January 2018

What a year so far! 

The Winter WishJanuary sees Órla working with the amazing musician, Thomas Johnston of Ceol Connect, to explore and develop an extant theatrical musical piece ‘The Quiet Tree’ to become a multi sensory, immersive experience for children with additional needs in Draíocht in January 2018. 



Wide Eyes

January also saw Órla creating interactive visual art work for 

the streets of Galway for Wide Eyes in Finding Magic. Wide Eyes is the final event of Small size, Performing Arts for Early Years - Hosted by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. 

The event featured fifteen new productions for 0-6 year olds, all of which had been developed specifically for this project.


The individual companies each had to create theatrical work under the project’s overarching theme of ‘Wide Eyes’. Finding Magic aimed to bring elments of the 


theatre productions into the streets of Galway so the city could experience a touch of this festival. Many thanks to Anne Cradden and Andrew Carson for their assistance in this work.


Sound Box Finding Magic










November/ December


Room 13 Inquiry The LouvreDecember saw Orla take a petit trip to Paris and Skype with the students of Room 13 Inquiry from the Louvre to share the experience.

Draiocht WhiteNovember sees early years arts investigations in Draiocht with White, and investigation of colours and story, which aimed to support children’s first experience of theatre.


November Lights Orla Kelly Jackie Maguire

Órla worked with the wonderful Jackie Maguire of Colour Strings to share musical, theatrical and visual arts experiences with child minders for a magic filled session titled November Lights.


Órla began working with a wonderful community crèche, Doras Bui, in Darndale through artist-in-residence programme. This residency is an Early Years Arts Training Programme jointly run by Preparing for Life and DCCAO, supported by Creative Ireland where the artist shares their practice with the early years educators while delivering creative arts sessions to the children. It is a multidimensional project which sees all stakeholders learn about creative potential and build their professional capacities for the benefit of the children and the crèche. 

This programme will run until June 2018.

Room 13 Planning


Room 13 Inquiry kicked off again this term with the wonderful students and teachers in Scoil Bhride Blanchardstown. The young artists used the studio to inquire about wearable art and created art work for the body that reflected the seasons (6th class) and Outer Space (5th class). Their dedication to realising their ideas but relinquishing their original idea when a better exploration arrives, determination in teaching themselves skills which are quite difficult, ability for creative reflection and boundless enthusiasm is inspiring. Their fear in showing their work to an audience in the format of a fashion show was very palpable but was overcome when their tremendously supportive schools colleagues and family cheered their inventions. 

As the school terms begins we start to reengage with preschools and crèches and their new cohorts of children. This September saw two wonderful projects commence that engage with young children and their educators.Sparkle


Sparkle, led by Axis Arts Centre in Ballymun engaged with five creche’s took its inspiration from an arts in education project called Spark that ran in Axis over a decade ago.

SparkleSparkle invited children in  crèches across the the northside of Dublin to work with early year’s arts visual artist, Orla Kelly over 6 weeks through interactive storytelling. The image shown here, on the right, is a page from a book that the artist and children created together. Sparkle began and ended in axis theatre for two quality early years performances. It aimed to create relationships forged in the experience of the arts and build on those experiences to the benefit of the children, their educators and to share future arts experiences.


Heads TogetherRecreate Ireland and Trinity College Dublin have been collaborators since 2016 for Heads Up, an arts in educational settings where children and educators with and without additional needs work together. In the follow up to Heads Up, All Heads Together, Recreate aimed to build on the experiences of Heads Up and place artists in setting to work within a classroom with an atypical demographic to document the process of creating together using reuse materials available within Recreate. The resulting documented work will be available early 2018.




Civic TallaghtTo kick start a year with a focus on theatrical experiences for young children, the Civic Theatre in Tallaght invited a group of wonderful artists; Anna Newell, Joanna Williams (Little Bigtop) with Joanna Parkes, Orla Kelly working with Deidre Rogers and Margaret Bergin to join together for one week with the challenge of devising a concept or engagement for new work for children aged between 0 and 6 years. This resulting work was contained in a very special day called ‘Ready Steady, Show!’ and aims to be the beginning of a focus to create inspiring and engaging work for our youngest citizens.

August 2017

KannersummerSummer saw Órla spend considerable time in the wonderful Wiltz for Kanersummer or children’s summer.

A wonderful summer arts programme that has been running for nearly two decades inLuxembourg and sees children spend time with artists to have rich arts experiences and make art work. The children investigated to make a rollercoaster, a circus, film and superhero’s.




This time of year sees family fun days pepper the calendar and the team joined beautiful children and their adults in a few settings, including Finglas and Farmleigh for days of fun, creative arts and traditional games.






Kannersummer theatreSummer 2017

The coming months will see Orla work with a wonderful team of artists in Luxembourg for their annual Kannersummer, where children and artists collaborate to build, invent, develop skills and be inspired through the arts. 

We are also hosting the children's arts area at the Plant Fair in Farmleigh, on Sunday 6th August. 

On Sunday 3rd September, just before school begins again (does the summer really go so quickly!), Early Childhood Creatvity and Farmleigh create some family fun with outdoor games, inventive creative opportunities for young and old. 

May 2017

Arts in Education Portal

What a busy month May has turned out to be. Room 13 Inquiry were invited to deliver a presentation at the Arts In Education Portal Conference in St. Patricks College. We had students, teachers, principals, funders and artists present. It was really a wonderul day for all with the children (the only child presenters at the conference) stole the show with their articulate and confident understanding of themselves and the arts. 

The National Portal Day was followed quickly by the Toddler Take Over in Draiocht. This is a fabulous day where Draiocht arts centre is taken over by our very youngest citizens. This year's Take Over was designed by Anne Cradden and Orla Kelly and supported by the most amazing team of artists and Draiocht staff.

Toddler Take Over

Meanwhile, back in the studio of Room 13 Inquiry so much work is being carried out, from Self Portraits by the 6th class who are transitioning to young adulthood and the prospect of leaving primary school to move to secondary school. This moment is captured by the wonderful Killian Waters in his work School Portraits. See here for the work exhibited in Draiocht as part of the School Portraits Exhibition.

Killian was also commissioned by Fingal Arts Office to create a documentary film capturing the work that the participants of Room 13 Inquiry were undertaking. The resulting video was shot over 6 days and captures an amazing wealth of artistic interactions, rich in quality and its resulting impact of the arts on children's development and well being as well as exposing children to high quality contemporary arts experiences. Please do watch and share this inspiring Room 13 Inquiry documentary.

Bardardos in Draiocht

Barnardos preschool from Mulhuddart joined Andrew Carson and Orla Kelly in Draiocht for some very engaging sessions in the gallery space as part of investigations into the Creative Creche Programme. The children engaged with the work of Eamon O' Kane, A History of Play, building and destroying, creatign stories and inventing scenarios with Eamon's work and created their own response to the work engaged in. 


