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Imagine Children Festival 2013

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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By Kids, For Kids

I'm officially green with envy. I wish I could be a child again, because the Imagine Children Festival sounds like it will be an absolute blast. The festival takes place at the London Southbank Centre every year, and the line-up for 2013 looks like it could be the biggest yet. Taking place between the 11th - 24th February, it is the kids' chance to take over. It will be an event shaped by and for children, with tons of free activities, and a whole host of guests from the world of dance, theatre, and literature.

All my childhood favourite characters are getting involved. There's a special performance of Babar the Elephant, a Peter Rabbit puppet show, and best of all, a Where's Wally Hunt. As well as collecting the entire activity book series, I used to own a Where's Wally board game. The game included a plastic Wally toy, which you hid around the house. The other player then had to find Wally in the time limit; it was one of my favourite games.

Imagine is doing a similar thing at the festival. It is hide & seek, but on a much grander scale. Children will be able to dress up and go in search of our red & white striped friend. They will also go on a hunt for tiny people in The Great Escape - it seems like some little visitors have been 'borrowing' things.

Other highlights include a dinosaur petting zoo, dancing at the free Big Bingo Show, and live readings by authors such as Judith Kerr, creator of The Tiger who Came to Tea.

As well as these fun activities, there will also be a series of more serious discussions, which children can take part in:

11th February, 11am - Why Do Humans Do Things That Kill Them?

13th February, 11am - Why Aren't There More Houses People Can Afford?

Children seven and over can ask questions and put forward their ideas to a panel of speakers. The debates are free, but you need to book.
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Why? Fun for children
When: 11th - 24th Feb
Phone: 44 (0)20 7960 4200
Where: Southbank Centre
Cost: See the website for prices of different events
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