Creative Kids: how Arts Awards inspire children in museums!

Jelly artist Kate Powell explains why she's passionate about Arts Awards

After a successful launch in the October 2017, we are delighted that Jelly are continuing to run more Arts and Heritage Holiday Clubs at the Museum, for 7 to 11 year olds to achieve an Arts Award. But why? We had a chat with organiser, Kate Powell, about why she’s so passionate about encouraging children to take part in Arts Awards…

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What’s the value of doing an Arts Award for this age group?

The Discover Arts Award is the perfect introduction to all kinds of creativity. At Jelly we focus on visual arts and will introduce the children to loads of different techniques that they can continue at home. It teaches them that art isn’t about following a template or ‘getting it right’ it’s all about experimenting and playing.

What do you think the children get out of doing an Arts Award?

One of the most rewarding things we see that children get out of doing Arts Award is a confidence boost. To know that they can be creative and that they can let their imaginations guide them. We see that getting lost at such an early age and at Jelly we nurture creativity at every age.

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“This was the first holiday activity my daughter came to with no anxiety and spoke about with true passion, as a parent it was great to see her enjoy this course so much and we genuinely will look forward to another.”

Clare G, parent of one of the October Half Term Arts & Heritage club attendees

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Is the Arts Award just for children that are really good at art?

Arts Award is for everyone! It’s as much about playing, experimenting and having fun – learning what you like and what you don’t like. Remember that everyone is a beginner sometimes and it’s just as important to practise at being creative as it is your times tables!

Why do an Arts Award in a museum?

A museum is the perfect place for Arts Award, you are surrounded by so much inspiration in the exhibits themselves. And the MERL has some amazing inspiration in the form of structures like the wagons and farm machinery, to textiles and crafts as well as plants in the beautiful garden.

What do you enjoy most about these workshops?

I think as artists/designers we all enjoy seeing the children engage with the techniques and bring their own ideas to them. It’s really amazing seeing the work that is produced and how they have used their imaginations.

What other Arts Awards projects have you worked on?

Jelly runs Arts Award at a variety of levels in primary and secondary schools in and around Reading. We have recently been focusing on primary schools, taking children through their Discover Arts Award and on to their Explore level. We have worked with printmaking, animation, clay modelling, textile design, interior design and even most recently remodelling Reading with a project on architecture. Arts Award is very flexible so we can include lots of exciting stuff each time we do it. It keeps life interesting!

So who is the holiday club at the MERL for?

If you’re looking for a relaxed holiday club with a difference that’s what you’ll get with Jelly at The MERL.

The club is for children who love getting really creative, learning new ways to make things (like masks and BIG willow sculptures), drawing, making, sticking, building, painting, printing and of course making friends and playing games!

What will you be doing?

Every art club is different. At Easter we built large scale willow sculptures and masks taking inspiration from the British countryside which will be used during a parade to celebrate the reopening of Reading Abbey in June!

Alongside this, every day the children will work with an artist to create different pieces of art and record their work in their sketchbooks. The sessions will help the children to explore the exhibits in the MERL and will encourage them to look at the museum in a completely different way.

And at the end of it all, they will have earned a certificate!

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When is it and how do you book?!

Painting of black and white tree trunks against orange backgroundThis is a small group activity with no more than 10 children. The sessions are aimed at ages 7 – 11. All materials are included in the price. The children will need to bring lunch, snacks and water.
The dates and times of the next club is : 29 – 31 May, 9.30am to 3.30pm
Cost: £85 for full course or £35 for single days

For details visit Spring Arts and Heritage Club
Contact: for any queries.

More information about Arts Award

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Images were created by our young artists in our October Half Term Arts and Heritage Club at MERL

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