Blog: A curated list of inspirations for children of all ages

31 March 2020

I Wish I Was a Mountain c. Jack Offord
I Wish I Was a Mountain c. Jack Offord

These times are challenging for us all no matter where we live in the world . Life as we know it has changed dramatically and the things we once took for granted - like going to the theatre - are currently,  just not possible.  Live performing arts experiences have always been a source of great pleasure and inspiration for many of us.  So in an effort to stay positive and connected as much as possible I have put together a list of engaging and entertaining experiences that can be accessed digitally during the coming weeks of social isolation.  Some of the ideas require full active participation and others are designed to simply just sit back and enjoy.
Take care and stay safe!
Noel Jordan, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Children's Festival 

‘White’ (2-4 year olds)

By Catherine Wheels Theatre Company 

Marking 10 years since its premiere and over 1,700 performances, welcome to the all white world of Cotton and Wrinkle. The daily routine of these two delightful friends is interrupted when, little by little, colour begins to inexplicably appear. Proudly Scottish, this is a perfect first time theatre experience.

Available to view at various start times over the Easter weekend 2020 on YouTube.

'Wee Inspirations' (for under 5 year olds) 

By Scottish company Starcatchers

'Wee Inspirations' are a new series of idea cards for parents at home with young children. The cards contain simple creative ideas to engage little ones without a lot of materials or stress. Free to download.

'Audioplay' (4 years+) 

By the Pepper sisters from Australia

Audioplay is an award winning app which encourages children to join in with a narrated role play situation where simple household items become the props. The format draws "on the simplicity and strength of real-world imaginative play combined with sophisticated production values." The app works as an online 2 player audio game link with children physically taking on the roles from the story.  The first 3 episodes are free. Both children playing need a quality headphone set each and of course a device with access to the app.

'Exploration of the Day' (5 years +) 

By Canadian artist and author, Keri Smith

This range of daily explorations is a little like 'Wee inspirations' but for primary school aged children. Following the approach that "there is much joy to be found in the simple", Keri has created a diverse range of activities to engage with the everyday things around us and includes interesting quotes from artists who have engaged with similar activities in their own art making. You can even share your results with others by using the #explorationoftheday.

'I Wish I Was A Mountain' (7-12 years)

By the egg & Travelling Light Theatre Company (Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Imaginate)

On the day of the famous annual fair, the town of Faldum receives an unexpected visit. A wanderer offers to grant a wish to anyone who wants one. Before long, the city is transformed. Mansions stand where mud huts once squatted, and beggars ride around in horse drawn carriages. And one man wishes to be turned into a mountain.

Written and performed by former Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champion Toby Thompson, 'I Wish I was a Mountain' featured in our 2019 Festival and uses rhyme, live music, and just a smattering of metaphysical philosophy to boldly reimagine Herman Hesse’s classic fairytale. Free to view online.

'Treasure Island' (10 years +) 

Streamed by NTLive 

Robert Louis Stevenson’s story is vividly brought to life in this 2015 stage adaptation from UK's National Theatre.​  "

It's a dark, stormy night. The stars are out. The innkeeper's grandson Jim Hawkins opens the door to a terrifying stranger. At the old sailor's feet sits a huge sea chest, full of secrets. Jim invites him in, and in doing so unwittingly begins a breathtaking adventure on the high seas, where he'll meet deadly danger, buried treasure, and the legendary Long John Silver."

Streaming for free from 7pm on Thursday 16 April. Available for one week until 23 April 2020