How to keep the kids happy on a long day out? It is the eternal question that keeps parents up at night. But don’t panic: there is plenty on offer for children of all ages at the Sharjah International Book Fair.
A sure-fire hit will be the Lego Robotics (7-11 years) workshop, which encourages kids to learn basic engineering skills using those famous coloured bricks. In a similar vein is the Toys Factory (3-8 years), where recycled materials and tools will be used to create something for each child to take home, while also reminding them how important it is to look after the planet. Sharjah International Book Fair: what to see at the Cooker Corner
The emphasis of the Children’s Programme is on teaching new skills. With this in mind, there are workshops in everything from Japanese origami (5-12 years) and ninja skills (7-14 years) to 3D drawing (5-12 years) and clay art (8-14 years).
But, this being a book fair, the real highlights involve reading and writing. A series of interactive Write Your Story (7-12 years) sessions allow kids to enhance – or to try out for the first time – their Arabic writing skills, while Caterpillar Stories (4-11 years) is a workshop, which will help them understand how a story is constructed.
Our Friends in the Desert (8-12 years) is a traditional storytelling event, which focuses on those desert animals facing extinction. The subject matter might seem serious, but this session should actually provide a good opportunity for children to relax a bit after all those activities. Speaking of extinction, dinosaur expert and evolutionary biologist Dr Ben Garrod is making an appearance. Garrod has presented a number of television series in the United Kingdom, including Secrets of Bones. He has a knack of bringing science and history to life.
It is well worth looking at the Theatre programme, too. Magical Journey (all ages) and Once Upon a Dance (all ages), from the Republic of Belarus Children's Dance ensemble, introduces kids to the world of fairy tales. And you'll have to book quickly if your kids want to catch a production of The Lion King (all ages).
For all sessions and timings, visit www.sibf.com