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Wellington Family Day

The 2016 Wellington Family Day took place on Saturday 27 August at the  Michael Fowler Centre.
Cordelia, the Wellington Coordinator, thanks everyone who took part in this year's Family Day at the Michael Fowler Centre.
This year's theme was all about stories - not just the stories of books, but the stories of objects, the stories that could be told with movement or noise, or the stories people could keep secret.

We were proud to host a varied and talented lineup of special guest authors and illustrators this year, as well as lively performers and educators. Guest authors Mandy Hager and Adele Broadbent ran writing workshops for groups of young writers, who came away full of ideas. Glyn Harper and Bob Kerr talked about the joys and challenges of adapting NZ historical accounts for children - a delicate art... Nikki Slade Robinson adorned children with harakeke and celebrated native wildlife - a flock of paper birds was crafted that day! Cat Chapman created delightful artwork for a live audience with the magic of watercolours, and everyone was anxious to know what was in "The Mystery Box" from her book. And who could forget Ruth Paul's storytelling charisma as a storm of bubbles floated all around her in the MFC courtyard?

Our young visitors had an enriching time: with a host of educational displays and experts present from Te Papa and NIWA, Zealandia and Forest and Bird, there were fascinating stories to be told about history and nature. Our Capital Thinking Factopia area was enriched with generous offerings from local marine specimen collections at NIWA and Te Papa, with intriguing photographs from the turn of the 20th Century kindly on loan from the Turnbull Library, and who could forget the vibrant knitting and sewing table set up by Wellington's own Crafty Volunteers?
For the adults, there was literacy and educational advice on hand thanks to brand new Storylines member Robert Dil and stalls manned by Wellington Central Library as well as the NZ Book Council. In addition, this was our first ever time hosting self published authors at stalls during a Family Day, which made for great conversations and good connections. Extra credit is due to two enterprising young authors who held an impromptu book talk in our Quiet Zone and filled the whole room with intrigued guests. Well done!

There are many other tales to tell from the Family Day, but to see what an event like this is really like, with all its chaos and complexity, the best approach is to simply... visit and tell the story for yourself! 

Participants 2016 
  • Nikki Slade Robinson (illustrator)
  • Cat Chapman (illustrator)
  • Glyn Harper (author)
  • Ruth Paul (author/ illustrator)
  • Adele Broadbent (author)
  • Mandy Hager (author)
  • Bob Kerr (illustrator)
  • Soul Food Tellers: Moira Wairama and Anthony Hopkins
  • PERFORM! - educational musicals
Programme highlights:

Behind the Scenes of War

A lot of ANZAC commemorations focus on the theatre of war. But what was going on in the wings from 1914-1919? To bring wartime stories into a very human perspective, Storylines Wellington Family Day has teamed up with Te Papa and the National Library of New Zealand to create a more intimate display. We'll be focusing on the Home Front, stories from outside combat, and the side of the war that celebrated homecoming, humour and peace.
Author and historian Glyn Harper and masterful illustrator Bob Kerr will be there as guests; they will relate the special challenges of telling war stories to young readers.
Storylines is also delighted to welcome Kirstie Ross, Te Papa curator and author of the book Holding On To Home, to tell the story of small, personal objects and keepsakes from the period. The National Library has graciously provided Storylines with historical photographs that range from the sublime to the slightly cheeky, as a launching point for conversations, crafts and exploration of this fascinating period in New Zealand's history.

Have A Yarn

Storylines Wellington Family Day is proud to be hosting Crafty Volunteers Wellington as part of our WWI Home Front zone and exhibit.These fine local crafters will be holding a knitting bee for charity, using the Renouf Foyer as their workspace for the day. All the knitted creations then get donated for good causes. It's a reminder of similar home crafting and fundraising efforts that took place a century ago to support the war effort, and that continue on behalf of all sorts of causes to this day.
Young visitors can also try their hand at some simple knitting - a great way to get kids interested in crafts!
A knitting bee could always use more yarn. In partnership with Knit World on Willis Street, Storylines has set up a donations bin. If you have yarn sitting unused at the back of your stash, this is a good chance to put it to use for charity.
Just drop into Knit World and put your old yarn in the collection bin, or say you want to donate to Storylines or Crafty Volunteer". The yarn will get collected, passed on and turned into crafts! You can get an idea of Crafty Volunteers' work here: www.craftyvolunteers.com

Storytime On The Mat

Wellington City Libraries will hold one of its popular preschool Storytime sessions in the Books Alive area at 10am. These sessions are ideal for beginner readers, and fill about half an hour with story and song. You can check out more Wellington City Library children's activities at http://www.wcl.govt.nz/kids or meet Library staff at their Storylines stall!
As well as story sessions with our wonderful guests, we have a Literacy Fairy visiting us on the day - if you come to the Books Alive area at 1pm you can say hello to Fairy Floss, our special reading fairy, and enjoy reading some stories together. (Shhhh - she's a puppet but don't tell her that, she might get self-conscious.)

