SOME­THING FOR THE KIDS

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE SHARJAH BOOK FAIR -

How to keep the kids happy on a long day out? It is the eter­nal ques­tion that keeps par­ents up at night. But don’t panic: there is plenty on of­fer for chil­dren of all ages at the Shar­jah In­ter­na­tional Book Fair.

A sure-fire hit will be the Lego Ro­bot­ics (7-11 years) work­shop, which en­cour­ages kids to learn ba­sic engi­neer­ing skills us­ing those fa­mous coloured bricks. In a sim­i­lar vein is the Toys Fac­tory (3-8 years), where re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als and tools will be used to cre­ate some­thing for each child to take home, while also re­mind­ing them how im­por­tant it is to look af­ter the planet.

The em­pha­sis of the Chil­dren’s Pro­gramme is on teach­ing new skills. With this in mind, there are work­shops in ev­ery­thing from Ja­panese origami (5-12 years) and ninja skills (7-14 years) to 3D draw­ing (5-12 years) and clay art (8-14 years).

But, this be­ing a book fair, the real high­lights in­volve read­ing and writ­ing. A se­ries of in­ter­ac­tive Write Your Story (7-12 years) ses­sions al­low kids to en­hance – or to try out for the first time – their Ara­bic writ­ing skills, while Cater­pil­lar Sto­ries (4-11 years) is a work­shop, which will help them un­der­stand how a story is con­structed.

Our Friends in the Desert (8-12 years) is a tra­di­tional sto­ry­telling event, which fo­cuses on those desert an­i­mals fac­ing ex­tinc­tion. The sub­ject mat­ter might seem se­ri­ous, but this ses­sion should ac­tu­ally pro­vide a good op­por­tu­nity for chil­dren to re­lax a bit af­ter all those ac­tiv­i­ties. Speak­ing of ex­tinc­tion, di­nosaur ex­pert and evo­lu­tion­ary bi­ol­o­gist Dr Ben Gar­rod is mak­ing an ap­pear­ance. Gar­rod has pre­sented a num­ber of tele­vi­sion se­ries in the United King­dom, in­clud­ing Se­crets of Bones. He has a knack of bring­ing science and his­tory to life.

It is well worth look­ing at the Theatre pro­gramme, too. Mag­i­cal Jour­ney (all ages) and Once Upon a Dance (all ages), from the Re­pub­lic of Be­larus Chil­dren’s Dance en­sem­ble, in­tro­duces kids to the world of fairy tales. And you’ll have to book quickly if your kids want to catch a pro­duc­tion of The Lion King (all ages).

For tim­ings, visit www.sibf.com.

Ru­pert Hawk­sley

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