Last Saturday Jemma and Rachel were asked by artsdepot to run some of the activities for their Fun Palace day.
(For the uninitiated: Fun Palaces is an annual, free, nationwide celebration of culture at the heart of community, using arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports activities as a catalyst for community engagement. This takes place over the first weekend in October every year. Check out their website here )
artsdepot had chosen a science theme for this year’s Fun Palace and, because of our play’s STEM content had asked us to come up with some activities linked to aerodynamics and flight.
We settled on a craft activity for the foyer - decorating and folding paper planes, then flying them along a test track - with children receiving a special certificate stating how far they went. On the day we added three suspended hoops to the track to add a level of complexity for older children and parents.
We really played around with the idea of growth mindset - encouraging children to ‘have another go and see if they could get their plane to go further’ - experimenting with different ways of folding their planes, different throwing methods, and just generally trying again. There were some real moments of discovery and personal growth happening in the corner of the artsdepot foyer!
Our craft table was exceedingly busy for the entire five hours of the fun palace with whole families getting involved. We also had a junk modelling section (with materials provided by the fabulous artsdepot team) where a number of families made some very elaborate rockets and aeroplanes.
Rachel also had an opportunity to trial a new workshop which will eventually form a companion to our Fly High play - taking children and their grown ups on a physical and dramatic journey through the science of aerodynamics - creating a plane as a family group, overcoming gravity, exploring the concepts of lift, thrust, drag, and weight through movement, and then taking an imaginative flight in a flying machine.
The workshops were full of fun with children and parents playing, laughing, and moving together. The workshop structure is still in development but Rachel feels confident that with a few more run throughs it’ll be a great companion to our play!
We are so grateful to artsdepot for giving us the opportunity of trying out some new ideas and were glad to see hundreds of happy families accessing this brilliant and welcoming venue.