BRAVE STEPS development package: offer to museums and cultural venues

29 May 2015


Enhance your venue’s support and appeal for very young children and their families

Build the confidence of staff, volunteers and families to make best use of your creative and cultural resources with 0-2 year olds

Network with other local organisations

Presented as part of Open Sesame, this unique package of staff development and child-led exploratory learning, incorporating public performance/s, is a wonderful opportunity to unlock the richness of cultural and heritage venues for 0-2s and those who care for them.

Host venues are currently being sought for Autumn 2015 for the BRAVE STEPS Development Package. This will enable your organisation to:

  • Gain confidence in engaging families with very young children
  • Create resources for very young children, reflecting the nature of your venue and its content
  • Develop a wealth of ideas and activities, tailored to your own programme, and the needs and interests of very young children, and
  • Open the opportunity up to other local venues to share practice and costs

The package is available to host venues who choose to focus entirely on their own staff and volunteers or share the professional development opportunity to partner organisations. It is made up of:

  • 2 performances of the BRAVE STEPS show (for up to 20 children, plus adults at each performance) presented at the host venue, with scope for observers
  • a follow up day of tailor-made training for up to 20 staff/volunteers focussed on making the most of your setting to provide an excellent welcome and quality, creative experience for babies, toddlers and their families


The crackling of the fire, the swish of fallen leaves, the smell of fresh earth and the pure beauty of the air – these are just some of the delicious sounds and sensations that curious explorers aged 0–2 can explore in your library in a hands-on journey through the elements.

Brighton Museum 18/10/13Museum contact - Michael Olden


Octopus Inc’s sell-out BRAVE STEPS presents a world of new sensations specially designed for babies and toddlers to explore and enjoy together with their grown-ups, beginning with singing and progressing through a series of installations which create different environments, each one with its own colours, textures, sounds and smells themed around air, earth, fire and water.

“A lovely opportunity for quality time, for simple play and enchanting imaginative child-led time together.”


“Beautifully crafted ideas. They really appealed to my son’s sense of exploration and adventure.  I could barely keep up.”


This special performance and CPD package gives the host venue the chance to present BRAVE STEPS (previously presented as A WINTER’S TRAIL, Brighton Dome, Christmas 2014) to their communities.

There is no charge to host BRAVE STEPS (usually £800).  Instead, the performances are offered as a thank you to host organisations for creating opportunities to engage staff and volunteers from a range of venues in broader reflection and training. This will in turn enhance ongoing child-led, creative engagement for very young families.

How will it work?

The package can be booked at a subsidised in house charge of £600* or offered as a shared event with costs split across participating organisations.  Host venues will need to:

  • agree dates
  • provide the space for the presentation of BRAVE STEPS
  • invite their own community audiences to attend up to 2 presentations and enable staff and volunteers from their own and other participating venues, if relevant, to observe and participate in facilitated discussions
  • host the second day of professional development (led by Octopus Inc) for up to 20 staff and volunteers providing light refreshments.
  • support the marketing and help to secure bookings from their own organisation and beyond to total a minimum of £600 to ensure the event is viable.

For shared events, charges per training and development participant are £90 staff members and £40 volunteers, and must reach a minimum of £600* in order to be viable. Bookings can be made now for sessions taking place from September 2015.

“I ran successful creative sessions and the children and myself had a good time. This is all due to the skills and confidence I learned… how to reflect and analyse a creative session and I have a greater understanding of child development.”


The BRAVE STEPS Development Package is offered as part of Open Sesame, an early years creative learning programme produced by Culture Shift and supported by Arts Council England, East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Arts Partnership.

To find out more about this package, or discuss how this might benefit your organisation’s engagement with very young children and their families, please contact or 07780 708864.

(*Bookings outside of Sussex will be subject to an additional travel cost.)