Aardman launches Aards & Craft activity series for families in lockdown
Aardman has launched a raft of new and curated content to help children have fun while they learn at home during this period of lockdown.
A new YouTube playlist, Aards & Craft, features a series of easy-to-follow videos to inspire kids (and their parents!) to get creative at home with fun craft activities and to try their hand at animation. Aardman’s experts cover everything from creating characters and storyboarding, lighting and props, to painting Shaun the Sheep Easter egg characters, and there is no experience required so anyone can have a go.
The playlist will be regularly updated with challenges set by Aardman’s award-winning team. In the first, available now, Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director for Wallace & Gromit and Director for Morph, challenges viewers to create a pair of characters out of the cardboard inserts from loo rolls and anything else that can be found around the house. Families who take up the challenge are encouraged to share a photo or video of their creations online with the hashtag #AardsAndCraft.
Legendary Aardman character Morph, who will soon be returning to Sky Kids in a brand new series, called The Epic Adventures of Morph, will also be setting the weekly Morph’s Art Challenge on his social media channels, to encourage fans to unleash their creativity while at home. These can be found on Morph’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Merlin Crossingham commented: “Encouraging children to try their hand at animation is something we do year-round, as part of our mission to open up the possibility of a career in the industry to all young people. But brilliant ideas often come in response to challenging situations, so what better time could there be to get creative with whatever you can find around your house? One of the things that has cheered us over recent weeks has been hearing how our characters and content are helping put a smile on people’s faces at this difficult time. We aim to return the favour with these new activities and challenges which we hope will encourage creativity amongst kids, help parents who are learning to homeschool – often while working full-time, and even give families some fun ideas for mini projects they could do together.”
Meanwhile, this year’s Wallace & Gromit-inspired Cracking Ideas competition is open for entries until 24th April. Run in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office, the Cracking Ideas competition invites children aged 4 to 11-years-old to reinvent everyday objects, making them better than before, in the same way that Wallace & Gromit have been doing for years. Entrants must draw their idea and explain how it will help to get a boring job done quicker and better. There are two categories, KS1 and KS2, and further details are available at www.crackingideas.com/competitions. The winners will receive a model making masterclass with an Aardman animator for themselves and their friends, and one winner will see their design come to life in Wallace & Gromit’s augmented reality story, The Big Fix-Up.
Continuing its support of The Grand Appeal, Bristol’s Children’s Hospital charity, Aardman will be hosting a Gromit model making workshop with Merlin Crossingham. Families will be given the rare opportunity to make a Gromit model, led by the Aardman expert, from the comfort of their own home.
Aardman will be supporting its live event partners such as Camp Bestival. Camp Bestival presents…Stay at Home Easter Sleepover is a new digital festival taking place over the Easter weekend, providing fun and engaging online content for its audiences. The studio is also working with the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts to provide content for its Virtual Academy.
The Aardman Academy, designed to strengthen ties between the animation industry and education, is exploring virtual courses across various disciplines such as a virtual Sketch to Screen summer school, and a story masterclass with an Aardman creative.