Paper flower-making, the Cirque du Soleil, Paisleys, Lapidaries, and Ceramics (Ancient Nubian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Roman and Islamic) – 7 half-term activities enjoyed by children and young people!

Just finished an exhilarating week of activities with our Young Adventurers, Young Explorers and Young Activists, with Young Citizen support!

Aratrust Young Adventurers (aged 3-5)

Aratrust Young Adventurers had great fun creating lots of pretty flowers with paper, markers, scissors and glue and showing them to the other children!

Aratrust Young Explorers (aged 5-10) and Young Activists (aged 11-18)

Young Activists presented 3 circus shows for the Young Adventurers and Young Explorers during the week. They also presented 3 Design & Technology sessions focusing on items on the Victoria & Albert Museum website.

Cirque du Soleil

Young Activists presented 3 Cirque du Soleil shows to the Young Adventurers and Explorers who loved them! We are very grateful to Cirque du Soleil who made ‘Kurios’, ‘O’ and ‘Luzia’ freely available on YouTube during Lockdown.


The 1st DT session: traditional Indian textiles

Young Explorers and Activists participated in quizzes, analysed different examples of traditional Indian textiles on the V&A website and discussed videos on traditional techniques and embellishments, including glass and beetle shells! They saw how hammers, hooks, chalk and other raw materials were used to embroider shoes and harnesses, and produce clothes. Amazing! 

The session ended with a discussion on a video featuring an Indian fashion designer using traditional aspects of Indian textiles to create modern designs for an international market.

The 2nd DT session: traditional Asian jewellery-making

Using the V&A website resources, Young Explorers and Activists looked at how different minerals and metals were used for traditional jewellery-making over centuries.

They saw how lapidaries cut precious stones, shaped them and polished them by hand. They discussed and compared different designs and related them to some of the textile designs and features in the first DT session. They saw precious stones used to decorate furniture, utensils and weapons such as swords and daggers.

The 3rd DT session: Islamic Ceramics

This DT session started with a Young Activists’ quiz about design and technological aspects of ceramics, including what pottery was made from, how it was decorated, how different colours were created, and what ceramics was used for.

Then the young people viewed, compared and discussed examples of pre-Islamic pottery from the Ancient Nubian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman civilisations before looking at Islamic ceramics.

Examples of Islamic ceramics on the V&A website spanning about 1000 years were analysed and discussed, and decorations and other DT features from the 2 previous sessions were compared by the Young Explorers and Activists.

As the Iberian peninsula had been almost entirely, largely or partly under Muslim rule for almost 8 centuries, we looked at breath-taking examples of Islamic art in Cordova and Sevilla.  

We ended the session with a video of the very recent first-ever international ceramics conference to be held in India and were able to trace back aspects of some of the exhibits to earlier times.