Cooperations, Luxembourg

There is a wonderful community of artists workin on a hill in north Luxembourg. The venue is Cooperations and those in Ireland may be familiar with its daughter KCat in Kilkenny. It supports artists with particular needs to creatework. Orla frequently visits Luxembourg to work with visiting groups during creative weeks and in the summer to work with children. Orla worked with the wonderful Svejna Weber and a group of artists to make theatre, some toy characters and a small experimental film.KWSKWS

Wicklow Early Years Arts Residency

Orla Kelly joined the amazing Anna Newell in Bray for an early years multidisiplinary arts residency. The residency, the brain child of Anna, invited early years artists with various core art forms to cross pollinate for one week (each artist) in a differnt creche in Wicklow. Amazing things arose, including the soothing wake from slumber investigations through singing and projected images, and a couple of newly invented books. 

Spring Flowers At Farmleigh

The creative team were at work inventing the giants garden in Farmleigh with amazing giant flowers. Giants Garden

Farmleigh January to March 2017

Toddler Thursday in Draiocht

Toddler Thursday sessions began again in Draiocht to a enthusiastic bunch of very young children and their guardians. Anne Cradden and Orla Kelly transformed a plain room into magical space for adventure and invention.

Toddlers at Draiocht






October, November, December 2016 

Fabulous adventures in Draiocht

The lovely Emer Morrissey joined Orla in Draiocht for a series of early childhood creative sessions. Inspired by the work in the gallery space Emer and Orla invented stories and actions to engage very young children in contemporary art work.




Exhibition in DraiochtChristmas at Draiocht










Farmleigh at Christmas

Farmleigh at Christmas

Another adeventure for the creative construction team in Farmleigh for Christmas as they created a winter wonderland scene that hosted dress up, story telling and festive cheer. 


Baboró 2016

Finding things in BaboroDeirdre and Órla joined Baboró in Galway to create an adventure of a lifetime. With the Aula Maxima as the venue the team invented a magical world that supported the imaginations of our youngest citizens. Baboró is an annual arts festival for children running in October each year. We highly reccomend it for grrwoing imaginations. For more information on events please see http://www.baboro.ie/Baboro projector

Halloween Howl











Halloween Howl

Órla, Deirdre and Liadain, artists from The Arty Yard and Recreate have joined forces as the autumn ends and spookiness begins to present Halloween Howl, with full costume creation, creepy decoration making, scary storytelling, a spooky disco and more if we can keep the ghosts away.

Halloween Howl At The Arty Yard Orla Kelly

This half day event is ideal for creative children over 6 years of age. If you are a mammy, daddy, grandparent, aunt or uncle you are welcome to stay and help too but you don’t have to.  We understand that there is a big audience for children aged 4 and 5 years old and rather than exclude this age group we are very happy to welcome them but children aged 4 and 5 must be accompanied by an adult and make work together. Click here to book https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/halloween-howl-at-the-arty-yard-in-castletown-house-tickets-28010038780


Farmleigh at Christmas

Farmleigh Christmas Wonderland

The crew will  be inventing mode for the next few weeks dreaming and inventing work for many events including the Farmleigh Christmas Wonderland. This usually involves beautiful food, flower and gift markets, themed dress up events and walking through the splendour of Farmleigh house and property, decorated to showcase a Christmas spirit. 


 Room 13 Inquiry

Room 13 Inquiry Orla Kelly

Room 13 Inquiry kicks off again with a new year and a new focus. This year sees the 5th class at Scoil Bhride Cailini in Blanchardstown as the lead protagonists in our adventures. Our plans for our investigations are coming together for the coming year and involve visiting artist’s studios, explorations into painting textures, science and sculptural investigations and considering the business practices of artists.

·    Electric Picnic

Electric Picnic Orla Kelly Early Years

Our fist rodeo at the Electric Picnic; Órla joined Recreate and an amazing troupe of artists to battle with wind, rain and create wonderful things with lots of young revellers.


       Creative Induction SNMCI 

Montessori Student Creative Induction




The new academic year has arrived so quickly and Órla is one of the lecturers at the Montessori College of Ireland. This year’s creative induction was filled with challenges involving jellies, den building and a tough young judging crew from the Montessori school 5th class.



Comedy Festival Farmleigh Orla Kelly Early Years

Wonderful teams of amazing artists filled Farmleigh for a number of creative events including the Comedy Festival, The Plant Fair and Farmleigh Family Fun Day. An exhausting month!


Art and Theatre Camp Arty Yard Orla Kelly

·     Art and Theatre Camp: Olivier Bonnardot from Sultan Bacchus in France joined Órla in Castletown’s Arty Yard for a week long adventure into art and theatre. It was a small cohort of young people but we made costumes, our own scrip and performed our world premier for an eager audience.

      KannersummerÓrla joined an amazing crew of artists from across Europe in Luxembourg to make work with and for children. Each year Kannersummer gets bigger and this year we made some amazing things from pirate boats, self portraits with hammer and nails and a giant pirate game. There may have been a little focus on pirates.

Kannersummer Luxembourg Orla Kelly

 Kannersummer Orla KellyKannersummer Orla Kelly


 Kannersummer Luxembourg Orla Kelly Early YEarsKannersummer Orla KellyKannersummer Orla Kelly


Luxembourg KWS June Orla KellyÓrla joined Portuguese artist Catarina Castro in Wiltz, Luxembourg for a KWS session.

Our plan was to explore painting and drawing with household materials; Tempera, watercolour, casein (milk paint), encaustic, distemper and fresco, and the guys took our ideas and made work that was just amazing.

Luxembourg KWS June Orla Kelly


Arty Yard Toddlers in Castletown

The Arty Yard is an amazing space of fun and creativity to make and explore art works in the beautiful surroundings of Castletown House and Parklands.Arty Yard Toddlers Orla Kelly It is a creative adventure by the wonderful OPW people at Castletown House and Early Childhood Creativity however its driving force is the wonderful team of artists. This year we are adding to the programme of events in the Arty Yard by introducing some sessins for toddlers. 



Arty Yard Toddlers Orla Kelly










Toddler Take Over

Toddler Take Over Draiocht Orla KellyOne of our most exciting events of the year is Toddler Take Over, a little event that has a huge focus on the arts for the very young.  Draíocht’s whole building will, for this one day only, transform into a big space for an adventure through story, visual arts, puppetry and dance for the very young.  With a combination of book-in and free drop-in events, children are invited to explore the little spaces that big people don’t usually see. Little characters will lurk under the chairs; footprints will amble across floors and 

elsewhere in the small nooks that 

Toddler takeover Draiocht Orla Kelly and Andrew Carson Early Years

children notice.Toddler takeover Draiocht Orla Kelly Early YearsWith our theme of exploration, put on your adventure hats and get ready to travel from the earth to the stars! Armed with your imagination and natural curiosity, explore colour, sculpture, painting and construction in our Galleries and Workshop Spaces! You can dance with Antje, explore and invent with an interactive visual arts experience from Órla and Andrew, or see and hear a puppet’s tale with Julie-Rose. There will also be a teeny tiny take over space dedicated solely to adventurers under 18 months.

