UAE: A world of books and activities opens for children

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival welcomes 260 guests representing 25 countries and 186 publishers


Nasreen Abdulla

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Ibn Majid’s Compass session combines the art of ancient navigation with modern sustainability practices. — Supplied photo
Ibn Majid’s Compass session combines the art of ancient navigation with modern sustainability practices. — Supplied photo

Published: Thu 2 May 2024, 6:33 PM

Amidst a world of gadgets and screens, Sharjah is set to make reading an enjoyable activity for children of all ages. From interacting with authors and writing their own books to handcrafting items and attending animation workshops, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) promises to be a fun activity for everyone.

The 12-day festival, which kicked off on Wednesday, is organised on the theme ‘Once Upon A Hero’ and is a walk down memory lane for many visitors.

Over 260 guests representing 25 countries and 186 publishers from 20 nations will participate in the festival that is a hub of creativity and innovation. It will give the children a chance to meet and participate in workshops with writers, illustrators and publishers who share their knowledge, works, and experiences.

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Here are some of the top activities to look out for at the event:

Magic Carpet: This workshop will focus on the technique of shadow painting, where participants will combine light and shadow to create unique artwork and amusing drawings. Open for children above the age of 8, this session takes place twice a day, every day of the event.

Ibn Majid’s Compass: This session combines the art of ancient navigation with modern sustainability practices. Children can build their own compass using recycled materials while also learning more about the tales of Ahmad bin Majid, the legendary Arab navigator whose work in maritime exploration laid the groundwork for future work and major discoveries in the field.

Digital art: Youngsters have the chance to unleash their inner Picasso in the digital art studio at the event. With cutting-edge software and endless possibilities, they will be able to create dazzling masterpieces that leap off the screen and into the hearts of art lovers.

Build a bird feeder: The session uniquely combines art, recycling, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and nature in one place. Children will be invited to create a bird feeder from recycled materials, while also instilling in them a love for nature and animals. It is open for children above the age of 6.

Paper shaping: Children can learn the fine art of paper shaping to form complex details and patterns. They will be able to add depth and a creative touch to their works, while transforming paper into realistic, lifelike images. The session takes place twice a day during the event.

Scenario creation: Visitors are encouraged to grab a pen and paper and script their own blockbuster movie or bestselling novel in the scenario creation workshop. The 45-minute session is open to children above the age of 7.

Little Red Riding Hood’s Nature Feast: It isn’t all about building and creating at the event. Youngsters can join in a cookery workshop inspired by the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. This interactive culinary experience invites participants to explore nature’s bounty and culinary creativity.

Smash room: Want to get rid of some steam? Then step into the Smash Room at the festival. Attendees can smash away their stress with a collection of smashable goodies. From plates to pillows, there are several items to smash to release all that pent-up energy!

Nurturing healthy screen time habits: A children’s festival would not be complete without addressing one of the most prevalent presence in their lives these days – social media. This session, which takes place at the social media café, empowers them to strike a harmonious balance between their online and offline activities, promoting well- being and mindfulness in their digital interactions.


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