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Kids school and holiday art clubs

The Art of the Game: Will you go up? Or down?

This Summer artist Sarah Carne will explore in The Art of the Game -  our 2 day children’s art Course with children – the possibility of building a human scale game similar to snakes and ladders incorporating issues that interest them. These ideas could could be as broad as recycling, climate change, school uniform or  the length of their holidays.


They will be encouraged to share and debate opinions – and perhaps disagree, whilst developing skills in making: design, painting and building.

They will work individually and as a team in creative problem solving.DSC_0090


Children’s Art School believe strongly in encouraging children to take control of their learning whilst having fun, giving them opportunities to debate, collaborate and choose the direction their work will head.

See our previous courses Magazines for KidsDay one and Day 2


Artist Sarah Carne has taken Inspiration from an ancient Indian Game; The Game of Heaven and Hell, Jnana Bagi known to us as Snakes and Ladders which is held in the Welcome Collection. It was originally used as a vehicle for teaching ethics. Each square taking not only a number but a legend comprising the names of various virtues and vices.

L0035004 Snakes and Ladders (Game of Heaven & Hell)

Children will devise a game based not on chance, but on dilemmas that they will pose one another and the adults that will eventually play. Will you make the ‘right’ decision? Will you go up? or down?

how to play

Many artists are using the game as a vehicle to express artistic ideas for example Yara El Sherbini has used the pub quiz and the game of Trivial Pursuits as a playful way to talk about more serious issues and popular culture whilst artist Ania Bas adopted the idea of a board game to explore issues facing Asylum seekers in Portsmouth.

Similarly at Children’s Art School, children will devise their own game to explore ideas close to their hearts. We look forward to finding out what these might be…

Most parents I know struggle with the intoxicating draw of computer based gaming for young children. We know our children love them, we know they develop many skills when playing them, we know they will, and have to engage with technology and we feel bad when we nag them to turn them off and do something more productive.

“Enjoy the sunshine”, “play with some thing“, “play a game with your sister or brother”, “Why don’t you make something?”


So in this two-day course for children Sarah and I have tried to give children the opportunity to be outside, engage with the process of making and playing a physical game, use their bodies whilst thinking about ideas close to their hearts. They will also wield a paintbrush, cut some card and build all in the name of art. And when they get home…exhausted, you won’t feel so bad when they  say …can i go on the iPad Mummy?

Or maybe…just maybe they might say, can I make my OWN game?


To see what happened click:

The Art of the Game – Day one

The Art of the Game – Day two


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