Heads Up Recreate Project 2 Orla Kelly Early YearsHeads Up Project

Created by Deirdre Rogers, arts programmer in Recreate, the Heads Up Project is an exciting project that aims to demonstrate the benefits of creativity through reuse of Recreate’s materials in 18 inclusive settings. These include preschool, primary, post primary and community groups with a focus on groups catering for special needs children, youths or adults. Heads up adopts a short term artist in residence model allowing for extended opportunities for active learning through the visual arts and creative reuse. Órla, Jo and Deirdre are among the many artists engaged with this project which is accompanied by a researcher from Trinity College.



Easter in Farmleigh

Farmleigh Easter Orla Kelly

Christmas and Easter Jo and Órla spend very long days inventing, designing and creating a venue that is fit for feasts by the eyes and a joy to experience. This year’s team was a big one and involved lots of bunnies in top hats, egg and spoon races, creations of many kinds, spring games and a spring scene fit for the best costumes.

Draiocht Orla Kelly Early Years


St Patricks JNS, Corduff

Visiting schools and exploring with their youngest learners can be amazing but when parents and their children have the opportunity to experience learning together things can be really wonderful as exampled with this month’s art in the classroom experience in St Patricks, Corduff and their preschool classes


Draiocht Tiny Teenies Orla Kelly Early Years

Tiny Teenies

We have begun an adventure with the youngest of the youngest by designing creative sessions for children aged 6months to 16 months in Draíocht. We have designed a baby outer space zone, a food painting area, and created many spaces with objects for curious investigators. 
Draiocht Tiny Teenies 2 Orla Kelly Early Years





Scoil Bhride Room 13Room 13 and Sultan Bacchus

Room 13 have been busy making set props for a visit by the French theatre in school company Sultan Bacchus. Sultan Bacchus, among other things, encourage the development of languages almost through stealth tactics where the students are so involved in the joy and fun of learning they don’t realise they are learning. The 6th class student, so involved in Room 13, put on a French play or perhaps a play in French for the whole school, after being coached for a mere two and a half days by the writer and director Olivier Bonnardot.


Andrew Carson in Draíocht

Room 13 took a visit to Andrew Carson, the amazing Artist in Residence in Draíocht. He spoke to the students about his practice and shared thoughts about his recent show and a past show in Japan. From this we made a group work called Boats. This is on exhibit in Draíocht in the foyer area.

Andrew Carson Draiocht Room 13 Inquiry

Draíocht Sessions

We had our final toddler creative session for the season with many visiting their first full theatre experience in Draíocht today, Snow Play from the wonderful Lyngo Theatre.

Draiocht Orla Kelly Early Years



Farmleigh Christmas

Farmleigh at Christmas Orla Kelly

Farmleigh is an amazing venue to visit during Christmas. Again we had an amazing team with set up and dress up. Our theme this year in the Motor House was Winter Wonderland.


Room 13 Inquiry

Room 13 is getting messier (in a good experimental way) and more exciting as the days pass. We had a few government officials visit to see the work happening in the studio. So many good stories coming from this room and how the arts are so valuable to children’s development in their education (traditional and contemporary), and for their social emotional and intellectual growth. Room 13 Inquiry Orla Kelly


St Nicholas Montessori College of Ireland have a great crew of lecturers and a great cohort of students. Supporting and observing little and big people grow their intellect and sense of self through their creative and imaginative capacities is a challenge and a joy. Órla teaches on the BA Hons. Education, BA Montessori and Higher Level Diploma courses in SNMCI in Dun Laoghaire and Cork.Montessori Orla Kelly Teaching


Draiocht Snow Play Orla Kelly Early Years



Our seasonal five week sessions have begun in Draíocht, bringing very young children on a discovery of the arts through storytelling, sculpture, construction, beauty and wonder as a lead to their very first theatre show. This year’s show is Snow Play from the wonderful Lyngo Theatre.



BarboroÓrla Kelly teamed up with the artist Deirdre Rogers and the wonderful ReCreate Ireland as we hosted The Happy Heart one for Barboro’s International Festival for Children 2015. Hosting creative sessions for children, hands-on inspirational workshops for adults and drop-in experiences for all, all housed in a created land in the Cornstore.






Arts in Education Portal LaunchRoom 13 begins again with a school full of enthusiastic and creative students, a new camera to capture the experiences and a light heart after 

some nice holidays. We have plans to work with the junior artists collective, the Arty Explorers and a lunchtime troupe of Sixth Class students. 

Room 13

Fingal Arts Office Julie is planning with Orla the new Room 13 website. We hope to have this live by the end of the year so we can keep all interested parties up to date with our arty adventures. 



Ark Music

The Ark is hosting a wonderful programme investigating Colour.

Órla is planning with interesting investigations with music and colour in The Colour of Music for the very young and some painting in the style of the old masters with symbolic painting in The Story of an Apple. 

Ark colour

The Plant Fair In Farmleigh The sun shone in Farmleigh for the Plant Fair this year. Early Childhood Creativity, a wonderful troupe of artists and what seemed like half of Dublin joined us in a drop in creative zone for sand castle making, giant painting, wooly weaving, inventive construction, aquarium assembly and quite a bit more.

Plant Fair FarmleighFarmleigh Plant FairPlant Fair

Arty Yard

 More antics at The Arty Yard as more people find us tucked away in the back of the farm and delight in the amazing space making bugs, bird houses, animals,  mermaids, puppets and a few new species of animal.




July sees us on a new adventure with the opening of The Arty Yard in Castletown House, Celbridge. It is a beautiful Palladian house with statuesque proportions and an ample farm ‘round the back. This farm is a wonderful secret and is being developed by the OPW. 

Arty Yard

We were invited to develop this space so that it may function as a creative family space. The Arty Yard runs every weekend through July and August with amazing artists Liadain, De Buitlear, Jo May, Deirdre Rogers, Anne Cradden and Órla Kelly. For more information see Facebook: The Arty Yard.

Arty Yard


Órla is jetting off to Luxembourg to join other invited artists on Kannersummer / Children’s summer, a creative celebration of children and their makings. 










July also sees Draíocht, Blanchardstown and Early Childhood Creativity combine forces to produce Beag, a little festival for the youngest citizens. As most theatres go a little quiet in the summer (as theatre leave buildings and sets its stage outdoors) they usually programme painting and clean ups of heir spaces. 