Big Ol' Bean Bags

Do you love getting onto "the Mat" for storytelling and reading? The Family Day has you covered.
The same big black bean bags you can find in Civic Square at lunchtimes in summer, some heavy duty blue monster bags courtesy of Displayworks, and the colourful cushions from Wellington City Library's kids section will all be put to good use around different areas of the Family Day.

Te Papa dance workshop, Whakatinana Mai! - Storytelling Through Dance workshop

In conjunction with Te Papa Tongarewa, Makaira Waugh presents a special workshop for young storytellers who like to move. Mikaira will take a small class through the classic Patricia Grace story, 'Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street' - with lots of movement and music. After playing with the magic eel, young dancers get to make their very own animal story using choreography and teamwork.
Sign up early here for this amazing free workshop.

Oh My Gosh, Fish!

Whether it's Boundary Flat flounders, mythical Wellington taniwha or just the little critters you can find on the seashore - fish are fun and freaky. Thanks to Te Papa and NIWA, there will be lots of intriguing fishy goodness on show at this year's Family Day - creatures you can find on a trip down at the mudflat, and more exotic things that can only be found in the deepest and most interesting parts of the ocean! Make yourself some fishy friends - better yet, add some little glowing dots and take your fish into the Quiet Zone, where you can pretend to be deep under the sea. There's even a friendly whale to sing to.

Secrets and Mysteries

Secret stories and secret places are fascinating, perhaps even... a bit magical? Perhaps you'd like to ask some magical posties for an interesting book? Guess what's in the Mystery Box for the chance to win a prize? Or perhaps there's an anonymous secret you'd like to share....
Find our secret postbox - and who knows what other curiosities lurk around the venue on the day!

The Big Bubble Blow

Get outside at lunchtime and blow yourself lots of bubbles! Just like in Ruth Paul's book, The King's Bubbles, enjoy the fun of sharing tons of bubbly chaos wherever the wind blows.

You? A writer? Yes, You!

Come to Adele Broadbent's crash course workshop on writing your own story, at 11.30 am in the Renouf Foyer! If you're big enough to write, you're big enough to be your own storyteller. Let's write some stories!

Noisy Time: sometimes noise is good

We have a whole auditorium and we're not afraid to use it. Get in the mood by sharing stories with the wonderfully onomatopoeic Ruth Paul  at 10.30, and then head on over to the ACTUAL Michael Fowler Centre with instruments, bird callers, shouts and singing and play with noise in a huge acoustic space! Because sometimes we like to tell stories quietly... but sometimes we like to MAKE NOISE along with the story.

Knitting, drawing, glueing, oh goodness!

Plus you can make all sorts of things - what about a paper bird that has flappy wings? Or a fish that glows in the dark? Or a rainmaking rattle? Or would you like to try weaving harakeke decorations?

Treasure Hunt

Have a go at our Wellington treasure hunt - download the A3 or A4 poster and colour it in.

You can download the detailed programme for the day here.
Wellington Family Day Competitions

WW1 Home Front

What would you say to someone who’s away?
Imagine you’re living in NZ during WW1. What might your life have been like?
Write a short letter to someone you love who is away because of the war. Perhaps they are fighting or something else?
Download the template and write your letter.

The Mystery Box and Finnignan Flynn

What’s inside the mystery box? We really cannot tell, so write or draw just what you think you’d see/ hear/ taste/ touch/ smell ….
Download the template and complete your entry

Super Mysterious Character

For confident writers (ages 9 -14)
Describe a mysterious character on the template. What makes them so interesting?
Download the template and complete your entry
We'd love your help!
The Family Day is going to be a huge event and to make it all run smoothly and be safe, we rely on the good grace of volunteers like you. If you like conservation and science - why not help out our wonderful scientist guests? If you've always wanted to be a writer - we'd like support people for our special guests. Or if you like the idea of helping young visitors out glueing their craft projects together - come and help supervise a craft activity!
Would You Like To Paint Faces? How About Being A Big Red Dog?
We would like to assemble a face-painting team. Our young visitors love getting painted! It's a busy job, but you'll (sometimes literally) be putting smiles on lots of faces. Stencils and materials will be provided: it's a good idea to bring an apron. 
We would also love to recruit a couple of fit bouncy people to be Clifford the Big Red Dog. Wear a big red dog suit, caper around the venue, and make people smile. Teachers can refer high schoolers for this job. We need at least two Cliffords working in tandem because it gets hot in that suit, and we want to keep our Cliffords safe!

Whatever your needs and interests, we'd love to have you - and we want to make it a fun experience for you too. If there's something specific you'd like to do, or you'd just like to help out, just email wellingtonfestival@storylines.org.nz and tell Cordelia, the coordinator, what you'd enjoy doing on the day. We're always keen for general helpers and runners but there are some very specific jobs that need filling: pass round the word if you know someone who might be keen!

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