Creative Child is a programme of direct contact creative experiences using arts-based engagement to explore communication, opinion, literacy and creativity with children.

Creative child painting

The Creative Child programme began in 2013 and drew on previous work from 2011 - 2014 in developing drama and critical appraisal skills in children and the adults in their lives. Following subsequent years of both primary and secondary research, Creative Child has evolved into an extended engagement program, delivering a series of child led, process based, creative workshops combined with performance visits for children, their teachers and parents. 

The program works with children aged 3 to 11 years within their schools while also offering training & creative support to parents and teachers.  

It directly supports key priorities on child development and education, bringing under-engaged children forward and increasing literacy, confidence, imagination and critical vocabulary. 

We do this by putting the child at the centre of what we do, while investing heavily in a high level of training and preparation for our project artists and personnel.

(See video on right hand side in larger window, CLICK HERE)

“I was very impressed with the project. The children really enjoyed it and I saw them develop their skills in many areas. The project was a real success.” 
Shaftesbury Nursery School Teacher

The Creative Child project is part of Young at Art’s year round education programme. It is a fully funded project, primarily funded by BBC Children in Need, working with schools from some of the most deprived areas in Belfast. In 2017 we worked with 15 pre-schools and 8 primary schools across West, North & East of the city.

‘The project is really well organised, children love the workshops, shows are always excellent and are often a new experience for children.’ Ballysillan Primary School Teacher


Creative Child Schools

Following the successful pilot of the project through Irish in 2017, we have secured funding through Foras na Gaeilge for the delivery of Creative Child in Irish Medium to all 5 of our Irish Medium schools in 2018.

  • Hope Nursery School
  • Tudor Lodge Nursery School
  • Hobby Horse Playgroup
  • Edenderry Nursery School
  • Black Mountain Nursery School
  • Shaftesbury Nursery School
  • Naiscoil Bheann Mhadagain
  • Naiscoil Mhic Reachtain
  • Knocknagoney Nursery School
  • Nettlefield Nursery School
  • St. Matthews Nursery School
  • Ballysillan Nursery School
  • Gaelscoil na bhFál
  • Nettlefield Primary School
  • Glenbank Nursery School
  • Cliftonville Nursery School
  • Seaview Nursery School
  • Ballysillan Primary
  • Seaview Primary
  • Cliftonville Primary
  • Bunscoil Mhic Reachtain
  • Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagain
  • Our Ladys Girls Primary School


“This is the best trip I have ever been on in 15 years at school. Every part of the project was enjoyable, not only for children but also for the staff. The experiences children got were second to none - our children definitely wouldn’t have these experiences otherwise - live theatre, backstage tours, drama, and visual art workshops. Every person we encountered from Young at Art was professional, friendly, fun and able to build a lovely rapport with the children...The organisation of the project was fabulous. We as a nursery loved every minute. Thank you so much for everything.”  St Matthew’s Nursery teacher

Thanks to this project, children will receive a range of creative experiences designed to develop their imagination, creativity and ability to talk about their creative arts experiences.

Thanks to Funders and Supporters

  • ARN Foundation
  • Foyle Foundation
  • Lightbody Foundation
  • Esme Mitchell Trust
  • NIE Networks Staff & Pensions Fund

And supported by Cultúrlann Mc Adam Ó Fiaich and The Strand Arts Centre.

Thanks also to these past funders:

  • Thomas Devlin Community Arts Fund
  • Victoria Homes Trust

Teachers and educational professionals may be interested in finding out more about the training that we offer - see here.

Creative Child: news articles

Read about the power of the programme in unlocking children's creativity, communication and expression here.

Read a selection of comments from teachers here.

Emma Gilmore from the George Best Belfast City Airport Community Fund joined us recently at an Extended Creative Experience in The Strand Arts Centre - Read more or go directly to view the video here