Sunday, 9 January 2011

Moomin Workshop

Back in September, I was asked if I wanted to take control of a workshop for children at Bury Art Gallery, where I work on a casual basis. I said yes because I thought ti would be really good experience to have responsibility of my own project and to make my own materials for people to use. I was sent a list of options and chose to make a Moomin Board Game as I was also doing our Summer game project.
After helping with other workshops in the past I knew that the age range was under 10 and generally 8 years and under so on this basis I began to think of how to make a board game kit that would be simple enough for kids to understand but also interesting enough for them to want to do.
I began to break down the basic parts of a game deciding on the board, dice and counters. I chose to base my board game on the Monopoly design as it was simple and familiar to almost everyone.
I wanted the lines big thick and black so children could also treat it like a colouring sheet so they could colour it in how they want or add tissue paper and stick other things to it. I also created a worksheet that had the net of dice displayed on it so that children could cut it out and then create their own dice, getting them more involved. As this was supposed to be based on Moomins (as we have an exhibition on them now) I also drew out Moomin characters that could be cut out and used as counters. 

Finally, to make the game more interesting I also created a series of Moomin squares that could be coloured in and stuck on to the board game to add a few more difficulties to the game ad to add some sort of challenge. However, as a chronic worrier I worried that some children would get bored so i also created a 'Snakes and Ladders' type game, replacing the snakes with the Groke, a character from the Moomins books. i was worried some children wouldn't have the attention span to make a game so this way they had a ready made game to colour in and play.
I still worried that cutting the counters and dice for this game would still be too much for the even younger children so i also made a simple spot the difference and wordsearch that bored children could just pick up and do or colour over.
As for the actual workshop, only two children actually turned up so it was all a bit of wasted effort and a bit of a fail. However, it did give me a good taste of what it was like to prepare and run your own workshop and I did enjoy creating the material and having people use them, if only a few. Some people did walk past and were impressed and stole a few sheets and the gallery workers seemed pleased with what I had done so there wasn't much more I could do myself.

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