Art around you | Cold War Steve

Harold the Ghost of Lost Futures

Activities for children of all ages to look at, talk about and make their own discoveries about art.

As you explore this resource please keep in mind that there are no wrong answers, or that there is only one way to do the activities - they are all about looking, chatting, making, and exploring art, wherever you are and whatever you have around you.

You know your child best

Some activities may suit you better than others so pick and choose!


We’ve aimed the language at age 7+, but activities can be suitable for any age, just adapt to suit your child.


How long your child engages with the activity will vary. Depending on their age, the way they’re feeling that day, the immediate appeal of any activity... some will work better than others. Don't worry if they're not feeling it - try again another time, or move on to something else. You might be surprised by what they're interested in.  


We hope these suggestions will allow your child to develop their creativity by encouraging their curiosity, open mindedness, problem-solving and imagination.

Art knowledge

You don’t need to know anything about art to have fun with it. Encourage your child to share their ideas, observations and opinions. There’s never a wrong answer about art. And it's ok not to know all the answers. Nobody does. Where would the fun be in that?


If something worked, do it again!

Let your child lead

You don’t need to have all the ideas. In fact, if you really want your child to be creative, encouraging them to come up with their own ideas is a brilliant way to help your child be creative and explore their imagination.

Try to enjoy, together

Take a deep breath, you’re doing a brilliant job. Let us know if we can support you - we can't wait to see you in the gallery, as soon as we can.

Cold War Steve, 'Harold the Ghost of Lost Futures'

The artist 'Cold War Steve' created this work by collecting images of celebrities and creating a surreal scene which you would never see in real life! 

Cold War Steve's real name is Christopher Spencer . Choose your own ‘artist’ name before you start these activities.

Activity one: make it yours!

Cold War Steve has built up a big following on Twitter and regularly posts collages featuring famous faces like Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Cilla Black (ask your grown-ups!) and Danny Dyer. He always includes the actor Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell from Eastenders) in his collages.

Try making your own collage - maybe you could hide your own character within it! You don't need any set materials - just use what you can find around you.

Materials COULD include

  • newspapers/magazines
  • recycling
  • food
  • stuff from your pencil case
  • old wrapping paper
  • leaves
  • sticks or stuff from outside

...literally any interesting shapes, colours, words or textures that you can find!

When you're done, give your artwork a title.


Activity two: see, think, wonder

Take a good look at all the people in the picture by Coldwar Steve.

  • Which people would you most like to meet? Why?
  • If the people in the picture could speak to you, what questions would you ask them?
  • If you met the artist, what questions would you ask him? Write down as many questions as you can.

Explore more artworks with our See Think Wonder resource

Activity three: #arttogether, a mid-week challenge for the entire family!

Create a collaborative collage, based on the theme of ‘EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT’. Choose any materials from around your house. Think creatively, it doesn't need to be paper-based! It could be a sound collage, a video mash-up, a 3D sculpture, an decide!

Activity four: watch

Activity five: life in collage

Last summer, we were inspired by Cut and Paste to look for examples of collage in everyday life. Where can you find collage around your home? On your fridge? In a magazine? Take a photo of your favourite and share it using #homeart.