Child's play

Steven Poole tells how to turn your little `luvvies' into drama lovers during half-term

This week, as all proud parents know, is school half-term. So unless you want your charming children to grow up maladjusted and friendless from doing nothing all day but zapping ethnic minorities on their computer consoles, you'll be wanting to take them out and about. Instil a love of all things theatrical by taking them to see Dogman (right) at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking (0483 761144), 22-25 Feb, £6 per ticket - he came from the depths of space with fantastic super-powers, and he's suitable for three- to 10-year-olds.

The Museum of London, London Wall, EC2 (071-600 3699) is running a Sherlock Holmes-style conservation drama every day this week from Sunday at 2pm and 3.15pm.

If you or your sprogs love the traditional things of childhood, dash along to the London International Antique Dolls, Toys, Miniatures & Teddy Bear Fairs - including the Southern Doll Awards '95 - at the Kensington Town Hall Exhibition & Conference Centre, Hornton St, W8 (081-693 5432), Sunday 11am-5pm, £4.50/£2.75 concs.

For budding boffins, try the Science Museum, Exhibition Road, SW7 (071- 938 8000), which is hosting a "spectacular programme of events" exploring the world of sound. Discover how radio sound effects are created, and learn how to make music using only a household blow-torch and metal pipe: phone for more details.

At the Imperial War Museum, SW7 (071-416 5311), for aspiring gung-ho seven- to 14-year-olds, there's an exhibit called "All Hands on Deck!" 18-26 Feb, four times daily. It's a touchy-feely recreation of a Second World War Royal Navy ship - try out a hammock, scoff a ship's biscuit and learn Morse Code.

And for darling embryonic thespians, there's a series of dance/drama workshops at the Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 (info and booking: 071-328 1000). Book them in and who knows: they too could have starring roles on the next Suede album - "We are the Pigs" from Dog Man Star ends with a cute group of kiddies from the very same Tricycle Theatre Workshop singing the chorus round a camp fire.

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