Family Picks This Week

From Welly Upcycling to a Gauntanamo tale.

Author: Hakan Silahsizoglu
Monday, 22 June 2020

This week I’ve chosen performances from the US and home for all ages. Let’s cross the Atlantic first and reach out to New York for the wonderful, award-winning Spellbound Theatre, a company devoted to creating original, multi-disciplinary performances for very young audiences and their families. We hope that you’ll enjoy these fun videos. Hop on and join us in visiting different artists in each episode.

After visiting artists in NYC let’s return to the UK and ask some questions about how we balance human rights and national security – and what happens if we get the balance wrong.

And now for a fun activity at home! Do you have some wellies you’re not using anymore? Then check out my colleague Vikki’s suggestion to be creative with old wellies. You don’t have any but still wanna have fun? Don’t worry, we know where you can get a kit for yourself!

Anywhere With Catbear

A Spellbound Theatre production. 7 episodes streaming now, 10mins each. Free.


Spelbound Theatre’s favorite puppet, Catbear, takes a visit to one of their artists to come up with ideas for playing and staying creative at home. Watch out new episodes every week: you can watch episode 1 above and see all episodes by clicking on Find Out More.

Guantanamo Boy

A Brolly Production with Half Moon Theatre. Streaming now. 52mins. Free.


Innocent until proven guilty? Not here you’re not. Khalid likes football, hip hop, computer games and has a big crush on a girl – like any other teenage boy. Except being a young Muslim in the aftermath of 9/11 can be very dangerous. Snatched in the middle of the night he is thrown into a nightmare world in which he is presumed guilty. Alone, afraid and far from home, will he have the strength to survive?

Upcycle Your Wellies

You could make your wellies into funky plant pots

I was going through the box of wellies in our porch at the weekend and I was amazed at how many old pairs we have: spares and once-loved, now too-small wellies that remind us of happy Sundays in the woods and weekends of festival fun. So we thought we’d do something creative with the old wellies. We experimented with decorating them and moved on to customising our current wellies with different kinds of paints, stickers, foam sheets, glue guns, marker pens and POSCA paint marker pens which are a dry paint pen used for all kinds of craft projects. The best thing to do it to try a few out on old wellies and see which one you feel works best. If you don’t have wellies at home you could always buy a kit such as this one at the Welly Warehouse. Your decorated wellies can be used as cool, individual boots on rainy days, as planters in the garden or maybe you’ll include them in your family sports day!

Homemade Sports Day

Make an obstacle course in your garden... or even your front room.

PE with Joe will no longer be on our screens every day! But in a recent poll, sport was one of the top three activities children said they wanted to do with their parents. So why not turn your garden or a section of the local park into your very own sporting arena? Here are some ideas…
1. Welly wanging
A child’s welly is far safer than a javelin or a discus. Simply take turns to throw the welly as far as you can. After each turn, a family member should place a marker with the person’s name on it where the welly landed. When everyone has had a turn, compare the markers to see who has thrown the welly the furthest. They win!
2. Obstacle course
You don’t need any fancy equipment to build an obstacle course, just a bit of imagination – a picnic or coffee table for crawling under; an old duvet cover open both ends to create a tunnel to wriggle through; put a pile of hats out half way along the route which have to be balanced on heads; make the competitors step into a zigzag of hula hoops to slow them down. Anything goes as long as it’s safe! Kids will love watching adults attempt their course.
3. Egg and spoon race
No sports day would be complete without this classic race. If you’re short on preparation time, use a small potato instead of a boiled egg (which, of course, should be hard boiled!).

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