Kate Temple is a visual artist. Her practice is varied and incorporates installation, sculpture, drawing, writing and design. She works on many education and engagement projects as an Arts Educator with organisations including National Galleries of Scotland, Artlink and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Paula Flavell is a visual artist who enjoys getting messy. She works as an Arts Educator for the National Galleries of Scotland where she encourages others to find out if they like messy or not.


The Project

Starcatchers and the National Galleries of Scotland are working together on two new pilot projects aimed at exploring different ways of engaging with nursery children as well as parents and carers.  Two pilot programmes have emerged in 2015/16: Wee Wanders and Toddle Tours.

In Spring 2016 we offered 8 Toddle Tour sessions between the National Gallery of Scotland and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art (MOD1) which included creative play activities designed for children aged 2-5 to enjoy with their adult.

Activities included messy play, outdoor sculpture building, mud painting and unstructured play in a range of locations around the galleries. The children had a chance to explore different open-ended materials as well as the opportunity to engage with various pieces of art-work displayed. The pilot aimed to introduce young children to new positive experiences of the National Galleries of Scotland, and the chance to create special memories with their grown-ups inspired by the works of art.

Messy Play:

Toddlers and their grown ups got messy with paint, a parachute and confetti inspired by The Storm painting by William McTaggart at the Scottish National Gallery.


Outdoor Play:

After a walk to see some of the sculptures outside at MOD1, toddlers and their grown-ups made their own sculptures on the front lawn.



At the National Gallery, we began the session outside amongst the construction site – and then had a go at building our town inside the National Gallery with cardboard boxes.




Underneath William McTaggart’s The Storm beach scene paintings, toddlers and adults enjoyed some time at the (indoor) beach, making and playing – using their imaginations!



For the last session at the Scottish National Gallery, the parents and toddlers enjoyed a walk around the paintings spotting any food they could see, to then meet back at the National Gallery for a picnic, which was MYOF (Make your own food)!


Bridget Riley:

We explored Riley’s black and white patterned theme at MOD1 and toddlers projected light, followed taped lines on the floor and even had a go at some creative movement inspired by the op-art.


Land Art:

After packing rucksacks at the bothy, families went on a journey across the land forms at MOD1+2, and got to have a go at some themselves through making their own mud and simply experimenting!


Peter Doig:

The final session took us back inside at MOD1 where we camped out under the stars of Peter Doig’s ‘Milky Way’ painting. Toddlers and adults made things they needed for their camp-out and enjoyed playing with light and darkness, as well as spending time just playing together.


“The lovely environments created each week encouraged creative play and role-play as well as time to engage in the visual arts activity itself.”

“The quiet attention given by the leaders that was so respectful of and interested in my child.”

“I liked the space to be creative myself and be a maker alongside my child, rather than just enabling his experience.”

Project Supporters