Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Templar @ Imagine Children's Festival

Yesterday was the first event I have attended as an Intern with the Templar team at the Imagine Children's Festival.

Having successfully navigated my way through London, and its commuters, I was relieved to be saved from battling with the highly technical Artist's Entrance to the Royal Festival Hall by Jayne, our Press Officer, who had arrived moments before me, arms laden with caffeine. 

I was lured into a false sense of security by the scene that greeted me: the Robot City posters were up, the paper was rolled out and Paul Collicutt was ready to go.

Paul limbering up for
the pancake competition
As we added the finishing touches to our workshop, the rumbling of small excitable voices became louder and louder. There was just time for Paul to participate in a pancake tossing competition with The Book People (he achieved a very respectable 9 flips of the pancake in 10 seconds) before a tirade of children joined us.

Although space was limited, the children and their parents squeezed alongside the long roll of paper to create their very own robot city. Paul's enthusiam was contagious and soon all the children were busily concocting robots with a magnatude of special powers, including flame throwing robots, a cooking robot and my personal favourite: a gardening robot.

Paul met and gave encouragement to each and every child, leaving them, I'm sure, a little more inspired than they had been forty-five minutes earlier.

As soon as the robots had been carefully rolled away and the rogue pen lids had been found,  it was time to create pop-up cards with Templar's very own designers and paper engineers. Andy and Nghiem had created templates that the children could chose, colour and then construct to make their very own pop-up cards. Getting the children to colour was the simple part, aside from our frantic pencil sharpening, however the construction proved to be a little trickier, particularly because Jayne and I were pretty clueless about how the more complicated designs worked!

The children's patience didn't dwindle and it was worth getting various limbs stuck together to see the look of joy when a child opened their pop-up for the first time!

We had survived the morning, but after a quick lunch break it was time for round two! The afternoon saw more excitable children, eager to create and have fun. One little boy decided that when he got home, he was going to write a story about the robot he had drawn with Paul. It was a great day and I think we all fed off the children's enthusiam for creativity and imagination- I hope the children enjoyed themselves as much as I did!

If you have a spare few days this half term and are running out of ideas to entertain your children, it is definitely something I would recommend checking out!

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