Family Arts Day: Tips for getting creative at home

This Sunday would have been Family Arts Day, our annual event for families to get creative. We put up marquees in Parade Gardens, and invite artists, writers and musicians to fill those marquees with fun activities. Family Arts Day is about play and trying something new, children and grown-ups all having a go together. If you are able to support future Family Arts Days by donating please click here.

We can’t be together in person today but we can all still play and get creative. Here are a few ideas for you to try. 


You may not have any instruments in your house, but many household objects can make interesting sounds. This is a noisy activity, so don’t do it while your baby sister is asleep!

Collect together some non-breakable objects and some things to use as beaters. You could use: pans, beakers, Tupperware boxes, toys, spoons, pens etc. Ones made from different materials will make different sounds.

Try out tapping a rhythm on them. What happens when you tap the side, the top, the edge? What happens if you tap with a different beater or a part of your body.

Try making loud sounds and quiet sounds. Try scraping the beater along the edge of one of the objects. How else could you make a sound with the objects?

What sounds are your favourites?

If you’ve got a sibling or parent to play with, try different combinations of sounds. Try creating a rhythm together, what happens if someone starts first and then someone else joins in?

Can you make a phrase of music, using the different instruments you’ve invented? If you have any instruments in your house you can add them in to your performance.

Congratulations, you are a composer!

Looking for more musical fun? Sarah Moody, our regular Family Arts Day musician, has been working on some traditional stories and music, with her company The Devil’s Violin, you can listen to them here. Sarah is looking forward to seeing you all at our next Family Arts Day!


Wonder Jumble
If you’ve got some clean recycling: yoghurt pots, boxes, tinfoil trays etc. why not see what you can make. Lay out all the items you have. What things are you drawn to? Choose 3 things to put together. Try cutting them up or cutting out shapes. If you have crayons or pens, try drawing on the different surfaces. Which ones are best for drawing on? Does it depend on what you are drawing with? Masking tape is brilliant for sticking things together, because you can draw on it too! Why not add another item or make another thing.

When you’ve finished, find a place to display your creations and take a photo if you can.

Surface Pattern
If you have clay or playdough at home, why not try making some patterns? Roll out your clay to create a flat surface. Collect some different objects you can press into the clay – try lego, stones, coins, cutlery, pencils etc. Press them into the clay and see what pattern they make. Which ones do you like best? Why not try putting your favourites together?

Natural Still Life
In a garden or on a walk (or maybe you already have a collection), collect 6 different objects that you like the look or the feel of. If you can’t go out at the moment, find some objects that mean something to you from inside your house. Think about the objects and what you like about them, perhaps you could try and collect things that have different characteristics, a light soft feather, a rough heavy stone. When you have your collection, find a piece of paper or a tray (you could use the floor) and lay them out. How do they look together? Try grouping them in different numbers, which groups do you like best?

Take a photograph or maybe draw the objects, or find a place in your house for your display to live.

Wow what incredible art you have made!

Write a Story

Follow these instructions to make a book, you can use A3 or A4 paper. There are lots of videos online that show you how too.

Now you can write a story…once upon a time…

Stuck for words? Why not cut some out of a newspaper or magazine and put them together?

Or play a game of consequences with your family. Write the first line of a story, fold over to cover up your words, and write the last word on the bit you have folded over. Pass it to the person on your left. They can use your last word to inspire the next line. Repeat until you have filled the page. Pass them round one more time. Open them up and enjoy the brand new (and possibly quite bonkers) story you have created.

You are now the author of your very own book!

More activities

Here are some links to some other creative activities we have enjoyed:

Art Packs to download and Creative Activities to have a go at:
First Site
Spike Island
Crafts Council

Online Music Fun
Clip Sound and Music
NYMAZ Facebook group

Writing activities
First Story

We’d love to see what you have made! Share your creations with us on social media @BathKidsLitFest or email

We need your help so we can continue to bring the best of music and books to Bath through The Bath Festival and Bath Children’s Literature Festival, as well as our all year-round creative learning outreach programme. Please donate to our #BackBathFestivals crowdfunder campaign.

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