A Sailing We Will Go: Parent & Toddler Workshop

Using the museum’s waterside location and sea science and maritime exhibitions as inspiration, join artist Jane Hayes for a series of three creative, hands-on workshops, during which parent and toddler will undertake an inspirational sea journey.

These creative workshops for the under 4s focus on artistic exploration through sensory activities and creative play.

Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, Galway

Saturday 4 February, 11am 11.50am

Saturday 4 March, 11am 11.50am

Additional Date TBC

Age 1 – 4

For further information, or to make a booking, please contact the Museun on (091) 532460 or museum@galwaycity.ie

Wake Up Spring: Creative Explorations for Early Years with Artist Jane Hayes

Sunday, January 29th, 2017   Ages: 1-6 years

Join me for a fun artistic journey through Winter and Spring, to celebrate Small Size Day 2017. Children and their grown ups are invited to enjoy a creative hands-on workshop, followed by immersive storytelling.

Wake Up Spring: Creative Explorations for Early Years with me, Artist Jane Hayes

An immersive, child-centred, sensory experience, which encourages parents to engage in creative play and art with their young children. Beginning in a Winter wonderland, children and grown-ups, together will help create a gradual transformation as they encourage Spring to wake up in this specially created space.

This workshop, led by artist Jane Hayes, will enliven your children’s disposition for wonderment, excitement, curiosity and perseverance, and promises to be an exciting, art-rich, hands-on experience, using unusual materials with lots of help from the Baboró team. Duration: 50 mins

Followed by: Hibernation and Awakening: Storytelling with Phillida Eves

Times: 9.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm & 4.00pm  Total duration: 90 mins approximately
Venue: O’Donoghue Centre for Drama & Theatre Practice, NUI Galway (near Bailey Allen Hall)
Tickets: €8 per person (€30 for a family of 4)  Please ring Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 to book.

Capacity: 20 children plus parents (each child must be accompanied by an adult)

About Small Size Days

‘Small Size Days’ are presented by (Artistic International Association) Small Size, and are a part of the wider activity of the ‘Small Size, performing arts for early years’ project. Baboró is a member of this project since 2009 and is the only Irish partner in this 16-country, 18 partner project. ‘Small Size , performing arts for early years’ is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe project, which supports artistic productions for children aged 0 to 6, and the cultural rights of young children to access the Creative

Kids’ Christmas Gifts that Aid Development & Won’t Cost the Earth

Ready Steady Cook – Mini chef’s accessories

picsart_07-13-02-11-05Kids just love cooking! It is fantastic for development and learning at all ages, and is such a rewarding activity when you tackle it together. So, why not buy your little one an apron, chef’s hat or even their very own wooden spoon and bowl? Sure, it involves some commitment from you too, but the shared experience will be worth the mess! And when you can’t face the mayhem, these items are great for encouraging imaginative play too.  Tell them the oven is broken and just let them play make-believe!

Imaginative Play – Bits & bobs for dress-up

Group paiting and child (2).jpgImaginative play is such a great way to inspire children’s imaginations and creativity, and really helps them to socialise and verbalise.  How about some fancy dress items? But, don’t  feel your only option is to head to the shop to buy princess and pirate outfits. Make something simple, or pop into your local charity shop instead, and pick up some hats, shawls, vintage glasses and bow-ties to encourage them to create their own characters and stories….imagine the fun!

Early Years Art Childrens Development Gross Motor SkillsGoing BIG – Large drawing material

You can go for an easel, large whiteboard, A0 drawing pad, or even grab one of those flip-charts from the boardroom.  Or if you dare….go all out with a can of blackboard paint that you are willing to dedicate a wall to there and then. Drawing on large surfaces is not alone great for gross motor-skill development, but the freedom really opens up the children’s imaginations a creativity too!

 Getting Out & About – Binoculars, magnifying glasses and morechild-with-looking-glass

It is so important to encourage children to get outside, explore their surroundings, build up their immune system, and have fun getting muddy….it’s all part of growing up.  So what toys are good for that, bikes and scooters sure, and for something simpler? How about a pair of binoculars, or “pinoculars” as by brother use to call them when he was little (ahhhwww)! Or, what about a simple magnifying glass? Yes, now were’re talking.  Imaging how much fun they will have looking under rocks and at those creepy crawlies.

Construction Time – Anything that gets them buildingEarly Years Art Childrens Development

Building, constructing, creating…any gift that encourages this is a winner.  Logo and Meccano, or duple and building blocks for the toddlers, are classic kids’ toys, but are also proven to have endless benefits for our little ones.  Construction encourages thinking and reasoning, and involves lots of focus and patience, important characteristics to nurture.  But don’t forget, a decent collection of card, cartons, paper and plastics pots can be equally as inspiring.

P.S.  Books, art supplies, and musical instruments, are always top of my list too!

Now, sign up for my mailing list so I can keep you up to date with what’s happening at Jane Hayes Creative!


Follow My Voyage….Baboró Early Year Arts Mentorship 2016: Part III

During my mentorship with the Baboró International Children’s Festival, I really began to appreciate the functional benefits of early years art, as well as the poetic that I discussed in my last article.  Early years art is an exceptional way to aid children’s development, and helps them to strengthen key skills along their developmental journey.

Gross motor skills

Get them moving….gross motor skills involve arms, legs, feet, and the entire body. Art projects that require young artists to stretch and move while creating are fantastic for developing this skill set. The large movements required for painting or drawing on a large surface such as on the floor or on the wall build coordination and strength.

