln BIG is teaming-up with some great retailers who will be showcasing their children’s ranges in catwalk shows hosted by Debenhams at St Mark’s Retail Park on Sunday, May 12.  And there will be a chance to see more during LFW’s spectacular catwalk show in Lincoln Cathedral on Friday, May 17.

The minis took part in Lincoln Fashion Week 2018 modelling
clothes from Gap, Next, Mothercare and White Stuff.

Arts Consultant Sara Bullimore, who is working with Lincoln BIG, said: “Mini fashion shows, featuring clothes for babies to children aged 11 years old, will take place on the first floor in Debenhams from 11am on May 12.  These events are free.

“A range of retailers will also be showing off their new Summer season styles across the age ranges for children and mini models from the community will be taking to the red carpet catwalk.”

Parents who want to book tickets for our LFW Catwalk Finale in Lincoln Cathedral can do so by going online at www.visitlincoln.com/whats-on/lincoln-fashion-week-finale-19

The Debenhams shows will feature garments from a range of retailers including Next, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare and exciting styles from new Lincoln on trend childrenswear boutique Cheeky Monkeys in Guildhall Street.  Look out for anything from cool designer dresses, playsuits and jumpsuits to edgy trousers and T-shirts and fun footwear.

The latest trends at Cheeky Monkeys in Lincoln.

Cheeky Monkeys owner Helen Tonge said: “We are a children’s boutique specialising in garments, shoes and accessories for boys and girls aged from newborn to 14.  We are an independent business and we offer payment plans, lay away schemes and loyalty card discounts.

“There isn’t anything like us in Lincoln.  We carry a range of Spanish and English clothes and we like to think our fashions are affordable, but different.  We say we offer parents a shopping experience.”

Find out more at http://lincolnfashionweek.co.uk/

Countryside Lincs 2019

Countryside Lincs, April 2018 - 89Food, farming and the countryside will be celebrated at the fifth annual Countryside Lincs.

Held at the Lincolnshire Showground on Sunday, April 14th, the interactive family day out will have eight zones for children to explore including meeting large and small farmyard animals, learning how to make jam, willow weaving and creative activities.

“Children can enjoy a ride around our mini-tractor obstacle course and there is an exciting line-up planned in our Countryside ring – including entertaining ferret racing and an impressive falconry display!” says the Showground’s Gemma King.

“New for this year, we’ll be joined by local chefs who will be putting on children’s cookery demonstrations throughout the day.  Plus, the farmer’s market is a perfect opportunity for the grown-ups to get their hands on a selection of favourite local treats.

“You’re welcome to bring along a picnic for your day out at Countryside Lincs, but we also have plenty of hot and cold food on offer for our visitors, from locally produced burgers and sausages to warm cheese toasties, Belgian waffles and delicious milkshakes to traditional dairy ice cream.  Our indoor café will also be serving a selection of drinks and snacks all day long.

“With dozens of activities to get involved in across our indoor and outdoor zones, we promise a fun-filled day out for all of the family, whatever the weather.  Don’t forget to take a ride around the Showground on our popular tractor and trailer and get involved with our Easter egg hunt!”

Countryside Lincs is open from 10am to 4pm. Advanced tickets are £18 for a family of four, £7 per adult, £4 per child (aged 5 – 16) and under 5’s go free. Book your advanced tickets before Sunday 31st March for your chance of winning a free family ticket to the 2019 Lincolnshire Show.

For more information visit www.lincolnshireshowground.co.uk

Tractors, tortoises and toe-tickling weather – Countryside Lincs 2017

Finding yourself in books makes reading powerful

WBDLogoEncouraging “children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own” is the main aim of World Book Day.

As part of its 22nd event it has also introduced a Reading is Power Manifesto created “for and by young people” – it highlights the benefits of 1. Growth, 2. Choice, 3. Power and 4. Knowledge and challenges you to add or write your own. 

The explanation of point number one Growth: “When we find good books, we find ourselves” I find a particularly interesting one.  What if you can’t find yourself?

Children’s authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo conducted bookcase experiment The Ugly Truth of Children’s Books highlighting under-representation of female characters.  And last year the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) published their Reflecting Realities report a “study of ethnic representation in children’s literature” which found that only 4% of the children’s books published in the UK in 2017 featured BAME characters and only 1% had a BAME main character.

But what about children with disabilities, are they represented too?  Oscar-winner Rachel Shenton and The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson are just two people who this year are calling for more diversity in this area too.

And, whilst many of us can probably name a few titles that feature a disabled character giving a chance for all to gain greater understanding and/or a “this is me” moment for those with the same condition, how many titles are there simply featuring the adventures of children where one or two just happen to have a disability rather than it being central to the narrative?

The illustrations in the early Bookstart books are one place to look but another local author who’s proved herself forward thinking is Lesley Berrington.

HattieandFriends2

Following attending a course about the Disability Discrimination Act in 2004, the NNEB qualified former nurseries and kids’ clubs owner then began searching for story books featuring disability to use in her nurseries.

“It was very difficult to find any,” she writes.  “The ones that I did find used the story to explain the disability, which was not what I wanted.  I wanted the character with a disability to be part of the story, to introduce the disability to other children, but not draw attention to it.  After some further research I decided to create my own books to meet the growing demand for inclusive resources.

“Hattie and friends was born in 2005 with the first title A Day at the Zoo on sale from January 2006.”

Since then another three titles have been added to the series and more than 8,000 books have been sold.

HattieandFriends

“Disability is part of everyday life and I believe children, from a young age, should see characters with disabilities in their story books,” says Berrington.

“Inclusion means accepting everyone and the differences we have, therefore the character’s disability should be entirely incidental, in my opinion.  I didn’t want my characters to be special, have magic powers or appear different.

“If young children see positive images of disability and receive a consistent message of tolerance and acceptance I believe this would have many benefits to society.  Unfortunately people with disabilities face daily struggles with disrespectful attitudes towards them.  We can improve these attitudes, which have been developed over many years, be addressing how we present disability to our children.

“I regularly visit primary school to talk about my books and I don’t mention the disability aspect, intentionally, until the end.  When I ask the children if they can see anything different about my characters they often can’t see any differences which is exactly the point!

“The important message is that all children can be friends and have fun, abilities are not important.  All young children accept differences, their curiosity will raise questions and they develop attitudes from the answers they receive.

“We must show, through our attitudes and actions, that we value all children equally.”

Hattie and friends are celebrating World Book Day this year by showing off their newly released second editions which have an improved layout aiming to be even more inclusive – the text is now on a separate page to the illustration so it is very clear and easy to read for everyone.

Usually priced at £6.99 each or £24 for the set of four, to celebrate their new editions the set of four is available for £20 throughout March.  Email lesley@hattieandfriends.co.uk to enquire about ordering.

Click here to find out more about World Book Day or here to find out more about Hattie and Friends.

To the moon and back again

Ever have to promise the moon and stars to your children in the mornings just to make them get dressed and out of the door vaguely on time?  Well now you can follow through on your pledges by simply visiting The Collection in Lincoln.

Moon

The city centre museum is currently hosting UK artist Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon.  In the 50th anniversary year of the first man to walk on the moon, the display of the six-metre diameter moon featuring 120 dpi detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface will be accompanied by a programme of events including late night multi-arts experiences and afternoon film screenings.

At an approximate scale of 1:600,000, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 6km of the moon’s surface and it’s on display until April 28th.

Find out more at www.thecollectionmuseum.com and https://my-moon.org/