We thought it would be the perfect time to open the doors to the very young and let them draw on the walls, and floors and let artists attach things to the ceilings and build rockets in the foyer while the Princess and the Pea tries to sleep under the seats beside the footprints of the bear. A wonderful day was delighted in by both young and old.

Beag in Draiocht


AestheticsOur adventures were of an aesthetic nature this month as Tijana, an International Masters student studying Early Childhood joined us to explore what we do with a focus on what is aesthetic in early years. Summer discussions on aesthetics for early years accompanied our delightful forest supper. Artists involved in this discussion were Anne Cradden, Deirdre Rogers, Jo May, Jackie Maguire and Órla Kelly.

Visiting Walkinstown and Ballyfermot Libraries for a series of creative story telling for early years children and their guardians and a session for Tuesday Toddlers In Draiocht it was a busy inventing month. 


Bloom was a vision in the sun (and rain and a bit of hail too for good measure). Hosted by the Community Reuse Network and ReCreate Órla, Deirdre and some wonderfully creative children created a host of invented animals.Bloom




Tuesday Toddlers

This is our last month for Draíocht Tuesday Toddlers. However we will have an n early year’s celebration in July called Beag. For more information contact the box office in Draíocht.

News from Room 13: A visit to the graduate show in NCAD was scheduled this month. A former pupil of Scoil Bride, Sarah Ward, was graduating so we thought it fitting to bring her back to Room 13 for her to share her journey with the 5th class. They were bowled over by her work, especially her notebooks and created work responding to her influences. 

NCAD Room 13

The following week we all traipsed off to NCAD to investigate the work there. All were amazed, especially the guides by the ability by these 11 year olds to engage with contemporary arts. ‘Do you do something special?’ we were asked. ‘No, we just enthusiastically share practice with an enthusiastic group of children. They do the rest.’


To honour the arts we held an Arts Day in Scoil Bride. Somewhat similar to a Sports Day but more arty the whole school created work in an open field. We hope we can recreate this experience and perhaps even inspire others schools to join in next year. 



It seems like a busy month perhaps because it had major projects come to fruition.

Space Invaders


Space Invaders, a festival for very young children, was a smash hit, directed by the wonderful Julie Clarke from Fingal Arts Office and lovely Acting Up’s Cliodhna Noonan. Inviting artists and theatre makers from around Europe and many from Ireland the festival took place in the beautiful grounds of Farmleigh House. Deirdre Rodgers and Órla Kelly set up an amazing creative space in the Paddock, a magical garden for young and old to explore within.


Portal Launch

May also saw Anne Cradden and Órla Kelly, artists in Room 13 Dublin, invited to dress he space in The Printworks in Dublin Castle for the Arts in Education Portal Launch. A large space but a delightfully bright space to work in. After a speedy installation of work reminiscent of Anne’s threading work and Orla’s projections it was delightfully invaded by Room 13 children and many others from around the country for the launch.

Other projects included; Woolipalooza in Airfield, The Ark Mentor Sessions



Farmleigh EasterHalf of Dublin joined us again in Farmleigh for this year’s Easter Eggstravaganza for fun workshops, egg and spoon races, the Easter Egg Hunt Challenge and fun Alice in Wonderland style dress up in the Motorhouse.

We are also playing in Airfield this month. Come join the fun!

Oh and we just shot a little Easter egg painting segment for RTE’s Swipe in Airfield this morning. Stay tuned for transmission and lots of inspirational painting techniques.






Amazing work is being created in Room 13. We are investigating fashion, construction, trees, Vikings, stories, circuses and so much more.

 Room 13

Room 13

As part of the Young at Art festival in Belfast Deirdre and Órla were asked to speak on a panel that shared experiences of working with early years children as artist, mentor and business. Great conversations with a delightful audience. Belfast is a wonderful city with so much talent. We hope to get back soon.










Cooperations WiltzÓrla was jetting off to Luxembourg again to join the wonderful crew in Cooperations, Wiltz. Creating books with fellow artist Katrin Verkant of Paris (who recently published her own book (Recorded – Live in Hamburg) and a beautiful class of enthusiastic students. Created themes ranged from Tractors to Cowboys. Fantastic! 


January 2015

The new studio in Room 13, Scoil Bhride, is such a welcoming spot. Designed for me by the children in the school, both they and I have workspace which we are enthusiastic to use.

Room 13 January

ECC made a little trip to see some of the lovely young families in LifeStart in Mullhuddart. A lovely morning with stories, painting and a little sculptural creation.

St Patrick's CorduffBusy with activities in Blanchardstown, we also popped out to work with the lovely children and teachers in St Patrick's, Corduff. Working with the children and their parents we created rockets, flew to the moon, painted, made an aquarium and rested under the stars after our hard work.

We have a very exciting project with the CRC in Clontarf beginning this month. Instigated by the amazing Audrey, teacher to junior infants. Leigh and Órla will work with Audrey and her amazing group of children to experiment in the arts through story, music, visuals and a little bit of theatre thrown in for a happy measure. Central remedial Clinic






We have the most amazing images on the studio window and all around the front of the building! 

Scoil Oilibheir Christmas WindowsAll thanks to Micheál and his 5th class in Scoil Oilibheir for doing the most amazing window paintings on the windows in Draiocht. Penguins and igloos, Santa and his reindeer, presents, snow, excited children all made an appearance in the most beautiful and heart warming Christmas window drawings we’ve seen for many years.

Busy-ness wasn’t just in painting windows, teaching in Saint Nicholas Montessori College, facilitating early years arts sessions in a variety of venues, or even decorating the studio for an amazing Christmas party. We decorated Farmleigh's courtyard with wonderful Christmas curtains (or festoons, if you’re so inclined), lanterns (which didn’t weather the storm too well), giant Christmas presents, a singing ensemble of critters and a giant tree, complete with train set. 

Farmleigh Christmas

The action was complete with a Victorian themed dress up marquee. Who doesn’t love a little bit of fantasy at Christmas.Farmleigh Christmas Singers


Farmleigh Christmas Dress Up

The end and beginning: December sees the end of a most wonderful residency experience in Draiocht. The experience supported a dynamic growth in the quality and scope of art work for early years that we could create and in turn this has offered an audience an early years creative experience  that is much in demand. The support from such a wonderful group of people and a wonderful venue was tremendous and very much appreciated. A huge and loving thank you to all in Draiocht and to all the children and guardians that ventured in to create for your super support, kind words and enthusiasm.

There are plans for more early years creative adventures in 2015. 


Draiocht’s Tiny Tots: Draiocht are super at supporting early years arts and they programmed another exciting series of early years creative sessions. Over five weeks weekly workshops encouraged children and guardians to have fun while learning through the arts.Tiny Tots DraiochtTiny Tots Christmas


These sessions are designed around the show ‘ Elf Factory’ which participants attend at the end of 5 hands on creative weeks. Using themes from the show, sessions will explore a variety of creative and playful elements that include storytelling, movement, painting, building, creative investigation, music making, exploration of colours and shapes, drawing and so much more. Many thanks to Julie, Leigh and Andrew.



