Being a Creative Champion: engaging parents

Creative Skills participants have fed back that in some settings, there is a tension between giving children the freedom to create whatever they choose, and the pressure to have, for example, a Christmas craft or Mother’s Day card that ‘looks like something’. How can we encourage adults to be more mindful of, and value, the process a child goes through when they have complete freedom of expression, which can give truly magical insights into how they think and feel?

Creative Skills and the expressive arts within child-led approaches

Since 2013 Starcatchers has delivered artist-facilitated training for early years professionals across Scotland, building creative confidence and sharing open structures to give babies and young children a voice through the expressive arts. Here, Creative Skills Manager, Heather Armstrong, reflects on the role of adults in child-led practice.

Creative Discoveries

Since August I’ve been Lead Artist at Expecting Something in Lochgelly, exploring creative play with a brilliant group of parents and babies. I always look forward to each session and seeing how the babies will react to the activities I’ve planned, and each week brings new discoveries for me as an artist, and also for… Read more »

New Experiences – Reflections from Starcatchers Intern, Yola Sornsakrin

Yola Sornsakrin, a social work student from Berlin, Germany, spent six months working with Starcatchers across our community engagement and professional development projects.  During my six months internship with Starcatchers I had the chance to observe and support many projects, including the Community Engagement projects Creative Kin and Expecting Something and their professional development programmes… Read more »

Playful ideas

Time to share some of the good stuff we have been up to at Expecting Something Wester Hailes, which could also inspire activities at home. We all need a bit more genuine fun in our lives I reckon – and at Expecting Something we are constantly striving to find things which automatically inspire genuine fun… Read more »


This is my last block of Creative Kin.   Creative Kin Moray began back in November 2017. Since then we’ve done 15 2-hour sessions – that’s a total of 30 hours with 12 diverse families and 7 additional artists from an array of disciplines.   The project has achieved so much in this time –… Read more »

Filming Magic

As a filmmaker, I’m used to working on diverse projects. From commercial video, to more conceptual moving image work, every project is unique. When you arrive at a location with your camera, your brain is throwing out tens of questions a second… What story am I telling? How can I tell that story visually? What’s… Read more »

Back to Basics

Working as an artist with kinship carers and their children over several months in Ayrshire, I’ve been privileged to get to know families whose personal stories all involve great bravery, resilience and love.   Through family den-building, performing in wild punk bands, creating home-made instruments and so many other creative activities we have found new… Read more »

Making Spaces

I’ve been reflecting on the time that I’ve had with Expecting Something over the past year and a half,   since I returned to the project after having my own baby. I recently left the project to have another baby and I’ve handed the project over to the amazing Kim Donohoe.   I have been… Read more »

‘We’re all musical when we interact with babies’

The musicality of infants and very young children is remarkable and this is why music, particularly live music, is such a strong feature in early years theatre. For composer Greg Sinclair, how babies and young children experience and respond to sound was the inspiration for MamaBabaMe’s beautiful soundtrack.   Sensitivity to music appears very early on,… Read more »