Sunshine Arts
About Us
Barn Dances
Contact Us
Craft Workshops
Dance Calling
Dr Sunshine
Folk Drama
Traditional Dance
  Sunshine Arts Home


A few ideas for schools, communities and festivals---

All these workshops are well tried and tested!

These are examples of some of the things we have made over the last 30 years whilst working with children.

For all the workshop activities we provide the appropriate cardboard, withies, bamboo, gels, rags, PVA, tape, string, paper, scissors, staplers, etc. that are needed for ‘construction’ work - plus any paint, felt tip pens, wax crayons, coloured chalks, coloured stickyback plastic, ribbons, etc…needed for decoration.

NOTE: There will normally be an additional charge for materials, but as much of what we use is recycled ‘scraps’ costs will be kept to an absolute minimum.

Banner making (one to one and a half hours)

Using pieces of wallpaper, pre- cut to a basic shape which the children can then decorate in whatever way they fancy. These can then be used for processions…or just to hang on the wall at home! Simple…. but very effective and popular. (Good for demonstrating the use of stickyback plastic, coloured chalks/setting spray etc. and teaching simple layout and decorative skills)

Banners - click here for a larger image          

‘Bamboozalums’. (about one and a half hours)

We use a bamboo cane, a coathanger (courtesy of M&S!), rags and card, to make a 1 metre high ‘puppet’ figure.
(We often use the making of the heads to teach the technique of drawing with a candle, then overpainting with a colour wash - magic!)

    Bamboozalums - click here for a larger image


Junk Puppets. (one hour minimum, up to a half day plus performance time if needed).

Various sizes of hand/rod puppets made from recycled materials…old boxes/plastic bottles/material scraps etc….If there is sufficient time we like to get the children to devise and perform one or more ‘plays’ using all the characters they have made.

Mini Theatres (Rod Puppets) (one and a half/two hours. Plus performance time if needed).

Small theatres made from a cut down cardboard wine case (supplied) decoratedsun by the children, who also make the rod puppets and interchangeable backdrops to go with their theatres. (Similar to ‘Pollocks Toy Theatres’)


Odd-Bods (one and a half hours plus)

Using large (child size) pre-cut cardboard body shapes which they use to create their own individual ‘characters’. We provide lots of material scraps sunand other bits with which to decorate/dress the bodies. The finished bodies can be used as a basis for drama work. A popular workshop which gives full rein to the imagination.

Robots and Aliens (one and a half hour plus)


Similar to the above - but the shapes are even more outlandish!
We use lots of recycled control knobs, dials, wires and other junk to make strange ‘beings.’ Another popular activity.
Robots from the planet Zog                          


Shadow Puppets (one and a half/two hours. Plus performance time if needed),

Another little theatre made from a cardboard wine case, this time with a screen and shadow puppets……a good introduction to this fascinating field. A chance to try out jointing moving parts of a ‘flat’ puppet, using coloured gels/cellophane and various lighting effects.

Peep-shows (one and a half hours).

We provide suitable boxes in which the children construct little ‘scenes’ using figures and scenery made from card, wool, string, paper etc. They can also include moving creatures - beasties/fish/birds etc. - suspended on strings/cams/rollers. The top is covered with tissue paper, lit from above, then viewed through a peep-hole.



Kites (one hour up to a lifetime)!

Simple kite construction and decoration…various types….we even have one design that simply uses a piece of paper and twine with no wood or plastic rods….and it flies well too!
Younger children will need some adult help with stringing kites.

Carnival/processional ( half day up to several days).

Costume and music for processions etc. Can be to a theme [we have done Greeks/Romans, Civil War, Pirates, Underwater, Space etc..etc..] or just general colourful costume, Withy Wavers, decorated spinning umbrellas - along with a home-made percussion band - whatever is required!
Greeks -click here for larger image    

Musical instruments from junk (one and a half to two hours plus performance time).

Making musical instruments that are playable…either as melody instruments or as Sunpercussion….from all sorts of scrap materials. Then putting them all together as a ‘Junkestra’ for a noisy performance!



Scarecrows (one and a half hours).

Making small scarecrows (and crows!) either with pre-cut card shapes or with bamboo/withies and straw. Decorated with scrap material/rags.
Good for a themed procession etc.

Large Withy Constructions

Dykosaurus head frame
Using withies (dried willow rods) and bamboo to create large 3D structures….e.g. Dragons, Animals, Insects, Fish, Birds etc.. which are then covered with poly. sheet/rag tatters/ribbons. This activity can be done in school by a whole class, divided into smaller groups of 5-6 children, who can then each make a different thing.
Dykosaurus head frame    
We can also get children involved in constructing large heads/bodies with a papier-mache type covering…..this activity needs to be spread out over several days/weeks to allow for drying time. To go with these we make long cloth ‘bodies’ that up to twenty children can get under- very effective for processions.
Dykosaurus design sketch
Design sketch of Dykosaurus head - Click here for larger image
Lockeater - Click here for larger image                      

Mask making (one to two hours plus).

We can make many different types…simple half masks, Venetian Carnival, Animal masks, moulded masks using Mod-Roc (Plaster of Paris material), large African style etc.. anything from very basic designs up to quite skilful and time-consuming constructions.


Other things!

We have also made:

  • Fitted Masks
  • Animal Masks
  • Withy Wavers for processions
  • Mini Shadow Theatres
  • Windsocks
  • Plastic Bottle Birds
  • Bunting
  • A Green Giant + accessories
  • Large Shadow Puppets
  • A huge Time Machine built on a trailer
  • A Chinese Dragon for 20 kids
  • Several 16-24 person Spaceships
  • A Bulldozer, Chainsaws, Axes etc.
  • Masks, all types
  • Scarecrows and Huge Crows
  • Roman armour, weapons, instruments etc.
  • Large Withy Animals
  • Decorated  processional  umbrellas
  • Boomerangs
  • Animals from the Chinese horoscope
  • Bug Hats
  • Fairy Wings/Wands/costume etc.
  • Pig costumes
  • Decorated hoops for pushchairs
  • Paper aeroplanes
  • Dragons/Beasties (large)
  • Drums and percussion
  • Assorted hats
  • Animals from straw/wool/string
  • English Civil War costume, weapons, etc.
  • Garlands of withies plus paper flowers
  • Several 18-20 child Prehistoric Monsters
  • A dozen 8-12 feet high Giants
  • Withy ‘Birds’ and other flying ‘things’
  • Ancient Egyptian costume/mummies etc.
  • Lanterns, various types
  • Puppets for shadow stories
  • Border Morris dance costumes
  • Paper Windmills
  • A set of Planets.
    Plus lots more we have forgotten!

Any suggestions for other workshops are very welcome.
Whatever you want we can probably make it - if not we’ll learn!!


Anything wrong with this site? If so please mail the webmaster