World Parks Day was a wonderful day. We had a jam packed tent in the Phoenix Park making fantastical masks and hats, a 10metre long canvas for painters and the most popular tepee. World Parks Day CrewWeather was wonderful and with such a happy crew it all made for a happy (though super busy) day.


World Parks Day Painting

 Room 13 Ireland begins!

Room 13 is running in two schools in Dublin; Scoil Bride Cailini with the artist Órla Kelly, Blanchardstown and in Tyrellstown, Educate Together National School where the artist is Anne Cradden. Both Room 13 studios are run by the Fingal Arts Office.

Room 13 Each Room 13 studio facilitates the work of young artist's alongside a professional adult Artist in Residence, providing an exchange of ideas, skills and experience across the ages.

Room 13 Farmleigh

In Room 13, students are encouraged to take the lead, be creative, and to think for themselves. This very simple idea has 

been embraced by people all over the world, giving rise to a movement that 

places art and creativity at the heart of learning.


The story of Room 13 began in 1994, when a group of students established their own art studio in Room 13, Caol Primary School near Fort William, Scotland.

They ran the studio as a business, raising funds to buy art materials and employ a professional Artist in Residence to work with them. 

The Room 13 studios were launched in Farmleigh House early December to a host of artists and dignitaries. A wonderful 5th Class from Scoil Bhride entertained the crowd with impromptu songs, dances, drawing sessions and eloquent dialogue about the benefits of creative learning in the class room. We were bowled over by their enthusiasm and competencies. 


World Parks Day








September is bringing with it challenges of time as we try to schedule and design so many wonderful things for the coming term and the year ahead. One of the most exciting adventures is the collaboration to create a Room 13. For those of you who are unkowing of Room 13, it is, as Sir Nick Serota of the Tate Galleries described, 'The most important model for artistic teaching'. It is linked to an internatinal community of artists, educators, thinkers and other professionals who share their work and their thinking (Room 13 International). If you would like to explore more visit this link to Room 13 International.  Julie Clarke of Fingal Arts Office and Órla are conspiring to make Room 13 a thriving hub of creative and enterprising activity. The first Room 13 in the Republic of Ireland will begin this autumn in schools in Dublin 15. We will keep you informed as we make our way through the adventure.

Interesting things are afoot with collaborations with Montessori Ireland, Farmleigh Gorilla Art sessions, Room 13 and our next adventure in The Phoenix Park during World Parks Day. 

World Parks Day celebrates the vitality of our outdoor spaces and parks, rich with nature, vital to our cities. World Parks Day takes place on the main avenue of The Phoenix Park on Sunday 14th September. Events which are aimed for families will commence at 2pm and continue until 5pm.


August 2014

Recreate hosted another very successful CPD (continuing professional development) course with yet another amazing group of teachers. We explored drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fabric, construction and our own creativity. Included in the CPD was a visit to Collins Barracks to see their amazing education room. We also made a trip to see the Eva Rothschild video Boys and Sculpture which we would urge all to have a look at before it goes. For those who want a sneak peek click here.  We will meet again in December to consider our experiences this term as our reflective practice and to see if have any new inventions!

 Farmleigh Plant FairWe had a wonderful day in Farmleigh for the Plant Fair, an annual gathering of flower and plant growers from around Ireland. Children who visited us in the art tent got to participate in some wonderful activities from decorating their own plates, making hats, making sculptural gardens, creating their own animals, and inspired by work created in Luxembourg we even built a wigwam.

Plant Fair Farmleigh Animals


July 2014

July went by so fast with libraries sessions in sunny weather, and a glorious Midsummer Festival on the avenue of the Phoenix Park. One of the highlights was the Space Invaders Early Years Arts Festival created by Fingal Arts Office and Acting UP!

Space Invaders Tree

 Working alongside some wonderful artists from all over Europe and coming from a variety of arts disciplines including theatre, music and storytelling, Deirdre and Órla invented a visual arts space that allowed for free play that was out of this world, 

with rockets, giant trees, rivers, painting, printing, sticking, cutting, making…

Space Invaders Rocket











Órla Kelly is artist in residence in Draíocht, Blanchardstown, until the end of December this year (2014) and the artist Des Kenny was kind enough to pop by for a little visit and some chocolate biscuits. He writes here about Órla’s work.

In Draíocht the final Tiny Tots Tuesday’s creative arts session for the season was such a delight with a packed room of children and parents exploring creativity together. Tiny Tots Tuesdays is an exciting, fun, curious environment, aimed at supporting parents to get creative with their children. The sessions are un-themed allowing parents and children to work spontaneously with the materials provided.  This hour offers a creative and artistic expertise to support parents in encouraging the creative growth of their children aged 2-3 years. 

Tiny Tots Tuesdays Draiocht

July has brought another variety of engagements with a CPD course taught by Órla in Dublin’s newest creative reuse project Recreate. This course focused on making the most out of a small arts budget using our free imaginations and materials that we mostly consider junk. Wonderfully enthusiastic teachers attended and created some amazing work. We will meet again in December to review creative work in the class room as part of our reflective practice.Tiny Tots Tuesdays Draiocht

WigwamJuly saw Órla jet off to the wonderful town of Wiltz in north Luxembourg for Kannersummer (children’s summer) in Cooperations/Prabbeli. Over three weeks Órla and artists from Italy, France, Ireland, Greece and Luxembourg created work with the young children. Art forms included sculpture, animation, painting, printmaking, building, music, various mixtures of these art forms and other art forms which seem to be a wonderful general investigation of materials and life.

Garden of Animals






 Umbrella Painting

Up and coming June/July 2014 

Midsummer festival Pheonix park

We will be in the Phoenix Park this coming Sunday 29th June for Midsumer's Festival. Hopefully the sun will visit and the rain will be preoccupied elsewhere as we will be making fantastical Midsummer Hats for us all, young and Old to parade about in. Find us on Chesterfield Avenue in the Phoenix Park from 2pm to 5pm.


Space Invaders:On Saturday July 12th the lovely Cliodhna Noonan and the wonderful Julie Clarke from Fingal's Arts Office will 

Space Invaders

host Space Invaders, an Early Years Arts Festival in the beautiful surroundings of Farmleigh House. We have not received a programme yet but we will put in ont he site as soon as we do. Deirdre Rodgers and Orla Kelly are part of the festival and will be the hosts of a drop in creative space themed with outer space creative activities especially designed for the day.

