Friday, 25 September 2015

New workshops for winter 2015

Winter tales and Spring stories
activities in school with Creeping Toad
December 2015 - April 2016
marking the changing edge of the year, here are old stories, new adventures, art, history and wildlife to inspire your classes
this year we might meet.
  •  storytelling, and storymaking, treasures, plots, landscapes and thrills
  •   puppets, lanterns, shadows and pop-ups
  •  trees, leaves, nuts and fruit
  •  animals in winter, waking into spring
  • ancient lives, distant land

With stories running from the frozen edges of the world right through to the first flowers of spring and the waking of the bumblebees, here are stories and activities to enchant and inspire.

I am planning and promoting workshops for the winter and spring ahead. Here are ideas, suggestions and throw -away thoughts: all of these are here as starting points. If you are interested in a session in school - or some other place - your youth group perhaps? or as a public event in a library, museum, country park or dungeon, get int ouch! let's have a chat! Let's plan something wild and wonderful!

A day of activity might include:

~ storytelling performances: lasting up to 60 minutes for up to 90 children at a time

~ stories out of anything! usually we might do this outside but given wintry weather, we'll use leaves and pine cones, twigs and stones and shells indoors to inspire words, create poems and shape a set of stories never told before (allow 60 minutes for a class session)

~ story and book workshops: taking a bit longer (allow 90 minutes for a class) as well as discovering those stories no-one has ever heard before, now we will build those into the books that no-one has ever read before and leave the classroom with a library no-one has ever visited before!

 ~ pop-up storyscapes: allow an hour for a class: gathering ideas, images and words well make quick 3-d landscapes holding the essence of a story or the thrills of a lifecycle in a setting, with characters and the words that set the adventure running

~ Winter lights: finding words and images to hold the essence of winter or the hopes of spring in quick poems, we'll slide words  and pictures into lanterns and make a swarm of small glowing lanterns to glow through the darkest nights or gloomiest days

~ shadow stories: out of my stories might come new stories: drawing on whatever theme we are working with to create quick performances of shadow puppets. Incorporating silhouettes, translucence and transparency, we'll mix science with story to create an (almost) instant set of story performances to show or perhaps to film

~ Ancient Lives and other lands: add a voice from the distant past to your history topics with stories that our Stone Age ancestors might have listened to. Stories. models, artefacts and drawings can feed into art inspired by cave paintings, carvings and jewellery. Similar inspiration runs through collections of African, Rain Forest and Native American material

~ Animals in winter - getting to know your local wildlife from stories to listen to, to models to make, life-cycles, food, homes and habitats

~ Trees? Just how well do you know your trees? Help your class become Tree Detectives and identify local trees through leaves, seeds and twigs. Find out about animal life in different trees and meet some of the old stories that have grown alongside our oak, ash, holly and birch

~ Working with younger children: special sessions for early years where we might listen to stories, invent new stories, find adventures in gardens, make puppet characters to send on quests…enjoy playing with words…

~ your own themes and ideas: or are you exploring a particular theme that you would like to involve some stories in? pirates.tropical islands.ancient Greeks…the wonder of fossils and rocks..where in our school would bears live?…a shadow puppet quidditch match and the Great Fire of London  have all featured in recent Creeping Toad projects

Charges: £250 a day: includes storytellers fee, travel and materials. Can be paid on the day or I can invoice you. Activities can be adapted to suit groups from KS 1, 2 or 3

For further information:
visit the Creeping Toad website at Creeping Toad
( or the blog at
To book: contact Gordon directly at
or by telephone:
landline: 01298 77964
mobile: 07791 096857

you never know who - or what - 
will end up in a Creeping Toad story!

inspired cave drawing

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