Summer workshops with Artsreach

ARTSREACH, Dorset’s rural touring charity, has lots of fun, affordable and creative ways to keep children entertained during the summer holidays, with a packed summer programme of workshops and activities, from 28th July to 31st August.

Whether it’s circus skills, outdoor exploration, film-making, crafts, storytelling or audio and digital adventures, there is so much to do, catering to a wide range of ages.

This year’s Artsreach summer workshop programme will be running in 14 rural communities, from Fontmell Magan to Halstock.

Go on a Wild Adventure with Dorset Forest Schools at Buckland Newton and Broadmayne, in a session packed with nature-craft skills, games, challenges and even campfire cooking.

There are minibeast-themed arts, crafts, songs, storytelling and cooking for parents and toddlers with Kathy Kelly’s Fiddlesticks at the Exchange at Sturminster Newton.

Dorset Youth Dance director Claire Benson explores climate change, plastic pollution and the impact it has on the planet through dance and puppetry, making moving props such as fish from recycled materials before learning moves from the new touring show Plastic Paradiso at Sturminster Newton..

Budding artists and makers have plenty to turn their hands to, with local artist Fran Quinlan leading a Wild Withy session, creating giant structures out of willow inspired by seed pods, flowers, cones, vegetables and fruits at Halstock.

Popular 3D sculptor Darrell Wakelam is back again, this time bringing Wildlife on the Edge to life at Morden and Sturminster Newton, making fantastic 3D tiger scenes from cardboard, papier mache and other recycled materials.

Artist and maker Sarah Butterworth leads two sessions – Printing from Nature, creating colourful prints using local ferns, hazel, oak, sycamore, grasses and flower leaves in Child Okeford, and Paint like a Caveman at Sandford Orcas and Sturminster Marshall, using stones to grind local soils into coloured powder paints, then making caveman paintings using natural materials such as twigs and grasses.

Treehouse Theatre heads to Yetminster to offer an exciting and interactive hour of making music, dressing up, singing songs and creating stories in Sally & The Limpet, an eco-conscious story which encourages children to think about the inhabitants of rock

pools and the seaside environment. Meanwhile Abbie Thommes and Laurie Newman present a storytelling and craft session, Jessie The Jellyfish at Martinstown. Hear the story of Jessie who is a lonely jellyfish, use unrecyclable plastics to make your own jellyfish then learn a brand-new song based on the story.

Kevin Burke invites you to join the Secret Circus in Yetminster and Sturminster Newton; learn a variety of circus skills including juggling with clubs, rings, balls and scarves, diabolo, flowerstick, stuntsticks, plate spinning, stilts, poi and rolla bolla!

Pageant Productions offer a fun and engaging Stop-Motion Animation workshop in Halstock and Blandford, for children who want to create their very own short film; constructing sets, creating scenes and using props to capture an original story.

Why not visit The Discovery Lab at the Kingcombe Centre in Toller Porcorum. Travelling aliens Kela, Orchi and Amar are on an earth exploration mission to learn more about earth science from you, the earth experts. Pop along to their pop-up lab to investigate, explore, think and wonder in an interactive workshop for families.

Who wants to explore the galaxy? The Gramaphones are offering an exciting adventure for galactic explorers with a mission to investigate Another Planet and find out if humans could survive there. To take part in this new audio adventure all you need to do is to download an audio track, and visit a nearby green public space to experience the adventure. Y

Collect important scientific samples, dodge alien invasions and delve deep underground to discover more about the mysterious planet you land on. Audio guide Astrid the Galaxy Hopper will take you on your mission as you boldly go where no child has gone before. Registration is through the Artsreach website.

All workshops have limited places and often sell out, so booking is essential. For full details visit he Artsreach Summer Activities programme at

Pictured: One of Darrell Wakeham’s colourful creations; children enjoying learning circus skills; children discover UFOs with The Gramaphones.