For a PDF of the brochure on the Early Childhood Ireland site, click hered for the very young. For booking and more information please contact Julie Clarke via julie.clarke@fingal.ie


Creative Summer Course for Early Childhood Educators: There are a few places remaining on the July and August CPD summer courses Introduction to Visual Arts on a Budget in ReCreate. This course is a dynamic, hands on, practical course which aims to instil confidence and understanding of the visual arts in the learner while working on a budget. This course will unfold the contemporary and traditional arts pertaining to Aistear and the Primary school curriculum, including drawing, painting, printing, fabric/ fibre, clay and construction and the role of the environment in supporting play and creativity in the classroom. The aim of this course is to rediscover the possibilities of creative teaching using everyday materials to enhance creativity, foster invention and curiosity while increasing each participant’s capacity for teaching.

Visual Arts for Early Childhood Educators

This course will take place from 7th-11th July 2014 in ReCreate, Dublin’s new creative reuse project. ReCreate has exceptional materials from quality suppliers such as Avoca, Bewleys, Smurfit Kappa among others and these materials, which would otherwise be destined for landfill will be used throughout the course to support the learner to move beyond materials bought in a shop and to show the potential of discarded and every day materials when designing arts and crafts sessions in a school environment.

Who is this course for? This course is ideal for educators working in an early years classroom environment who have limited budgets and arts experience. It aims to give the participant an insight into creating quality work and impactful educational experiences with limited financial outlay.

Venue:  ReCreate, Ballymount, Dublin 12

Dates:   July Course: An Introduction to the Visual Arts on a Budget: July 7th - 11th

             August Course: Understanding the Visual Arts on a Budget: 18th – 22nd

Fee:        €95

Times:   This a five day course with attendance on all days required to receive a certificate. Daily course times are 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday

For a registration form please contact Gillian or Kevin in ReCreate on 01-4568798 or email at info at recreate.ie

 June 2014

In June we welcomed Mayra Loayza from Ecuador. Mayra is a postgraduate student studying on the International Masters in Early Childhood Education. The programme is a unique co-operation of the renowned European universities of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HIOA) in Norway, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Ireland, University of Malta (UoM) in Malta and University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Mayra worked with Órla on programmes running through May and June including the Creative Crèche for which she co-authored a report paper (we will put this on the site in an edited form soon).

The Creative Creche

The Creative Crèche, a collaboration between Draíocht and Órla Kelly, artist in residence in Draíocht, aimed to make the inaugural visit to an art gallery a fully engaging and delighting experience for very young children while nurturing children’s aesthetic senses through the contemporary arts, revealing educational potentials in a huge variety of aspects that the arts engage viewers and participators in (aesthetic, cognitive, verbal, developmental, social, etc.)

The Creative Crèche worked with two local preschools, Leabhra An Chuilinn in Tyrellstown and Early Start Programme in St. Patrick’s Junior National School in Dublin 15. The engagement investigated Draíocht’s current gallery show by Margo Banks whose works of beautifully drawn works of animals employs visual movement and the use of charcoal. Órla, Mayra and artist Andrew Carson visited the preschools for a session to explore drawing with charcoal and getting messy. A second session saw the children visit Órla in her studio in Draíocht, make note books and visit the work in the gallery space. The third visit saw the artists return to the preschool classroom and using the previous two engagements create a giant book filled with their own invented story and drawn characters.


May 2014

May started with the wonderful Tuesday Toddlers in Draíocht. A creative session where guardians and children aged 2 to 4 years are provided with creative stimulus such as large sheets of fabriano paper for painting to assembling creating rockets for blast off and drawing with light pen in a cosy dark corner. The aims of this programme is to support guardians to explore and develop creativity with their young children in Draíocht and when they play at home through providing an open structured but quality arts experience.Drawing Day 2014

Drawing Day Plate

Drawing Day saw us in Farmleigh creating wonderful works in the sun. We were joined by artists Anne Cradden from Derry and Cian O’ Sullivan from Cork. Many thanks also to the wonderful volunteers some from DIT’s Early Childhood International Masters programme.Drawing Day Story

 We also started a little adventure with a local group of young mums and their beautiful children making caterpillars. Hopefully we will continue this little adventure soon.

April 2014

It’s only a few days into April and the month is already very exciting!

Draíocht hosted the first Toddler Tuesday experience for early years children and their guardians. We had super fun painting, making rain, making fish and looking at the stars, among many other things. We really look forward to the next session in May. If you are interested in joining us please visithttp://www.draiocht.ie/eventsImage Courtesy of Fingal Arts Office
 The sessions are unthemed and allow parents and children to work spontaneously with the materials provided.  This hour offersEaster in Farmleigh a creative and artistic expertise to support parents in encouraging the creative growth of their children.  Places are free, but limited so advanced booking is strongly advised. Booking for each session opens 2 weeks before session date.

We also joined forces with the Recreate team at the Early Childhood Ireland  Conference in Croke Park sharing inventions and inspiring creative reuse in early childhood settings.

We will be in Farmleigh for Easter (Easter Sunday and Monday) hosting creative art workshops for children and an Easter Egg Hunt Challenge. Check out the Farmleigh Website for more details.



March 2014

March was the month for visiting wonderful programmes. Órla travelled with the amazing Julie, Education and Youth Arts Officer from Fingal Arts Office, to investigate the renowned Room 13 in Fort William, Scotland. It was a tremendously inspiring experience to see the confident and capable primary school children run an art studio and arts enterprise. To see the children be cultural leaders in their own school, while seeing them express with ease and respect aesthetic values while using and understanding visual arts’ inherent values was wonderful. It was exciting to experience how this programme embedded into the school culture as a natural and exciting part of the children’s education empowering them to be thinkers, investigators, experimenters, teachers and leaders. Watch this space for developments from this visit.

Luxembourg FrescoWe also took a trip to see the Grainstore in Dun Laoghaire, another amazing project. It is a youth arts organisation that is run and managed by a youth contingency. Many thanks to the super arts office team for our tour.

The end of the month saw Órla fly to Luxembourg to work with the Italian artist Maurizio Bentivegna and the wonderful Cooperations team headed by the lovely Mona. We spent the week making Fresco and investigating the mural arts with a team of special needs adults. Luxembourg Teddy Bears

After an intensive week and inspired by The Teddy Bear Exhibition at The Ark we took the weekend to design and create some of our own cuddly toys. A super end to a super month! We look forward to returning to lovely Luxembourg in July to work onKannersummer/ Children’s Summer :) 

IT BlanchardstownLast but not least Draiocht and Early Childhood Creativity played host to the wonderful early childhood education students from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. 

IT Blanchardstown

We shared practice, ideas, stories, visual arts experiments and made some wonderful little characters.


February 2014

Where does time go? Its February already! The Teddy Bear Story Exhibition has opened in The Ark and we are very excited to be part of the line up of sessions bringing very young children through a myriad of exciting creative elements including a bear cave! Teddy Bear Cave

Órla spent super mornings with the first and second year students of DIT’s early childcare education students sharing elements to inspire and build confidence to invent and develop creative activities for arts with very young children. DIT Creativity

We are thinking a lot about Visual Thinking Strategies and how they can be integrated for early childcare practitioners and educators.






