The Otter King: storytelling and puppet workshop

The Otter King Workshop and storytelling with artist Kate Leiper aimed to engage, inspire and educate children about Scottish folklore tales. The legend of the Otter King was an excellent choice for the workshop, as Glencoe and North Lorn Folk Museum currently has a taxidermy otter on display.

After some planning and discussion about travel arrangements, practicalities and the proposed content of the session, Kate arrived armed with a powerpoint presentation, her own illustrations and sock puppets to bring the stories to life!

Kate’s workshop allowed the children to relate objects on display in the museum with folklore tales. Her enthusiasm, energy and passion for the stories allowed the children to create a fantasy world in which the objects were transported. Kate was excellent with the children and invaluable to the session!

 A stuffed otter!
The session was very well received and highlighted the need for more new interactive workshops or sessions for children within rural communities such as Glencoe. The session was initially designed to be fun and engaging, bringing museum objects to life and allowing the children to appreciate the beauty of taxidermy with a hands on experience.

The session was so successful that the museum has already had enquiries about when the next children’s workshop will be held!

The only thing I would change is to have two sessions/workshops on the same day perhaps one aimed at younger children (4-6) and one for older children (7 and upwards).

Kate Leiper is an illustrator working in many mediums including stained glass and needlecraft as well as facilitating workshops to help unlock imagination and explore creativity. Her profile is on the Scottish Book Trust author database here.

Karen Mailley-Watt

Karen Mailley-Watt is curator of Glencoe and North Lorn Folk Museum. You can find out more about the museum here.