Just before lockdown we had been busy programming a tour of Planet Munch Musical Puppet Show to Herts Libraries. Funding was in place from Arts Council England, the Planet Munch Team were ready to go back into rehearsal and a new team of puppeteers recruited to shadow as we toured. The puppets were chomping at the bit and super excited to hit the road again.
The show must go on.
As lockdown landed our first thought was to keep busy, we were all looking at cancelled programmes into the future. We decided, with some reluctance and plenty of support and encouragement from the Arts Council’s digital team, to take our sessions online. We have always steered away from too much screen based activity as our work at Trim Tots Healthy Lifestyle Programme focusses on inspiring children to increase activity levels and time away from screens. We felt that activity focused sessions, although screen based, could serve to support families to engage in creative and movement based activities.
We started with our Creative Makes Series developing sessions that could easily be completed at home using household objects and recycled waste. Our team of artists leapt into action and you can learn anything from how to make healthy snacks and puppet making to puppetry and dance, all found at our YouTube Channel.
It was quickly decided via our weekly zoom sessions that we could go further with this and it was time to involve the puppets. We have been busy producing our Welcome to Planet Munch series. The videos feature a creative making session and linked dance video starring the puppets and Team Planet Munch filmed in various locations.
We plan to release a video every Monday for the next few months and hope this will help us support schools and families towards healthier lifestyle choices whilst keeping us all busy and creative.
We have included educational content from Planet Munch Healthy Lifestyle Programme which has evidence from two RCT’s. Published as an abstract in the Lancet participation in Trim Tot’s, Planet Munch Programme has shown positive health outcomes for participating families.
This community based work with partners at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health has seen good success in reducing BMI, blood pressure and increased activity, fruit and vegetable intake for participating families.
With thanks to partners at the British Dietetic Association for endorsement, Hertfordshire Libraries and support from Arts Council England.
Please enjoy our first video – Welcome to Planet Munch