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How long have we been kept inside our home unable to bring our children to play outside? The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has forced people to avoid going out and stay home.  Although media and other online communications tools are available to help our children entertained, only a few of them are created to promote child development, creative and quality family activities. Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival or BICT Fest wants to create the project PLAY FROM HOME on the online platform, where a collection of family-oriented activities is being compiled and at the same time, open up a channel for families to share interesting activities that would be beneficial for all families during this outbreak.

BICT Fest has gained tremendous success in hosting Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival in 2016 and 2018. This year, BICT Fest collaborated with Flock Learning, the founder of Mappa, with a goal to bring everyone – children or adults in a journey to discover new learning experiences through online channels that could help strengthen skills and enhance children’s development through play. The first phase of activities is “Stories from Home” Podcast in collaboration with 28 production, a unique story telling session by 11 invited families scheduled to start on Saturday, June 20. The guest story tellers include Khun Pawaluk (Pao) Suraswadi, a lecturer at Thammasat University, a theatre and education practitioner, Khun Saris (Pik) Puranabhandu, a businessman whose childhood aspiration was to work in the music industry, Phanidchanok (Nidnok) Damnoentam, a creative, a writer and a founder of Facebook “Nidnok” and The Rookie Mom Podcast,  Supanan (Namsom) Law, an illustrator who moved to live with her family in the United States, Kittiporn (Bo) Udomrattanakulchai a dancer, theatre artist and a mother of two, Jaturan (Ja) Jariyarattanagoon, an artist, university lecturer and the founder of Ma Ma Art Space, Netnapa (Jeab) Thummanond, a grandmother who raise her granddaughter in the free time while sometimes selling her homemade dishes, Thanchanok (Jib) Seehaphon, an advocate for children’s reading and a founder of Facebook Page “Raising a Child to Grow with books” , Sirinart (Kwang) Sarathee, a writer and illustrator and a founder of  Facebook Pages “S I R I” and “Twins & Me”, Chartchai Ketnust, a film director with many works both in Thailand and Myanmar, Thippatai Watanawikkit, former DJ who decided to become a coconut farmer with his daughter, Suvimon Watanawikkit and her friends. The 11 families will bring audiences to the world of storytelling, where children to will develop linguistic skills and enhance their imagination through listening. Families at home can also participate in this activity, stories that are selected will be featured in Stories from Homes Podcast in September 2020.

BICT Fest believes that there is more than one answer to raising a child. Therefore, BICT Fest organizes a special talk in podcast ‘Power of Story Telling’ with Neelacha Fuangfookiat (Bird Kid Jam) from Kid Jam Theatre Group, an expertise in theatre for young audiences and storytelling, and Arpawee Setabhrahmana, former singing coach in previous season of The Voice Kids, founder and music instructor at Music Garden Studio, to share views and insights about the potential of storytelling in raising children. Facilitated by by Adjjima Na Patalung, BICT Fest Director, the talk session aims to share experiences and techniques from the experts who have long experiences using storytelling as a tool in working with children.

In September, PLAY FROM HOME phase 2 will be activities under “BICT ’n Friends at Home” program. The 2 professional artists – Sutarath Sinnong, a shadow puppet artist and director of Homemade Puppet Theatre and James Laver, a performance artist who have been practicing magic since the age of 8 are invited to create the activities through online series on YouTube for the whole family to enjoy together.

Aside from the aforementioned activities, BICT Fest has also partnered up with Urban Jam and Freeform to bring back the platform for creativity for BICT on the MOVE campaign in 2021. This time, BICT on the move aims to widen an opportunity among Thai people to access art more by bringing variety of arts and workshops from many countries to showcase in Bangkok and other regions in Thailand. Highlights of this campaign are the professional artists from international stages that will be performing in this campaign, which are supported by the Embassy of Italy and Goethe Institute, Germany.

Join our storytellers James, and Tom to creatively play with your children and enhance kids’ imaginary through BICT PLAY FROM HOME project. You can share us your impressive stories and thoughts with BICT Fest in our Facebook platform from June to December 2020. Let your children experience the power of playing together, with you, with us.