Plan your activity

In 2020, Children’s Art Week will take place online, at home and in schools across three weeks in June and July (29 June – 19 July 2020)

Participants in your Children’s Art Week activities should be able to actively engage with visual art through looking, discussing and or/making. Your event could be quite straightforward, or weird and wonderful. It could be planned especially for Children’s Art Week, or be part of an existing programme or festival.

Each week will focus on a theme and organisations and individuals are invited to register online, remote and home-based creative events, activities and resources.

Our 2020 themes are: 

  • Week 1: The Natural World — Think science, natural history, geography, geology and the great outdoors! What natural material could your activity focus on? Could your activity encourage safe outdoor activity or take inspiration from features in your local area?  
  • Week 2: Connecting across generations — Bringing adults and children together! Whether through shared activities, letter writing or creative activities that focus on a historical event. 
  • Week 3: Literacy and creative writing — Are there objects in your collection or part images that could be used as inspiration for writing activities? How can text be used to create different art works, or is there just one word your activity could focus on? 

Your events, activity or resource should be unique to you, your school, your organisation or region.  

Activity may have a regional or national focus or work to connect directly with children and young people who are vulnerable or fall within one of the protected characteristics. We welcome activity that will be delivered in Welsh, Gaelic or British Sign Language. Activity may also be linked to the Scottish, Welsh or English curriculum. We also encourage activity that allows those who are not online or do not have digital devices to take part.

Things to consider:  

  • Not everyone has access to outdoor spaces. Activities should be suited to indoor environments or neighbourhood walks.  
  • Not everyone has access to craft materials. Activities should focus on using materials families might have around the house. 
  • Consider how wellbeing can be incorporated into activities. 
  • All digital and online content should be accessible e.g. captioned videos and machine-readable PDFs. For more information about digital inclusion, see the Museums DCN website.

The following links may be useful in helping you to plan, evaluate and document your event.

If you have any questions please email or call +44 (0) 7483 319 951.

Need some inspiration?

Children’s Art Week Ambassador and UK Children’s Laureate Lauren Child launched a fantastic resource which she created with Josie Scullard — six activity sheets to encourage creativity, all inspired by their favourite children’s books.

From making your own book to a 3D world, there’s a creative idea to suit every child and classroom — click here to get inspired or scroll down to check out a wealth of resources that will help you plan your Children’s Art Week event.

Activity ideas and resources

Art UK is the online home for every public art collection in the UK and is a fantastic resource for engaging with artworks remotely.

BBC Arts Get Creative: The UK’s biggest ever celebration of creative participation has a range of activities, toolkits and tutorials online.

The Big Draw website has a great selection of resources and ideas about drawing.

Children’s Art Week Activity Cards: Discover the world around you through looking, discussing, making and exhibiting. The cards include activities for individuals, pairs and groups, follow on ideas for the classroom or at home, and useful resources to explore online.

Engage Scotland’s Inspiring Art Cards — a teaching aid for looking at and talking about art with groups.

Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour was an exhibition of children and young people’s artwork with associated learning programmes, run by Engage, supported by Arts Council England’s Strategic touring programme, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Helen Jean Cope Charity. The Generation ART resources bring together experiences, learning and expertise from a wide range of individuals and organisations involved in the project.

MaxLiteracy: creative literacy resources free for anyone to use. While devised by specific projects, they all include diverse activities which can be adapted to any setting (Keys stages 1–4).

The Museum of London Early Years toolkit is a digital resource full of great ideas and inspiration for those working with under 5s.

National Portrait Gallery Teachers’ Resources include materials on image and identity and portraiture.

Royal Museums Greenwich: Learning at Home resources. Keep budding space enthusiasts entertained through online activities and videos.

The TES website has many free art and design resources to help teachers plan activities.

Tate Kids. Play free games and quizzes, find art activities, explore homework help and share your art with Tate Kids. 

Tate also has a range of teaching resources available for free download.

Victoria & Albert Museum learning resources for teachers include materials on exploring skylines, design processes, sculpture, drawing and more.

Child Protection and Safeguarding 

Engage is committed to promoting gallery education practice which safeguards and promotes the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Through its programmes of work,  Engage recognises it has a duty of care to ensure that the galleries and individuals we work in partnership with safeguard all children, young people and vulnerable adults with whom they may work directly, regardless of race, gender or sexuality. 

Organisations or individuals who plan to use digital tools to deliver their work, livestream events, or deliver online workshops, lessons and courses can access guidance on the following websites:

Working with artists

Engage’s Making Connections Toolkit for working with art and artists — pdf free to download.

Engage Cymru’s publication How Red is Red: A Toolkit for Art in the Early Years for working with younger children (available as a free PDF by clicking the link).

Engage’s Watch This Space Toolkit  for schools working with artists and galleries (available as a free PDF). 

Axisweb helps you search more than 3,000 selected Artists, Makers and Art Professionals by name, location, practice, area of expertise and much more. 

National Foundation for Educational Research’s report on Artists in schools offers advice on how to plan, run and evaluate your art projects. 

We are IVE’s Six-Step Guide provides guidance on how to commission an artist or arts organisation to work with staff and pupils in your school. 

Working in your community

Planning, evaluation and accreditation

Arts Council England’s Quality Principles aim to raise the standard of work being produced by, with and for children and young people. It could be helpful to consult these whilst planning your event, or at the point of evaluation.

Arts Award is a unique qualification, supporting children and young people to develop as artists and arts leaders, assessing art form knowledge and understanding, creativity and communication rather than a specific art form skill level. Anyone up to the age of 25 can gain an Arts Award through any art form, including technical and support roles. Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England working with 10 regional Bridge organisations.

Arts Award introduces Discover at Home, a flexible framework to support creative learning at home, with limited resources. Designed to enable all families to enjoy arts learning, this resource pack gives your parents & carers all they need to get creative at home. If you are an Arts Award centre or have an Arts Award adviser at the school, you can also apply for the children to receive a certificate. Link Discover at Home to your Children’s Arts Week plans, or map it to your planned curriculum.

Artsmark is awarded by Arts Council England and aims to help schools to deliver and demonstrate a high-quality arts and cultural education. Any school setting can apply, and Artsmark schools gain access to exceptional resources as well as networks of the country’s most treasured cultural organisations, helping them develop and strengthen their arts provision.

Shape Arts have a variety of resources to help improve confidence in working with disabled people, and making your organisation more diverse and inclusive.

Is this the best it can be? is a toolkit that can be used by anyone delivering arts and creative learning through collaborative or participatory projects and programmes. Developed by ArtWorks Scotland, the ideas and approaches featured within the toolkit have been developed through collaborative engagement with artists, professionals from other sectors and participants working in this area. 

Family Arts Standards

The Family Arts Standards are a set of best-practice guidelines for working with families, created by the Family Arts Campaign and the Family and Childcare Trust. The accompanying family friendly badge or quality-mark is a great way for your organisation to highlight that you recognise the importance of your family audience. Find out more and register for free here.

Children’s Art Week is run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education and supported in 2020 by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.

This event is open to the public.