January 2014

The Big Brunch 2014

We had such an exciting beginning to the year hosting the Big Brunch in Meeting House Square with a tremendous bunch of artists and super volunteers. Our theme was New Beginnings, New Voyages and took inspiration from Brendan’s Voyage.A great crowd joined us to paint on large canvas wrapped around the square and to make boats to sail down our created landscape. 

Many thanks to Recreate for sponsoring the materials and the team at Davis Events for all the support.s to paint on large canvas wrapped around the square and to make boats to sail down our created landscape. 

January also sees us moving from the studio in Temple Bar to Draíocht, Blanchardstown to work 

The Big Brunch

in a wonderfully bright and amazing studio with a super team. Very excited to make big work! Many thanks to the former Temple Bar Cultural Trust for their support.








Recreate Story Rug



We have also been doing many workshops with Recreate (the creative reuse store) and their members, many of whom are early childhood educators. Some of our favourite inventions to date has been the popular story rugs.  

If you would like to engage with Early Childhood Creativity in Recreate designing early childhood arts events, activities or creations please contact us for a chat.



 November/December 2013

We have had a tremendously busy end to the year, and its not over yet! Between painting, early childhood workshops in some wonderful venues with brilliant participants, mentorships with visual artists, making costumes, inventing new workshops, creative rediscovery workshops for early childhood educators, hosting The Big Brunch and a few other things that are still a bit hushed, we’ve been a little busy and creatively buzzing. Here's a few of the highlights:

Farmleigh Christmas Painting


We started November with a visit from a Florentine artists, Maurizio Bentivegna who, with Orla, created a beautiful art work for the Victorian Experience in  Farmleigh; a wonderful scene inspired by Victorian times where visitors had the chance to dress up in Victorian costumes, listen to a lovely story teller and some calming Christmas carols.

We also began a wonderful series of weekly workshop in Draiocht, Blanchardstown, The Tiny Tots Experience for very young children and their parents. This saw participants explore a variety of creative arts mediums; including storytelling, movement, exploration of colours and shapes and so much on a journey from under the sea to the stars using the show Édredon as a journey’s start.

We had great feedback from wonderfully enthusiastic educators on our Creative Rediscovery Workshop for Early Childhood Educators in The Ark. We hope to schedule another workshop in February/March. 

Creative Rediscovery for ECE

We will be hosting The Big Brunch Family Arts Event in Meeting House Square on New Year’s Day for all those who would like to venture into the calm after the storm of New Year. The Big Brunch this years is titled Tús Nua / New Beginnings and has the theme of the hero’s journey on a new adventure. We will have the largest story book/scroll on the square to paint, and have a mini landscape to sail our handmade boats in. This event is suitable for children and adults from 2+ (We have still to confirm our toddlers corner but we have our fingers firmly crossed.) The wonderful newly opened scrapstore ReCreate, based in Ballymount in Dublin are the sponsors of materials for the event.We begin our journey at 11am and run through until 12.45pm. Dress for mess just in case.

Finally, we will be moving from our studio in Temple Bar (for which we say many thanks to Temple Bar for their wonderful support) and on to the beautiful visual artist studio in Draiocht for 2014 which we are very excited about. Early Childhood Creativity and the wonderful crew in Draiocht have concocted some great ideas for the coming year for very young children, their guardians, their educators and for artists who work with very young children. More excitement!commence our journey at 11 and run until 11.40am.


September/October 2013

We have finally put the finishing touches to one of our Creative Discovery workshops and are now taking bookings.

Understanding and Using Creativity in the Early Years Classroom

A Creative Rediscovery Workshop for Early Childhood Educators 

Children creating art“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.” 

 Ken Robinson

The role of creativity is greatly undervalued in today’s classrooms but by using our imaginations more with children we communicate in a world of endless possibility stimulating self awareness, compassion and holistic development.

This interactive workshop will demonstrate a wide variety of creative arts scenarios using storytelling, sculpture, painting and free invention, inspiring and supporting participants to invent their own within their early childhood setting. The workshop aims to increase the capacity for meaningful creative education by adding to the early childhood educator’s creative toolkit and to stimulate creative thinking so we may use this toolkit and our creative ideas with confidence and meaning.

Workshop content:

  • Increasing your creative potential: Creativity challenges and games
  • Exploring the value of creativity: Creativity as play, problem solving and learning
  • Creativity with storytelling: allowing a story be more than a story
  • Creativity through visual art: how to inspire children to explore and narrate  the visual
  • How to link art forms together
  • Creativity using sculpture, play and free invention
  • Addressing problems of preparation and clean up; efficient tips and tricks to make the creative arts less of a chore

This workshop will outline links to Aistear, Siolta, High Scope, Montessori and Reggio Emelia. Participants will receive an Early Childhood Creativity 'Creativity Certificate'.

Practical details: This workshop will run for a single morning from 10am to 1pm in The Ark, Temple Bar. We have two dates available; Tuesday 15th October and Wednesday 23rd October. The fee for this workshop is €45 and includes booking fees, all materials and refreshments.

No prior arts experience required. This workshop is created with the early childhood educator and carer in mind but we are very happy to welcome early childhood education students or those with prior ECE training, artists, parents and those wishing to increase their knowledge of creative education in early childhood.

Places are limited to ensure a quality session and are available for booking hereThis link will take you to the Eventbrite site for booking.

If you require more information please contact orla@earlychildhoodcreativity.com


July/August 2013

We've been working with amazing little artists doing great work in some wonderful venues. For example we have been busy with toddler workshops in The Ark for their Roll Up! Roll Up! circus themed summer event. A variety of sessions involve printmaking, storytelling, building, making fire hoops and scary lions. Many thanks for those who have given feedback on these sessions telling both of positive experiences and giving constructive criticism. If you have been to one of these sessions and would like to feedback we would love to hear from you about your experience so we can improve what we do.


Farmleigh Invented Zoo

We have also been engaged in the beautiful surrounding of Farmleigh creating all kinds of wonderful creatures in The Invented Zoo'. There is one more session day ofThe Invented Zoo on Sunday 25th August. The first session begins at 12pm, the second at 1.30pm, the third and final begins at 3pm. Sessions are free and ticketed from the Arkle room in the Courrtyard on the day. Arrive a little early as places are limited. 


We are hoping for good weather for The Plant Fair, another super event in Farmleigh on Sunday 18th August. Complemented by the beautiful estate and mature gardens, this is the sixth year of the Plant Fair. We will be there with a wondrful troop of artists and a series of events throughout the day beginning at 10.20. All events are free but ticketed as places are limited. We will be in the big tent, outside white but inside bursting with colour. We hope you can drop by. See below for times.



