Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Wooden Noah’s Ark

Artwork by , created in Donated 1956

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • Animals
  • Carpentry
  • Childhood
  • Games
  • Pairs
  • Toys


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).
  • Wrap up a present and add an item between each layer of wrapping. This could include toys such as a juggling ball,  yo-yo, balloon, teddy bear or pencil crayons etc.


  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Introduce a game of pass the parcel.
  • When the music stops, the person in possession of the parcel will open the layer and continue the game until you get to the final present.
  • This present should be related to the artwork Noah’s Ark.
  • The final present could be a box inside which contain printed copies of the artwork Noah’s Ark.
  • Another idea is to wrap up two plastic animals, the last to remain in the centre. This task will build curiosity about the artwork and where it comes from.




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What is going on in the picture?
  • Name the animals you can see?
  • What could the people and animals be doing?
  • What material do you think this is made from?
  • When do you think this was made?
  • Why do you think the artist made this?
  • What toys did you enjoy playing with as a child?
  • What kind of sounds would these toys make?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter Pitt Rivers Museum, select Wooden Noah’s Ark and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • iPad– Animal bingo. 
  • Speakers.
  • Liquorice sticks.
  • An assortment of different types of wood.
  • Sandpaper (a variety of textures).
  • Plastic or wooden animals (an assortment of shapes and sizes).
  • Animal textures (feathers, fur, scales, rubber).
  • Watersnake toys (an assortment of colours).
  • Pinewood oils and diffuser.


  • Animal bingo could be played in order to explore animal sounds and will stimulate discussion on which animals were part of Noah’s Ark.
  • If you don’t wish to purchase animal bingo from Active Minds, you could make your own version.
  • An animal soundscape could be made with participants using the Yellofier app. This activity can be a lot of fun. Depending on the participants, this task can be demonstrated or left up to individual imaginations. This task enables people to be really creative with their sounds and usually generates a lot of laughter!

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • Pass some wooden liquorice sticks around to participants to taste and explore. This activity will inspire conversations of childhood and link to the theme of toys when discovering Noah’s Ark displayed at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.


  • Pass around a selection of different textured sandpapers and ask participants to sand a selection of different types of wood. Guide people to feel a variety of textures. The textures will include the sandpaper, different types of wood and the dust produced from sanding.  
  • Pass around a selection of plastic or wooden animals found within Noah’s Ark. Spend time exploring and touching these, differentiating between each one.
  • Focus on the variety of textures found on animals, using materials such as feathers, fur, scales and rubber textures etc.
  • Pass around watersnakes (sensory tubes) to the group and have fun moving these and playing with their qualities. This will give the impression of the boat’s movement on the water associated with Noah’s Ark.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • The exploration of the visual qualities of Noah’s Ark can be combined with the touch exercises. 
  • Questions such as which animal has the longest legs? if you could choose to be an animal which one would you be and why? etc.  


  • Add a couple of drops of pinewood to a diffuser and leave the scent to fill the room. If the diffuser is turned on a couple of hours before the workshop, the scent should evoke being outdoors! 

Please note that some research may be required when using certain aromatherapy oils. Be careful with any allergies that people may have with the oils, or people that you may gift the bath bombs too. Also note that some essential oils are not good to work with during pregnancy i.e. These include fennel, clary sage, marjoram, tarragon, caraway, cinnamon, thuja, mugwort, birch, wintergreen, basil (estragole CT), camphor, hyssop, aniseed, sage, tansy, wormwood, parsley seed or leaf, and pennyroyal. (please check with a health professional if you are unsure)

Making: FIMO Animal Brooches


Conclude the session by holding a screening of the animations created using Stop Motion Studio. Hand out the popcorn and celebrate everyone’s animation.  


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.