Fine motor skills

Early Years Art Childrens Development Fine Motor SkillsThe smaller movements of fingers, hands, and wrists required to use a scissors, work with clay, peel and stick stickers, or draw on small surfaces develop fine motor dexterity and control.

Developmental milestones around age 3 usually include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Many preschool programmes emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will later need for writing.

Visual motor skills

Hand eye coordination or visual motor skill is the ability of the eyes to guide the hands in movements. This will go on to be very important when it comes to learning how to write for example.  So many elements of the art making process encourage improvements in the area of visual motor skills, such as cutting, threading, tracing and making patterns, and for the very young simple pouring and filling activities are a wonderful start.

Language and cognitive skills

Making art and talking through the process is an excellent opportunity to learn new words and apply meaning, especially when it comes to colours, shapes and actions. Take a simple activity such as crumpling up paper and calling it a “ball.”, children as young as 1 year old can learn in this way through making and repetition.

Oral motor skills Early Years Art Childrens Development Gross Motor Skills

Little kids need to strengthen and develop important lips, tongue, and jaw muscles,  which effect their progress with feeding and speech. Fun activities that involve blowing bubbles, or blowing paint are exceptional for improving oral motor skills, and great fun too!

Social and communication skills

Art is often about problem-solving and through art children can experience a healthy
sense of pride in their accomplishments. Making decisions about how to hold a paint brush, which color to use or how to thread a bead are important lessons that strengthen confidence and emotional maturity.

Working in a group on a art project involves important lessons on sharing, developing empathy for others, self regulation and taking instruction, all of which contribute to a positive learning environment.

According to UNESCO, “the encouragement of creativity from an early age is one of the best guarantees of growth in a healthy environment of self-esteem and mutual respect – critical ingredients for building a culture of peace.”

Follow me on Instagram for coverage of my experiences with the children and early years art.

Follow My Voyage….Baboró Early Year Arts Mentorship 2016: Part II

If you sat down to make art with your children could you stop yourself from asking; “so, what is it”? Would you fight the understandable urge to apply the “rules”? Could you let go and just for a moment …. suspend your disbelief?

As my mentor this week, Orla Kelly from Early Childhood Creativity said to me;

“Early years art is about focusing on the poetic, and young children naturally understand the poetic”.

early-years-art-jane-hayes-2She gave the beautiful example of her young godson who on seeing a Chinese lantern floating in the sky for the first time asked what it was. The name Chinese lantern meant nothing to him, where as the explanation that it transported the wishes of people was something that made perfect sense in his world.

From working with all the amazing groups this week at the Baboró International Ats Festival For Children it’s even clearer to me that when permitted, children have no problem suspending their disbelief. If they are given permission and the appropriate environment imagination and creativity knows no bounds. As artists it is our responsibility to bring children through the world with poetics, and even more importantly it seems, to help adults to “unlearn” the rules and rediscover the poetic too.

Deirdre Rodgers from Recreate Ireland, who is also my mentor this week points out that children make meaning through exploration, but unfortunately this exploration is often hampered by the systems and structures within society.

“Life has taken over and things are becoming more structured, even play is structured these days.”

In the ‘Creative Lab’ at NUI Galway this week, we provide the environment and support so that children, and indeed adults know its OK to let your imagination go wild, to colour outside the lines, or even get rid of the lines altogether! You don’t need special materials, to “know about art”, or even to be of a certain age to be creative.  Art is, and must be for everyone, even from the early years.

Now, check out Baboro’s incredible programme of events, and follow me on Instagram for fly-on-the-wall coverage of our experiences with the children and adult audiences all this week.




My Creative Work With Schools

Specialising in working with junior and 1st class children, I take young students and their parents on an exciting creative journey that aids the child’s early learning and development, through creative sensory explorations, and activities that complement the School’s Aistear Framework.

Through interesting indoor and outdoor arts experiences we actively explore, work independently and take on exciting group art projects, where language development and addressing equality and diversity are key.

My schools programmes facilitate parental engagement where possible, encouraging and empowering parents to regularly engage in, and value creative play and art with their young children.

To discuss the possibility of a bespoke programme or workshop for your school contact me.


Cool Kid’s Party Megaphone

A cool toy, party prop, or super fun sport’s fan accessory – this megaphone is a BIG hit with little super stars! It’s so easy to make, and is an inexpensive way to add colour and fun to a DIY party . Know a sports fan? Why not combine it my Giant Foam Hands DIY for something extra to cheer about!

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative


  • 1 piece of A3 coloured card
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • 1 sheet of coloured tissue paper
  • Paper glue, like my all time favorite Pritt Stick


  1. Curve the card into a cone shape, leaving a gap at the smaller end, big enough to get the stapler inside
  2. Secure the shape by stapling it in as many places as possible
  3. Using the scissors, trim the excess card at both ends and along the side to create an even cone shape
  4. Now to make a tissue paper fringe, cut a strip of tissue long enough to wrap around the large end of the cone, and about 10cm wide
  5. Fold the strip of tissue a number of times, then using the scissors cut from the open edge (not the folded edge) into the center of the paper at even intervals
  6. Apply glue around the outside of the large end of the card cone
  7. Unfold the tissue paper, and stick the uncut side the edge to the glued card, leave the fringe to hang over the edge.
  8. For a fuller look, make a second(or more) fringe and stick it on top of the previous one
  9. Now give us a big shout out from your super fun megaphone!


Why not upload a photo of your creation to Facebook or Instagram with #janehayescreative I’d love to see your work!

DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.


DIY Party Trumpet or Megaphone for kids. Art and craft project with step by step guide.

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