Plant Fair Timetable:Plant Day Times Farmleigh

June 2013

Elephants and Jam report

We've had a fantastic month; presenting our report to the Arts Council on Arts Mentorship and Early Childhood and viewing some tremendous work going on around Ireland in the area of early years arts. One that we are really fond of is Blátha Bána – White Blossoms by Graffiti Theatre Company in Cork. 


Clay in Ballyfermot

We travelled to Luxembourg to help a group of wonderful children in Cooperations, Wiltz build an 'ideal city'. We played host to a fantastic student from Greece, Eirini Kinigopoulou, a student on the International Masters in Early Childhood Education, who was studing with her collegues in DIT for 6 months. Their next stop is Malta! Eirini is researching aesthetics and symbolism in early childhood and we had wonderful adventures to IMMA to see the 'chicken exhibition' and try some investigations in clay.

IMMA The Chicken Exhibition

At present Orla is preparing for some sessions in The Ark for their amazing circus exhibition Roll Up! Roll Up!

We are putting the very final touches on our creative programme for educators. Details to follow very soon. We have a few dreadfully exciting events and activities in the pipeline such as some sessions for children in Farmleigh, an exhibition dedicated soley for children in their early years and a few other very secret things. We are bursting to tell you..all in due course.









May 2013

Drawing Day events are taking place all around the country to promote the wonderful practice of drawing. As part of Drawing Day, Fingal have organised a fantastic weekend of events in Malahide Castle, where Early Childhood Creativity have designed a delightful session to engage the very young.

We will go on a magical adventure with Mr Line, meet Mrs Dot on the moon and join the party on planet colour. For this workshop we have specially designed drawing objects for small hands to grip to support drawing movements.

Drawing Day sessions for the very young will take place on Sunday 19th May (starting at 11am and 2pm). The events are free but booking is essential. If you would like to join us for this workshop please contact:

Julie Clarke, Fingal's Youth and Education Officer on 01 890 5960 or email Julie at julie.clarke at fingalcoco.ie

Drawing Day 2013

Drawing Day 2


Drawing Day 3

Drawing Day 4

April 2013

Childhood creativity

April sees us developing two creative practice courses aimed at early childhood educators. One will be a creative up-skill, reinvigorating, half-day session for creche practitioners. The other course will run over 6 weeks. It aims to be a more in depth look at creativity, modelling creative sessions and inspiring creative engagements in the crèche environment. Links to the early years curriculum and the importance of creativity in education will be also addressed. We would hope both courses will start in late May.

April also sees our draft report on Early Years Mentorship, kindly sponsored by the Arts Council of Ireland, come to a near finished stage. It is hoped that we can publish some of the report soon as our draft report becomes a final one. Many thanks to all the participants who gave their time and energy to the endeavour.

Deirdre Rogers and Orla Kelly are making super plans for National Drawing Day, May 19th, 2013. More details to follow soon!


February/March 2013

Elephants and Jam Mentorship Programme and Research.

During the end of February and throughout March, Early Childhood Creativity will be engaged in Elephants and Jam: Creative Mentorship and Early Years project. Orla Kelly art young children
Sun and RainThis exciting project aims to encourage the professional development of creche workers and artists at once, seeking to bring together insights into the discrete understanding, knowledge and experience of all involved, believing that their combined formidable skills can substantially contribute to a more creative, nurturing experience in early childhood.




 January/ February 2013
Creative Mentorship with Axis Arts Centre Creche, Ballymun

For our first creative mentorship programme of 2013 we have partnered with Axis Arts Centre Creche in Ballymun, Dublin and are working with creche workers to impart skills and support confidence with creativity, encourage creative thinking and inspiring creativity in early childhood settings.

Artist Orla Kelly will work with two fabulous creche workers (Linda and Charlene) over a period of 6 weeks to develop important creative skills and a creative confidence that will remain within the creche, allowing not only the creche workers to develop quality creative skills with guidance but to ensure the children within the creche benefit from their more creative early childhood educators and care givers.

If you would like to know more about our mentorship programmes or participate in a similar mentorship programme please contact us here.

February - June 2013 

Toddler Tuesdays in Temple Bar! Creative Arts For Under 5's

Temple Bar Toddlers

This February Temple Bar Cultural Trust are inviting parents/guardians and their children aged between 18 months – 5 years to The Culture Box, Temple Bar for an exciting adventure into creative arts activities for under 5’s.  This programme of activity aims to encourage children and their guardians to have fun while learning through the arts. The activities have been carefully created specifically for children in their early years (18months – 5 years) and their guardians, and are designed to fuel curiosity and support learning through creativity.

Each session will explore a variety of creative and playful elements that include storytelling, movement, painting, building, creative investigation, music making, exploration of colours and shapes, drawing and so much more. The new programme, which joins our other audience programmes for older people, children and teens, will run bi-monthly and is a result of a collaboration between Temple Bar Cultural Trust and Early Childhood Creativity.

Booking: Booking is essential as places on each session are limited.  Sessions are designed for children and their guardians.  This means you cannot leave your child unattended, but it also means you get to play too!

To book: contact echaomhanach@templebar.ie /  01 677 2255      

Time: Each session starts at 11am sharp and is 1hr in duration.

Dates: 12 Feb / 26 Feb / 12 Mar / 26 Mar / 9 Apr / 23 Apr / 7 May / 21 May / 4 June / 18 June. (All Tuesdays of course)

Location: The Culture Box, 12 East Essex, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.





January/February 2013 

Orla Kelly is Guest Editor for Practice.ie, the professional network for artists working with children.

This first editorship of 2013 kicks off Practice.ie focus on early years arts and marks Early Childhood Creativity’s embarking on a very exciting adventure of its first year trading as a limited company. Early Childhood Creativity’s plans for the year involve investigating creativity in early childhood, developing educational programmes, inventing anew, reinventing, dreaming, collaborating and speaking to as many people as possible about what is important, useful and needed for early childhood creative engagements in Ireland so we may act in the most valuable and exciting way. Read more

December 2012 / January 2013

Childhood Creativity in Libraries Hosted by Dublin City Libraries

We are currently getting creative with Dublin City Libraries engaging local residents (parents, grandparents, carers and their children (ages 18 months to 4 years), and creches within the library setting. If you wish to know more please message us through our contact page or contact Walkinstown Library on  01 4558159


October / November 2012

Now We Are Ready To Start! Hosted by Fingal County Council.

This event is now over but if you wish to be on the mailing list for future early childhood creative programmes in the Fingal area please contact: 

Julie Clarke, Youth and Education Officer, Fingal County Council, 
Telephone:    01 8905960      

Bubbles and Bees

Magical Autumn
Playful Architecture
Contact Information

Halloween Howl