Bali with Kids - Guidebook

Motivating the Budding Artists

Do your kids like to be told tales, design book covers, dance to their own stories, screen print a T-shirt or meet journalists and writers in the flesh?

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The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is little known for its Children and Youth Programme but it certainly deserves to be better noticed and more in the limelight. It took place again this year from October 5th to 9th in several locations in and around Ubud. The programme offered 25 workshops for children from 5 to 18 years old. Bali with Kids covered these 5 days packed with activities attracting school groups and families. Indonesian and foreign kids collaborated together and had a lot of fun. The beauty of this generous programme is that it's open to all and is totally free, thanks to the festival's sponsors.
Whether your child is a lover of stories and literature or is deeply allergic to the written word, there are sessions appealing to all in an atmosphere buzzing with energy and creativity.

This year's workshops happily mixed English and Bahasa Indonesia and some activities focused on Balinese culture while others were truly universal.

Little ones were very active and enjoyed hands on experiences in workshops such as Dance to Your Own Story, How to Make Your Own Picture Book, T-Shirt Printing and Festival Banner Making. All kids felt very proud of their creations. Several workshops were based on story telling activities and were presented by Irene Ritchie, Ann Bowler, Debi Evans and Meredith Costain, the authors of well-known children's books.

Early teenagers experienced travel and poetry writing, environmental work and they were even given insider tips on how to become a TV presenter. Some older teenagers worked with Sandy Firly, a journalist and novelist and learned the basics of journalism. Martine Murray from Australia and Edel Rodriguez, a Cuban American, offered different workshops on how to create your own book cover. Popular social media for the youth were explored in the workshop entitled Personal Branding, Who Am I in Social Media. How cool is all that?

For the teenagers more inclined to drawing than writing, Jango Parmatha a Balinese cartoonist offered useful advice and hands on help to the young participants who created their own comics. Photography was also the central theme of Jan Latta's workshop on how to use photographs to tell a story. She showed her audience how she captures that magic moment that tells the animal's story in Africa, India, Borneo and China.

In-school workshops were taking place at the same time to bring the literary landscape directly to the learning environment in local and international schools as well as cultural centres. Children's publishing, fantasy writing, environment awareness for a sustainable planet, world literature and travel writing were some of the diverse themes of the sessions.

This is the best youth art programme offered for all kids in Bali. If your family is around in October time next year, check the programme on the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival's website and sign on for interesting workshops that will motivate your budding artists.