Janina Vigurs (noun; Ya-nee-na V-eye-gers) is a professional oral storyteller and play-maker, telling tales from memory that live in her heart and bones. She’s also astonishingly good at facilitating play for small people and generally mucking about. She’s been doing this for nearly 15 years and hasn’t been found out yet.
She tells folk tales, fairy tales, some of which are well known, some which bear only a vague recognition to a distant memory but all of which are relatable.
Janina quite often works in schools, nurseries, festivals, private parties and once commandeered a Shetland pony stable. It was snug.
Past and current clients include The National Trust, Penguin Random House, Exeter University, Cambridge University, Glastonbury and Ida (aged 4)
Stories can be delicious fun and make a great addition to your small person’s birthday. Janina delights in leading riotously joyful and inclusive parties full of stories, bubbles, puppets, crafts, stickers and silliness. Every party needs games though, right? All games played are fully inclusive (meaning no one gets left out, misses a turn or feels like they can’t join in.)
Janina will arrive at your home, hall, field, or wherever you are celebrating in plenty of time to meet the special birthday person and set up, then it will be time to get down to the serious business of having fun.
2 Hour Party
A standard 2hr party is £225 and normally runs like this..
Arrive 30 mins before to meet birthday small person, set up and then greet friends as they arrive with very fluffy, very cheeky puppet friend, Betty.
45 min of a quick hello then story, action songs, birthday crown making and much silliness.
20 min of foooood and cake and “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOOOOOOU!!”
45 min of games, parachute play, music, dancing ribbons and hula hoop fun.
10 mins wrap up, a sticker for everyone and a happy home time.
Janina will bring blankets, cushions, puppet, stickers and alllllll equipment needed for games/crafts, music and a PA system.
1 Hour Party
A shorter 1hr party is £175 and runs like this…
Arrive 15 mins before to meet, greet and set up.
1 hr of story, action rhymes, games and craft activity
Stickers for everyone!
Tent of wonder party
Or if you really want a super-special day then the Tent of Wonder Party is what you need. The Tent of Wonder is a 5m diameter cream, canvas bell tent packed to the gunnels with hula hoops, hobby horses, dressing up boxes, giant bubbles and everything you could need for your small folk to have a truly wonderful time.
This 2hr party is £370 and looks like this…
Janina will arrive 1hr 30min before to pitch tent and decorate and stay 30mins after to pack away. An 8m diameter area of flat grass will be needed for the tent to be pitched on.
45 min of a quick hello then story, action songs, birthday crown making and much silliness oh and giant bubbles (these are so much fun and make for great photos!)
20 min foooood and cake.
45 min of games, parachute play, giant dressing up box and hula hoop fun and a happy home time. Probably more bubbles, stickers and high fives for everyone.
From National Storytelling Week to World Book Day, arts weeks to literacy projects, Janina works extensively within the primary sector providing full and half day packages of traditional oral storytelling to pupils and CPD workshops for staff.
Reading and writing begins with speaking, speaking begins with listening, and stories provide something worth listening to.
Being able to absorb and retell a story helps children build an understanding of the world outside their own experience and enables them to explore that in a safe way. In short, stories help the world make sense.
In addition, the pattern of language heard can directly influence the skills needed to read and write, Janina uses word play, rhymes, repeating patterns and rhythms to extend vocabulary.
CPD workshops for staff are available to explore the importance of telling with children, how to do it and bolster confidence in telling tales. Recent clients have included the National Literacy Trust, RHS, The Forest School Association and Glastonbury Festival.
If children are given access to a diet rich in oral language, it will foster an excitement and eagerness to develop the skills needed to communicate their own stories both real and imagined.
Janina loves to talk, drop her a message here and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.
It’s all very well Janina crowing about how brilliant she is, she would. Here are some lovely words from other people.
“Just wanted to thank you properly for being an absolute star this year, you’ve really brought the event to life and made it your own, with a brilliant smile.”Penguin Random House
“There is a warmth to her telling that is impossible to ignore, not to mention more than a little mischief.“John Row, Master Storyteller.
“Janina captivated the hearts and minds of the children at our school…Truly magical.“Mrs. Copper, Headteacher, Wimbish Primary School.
“She’s really good at monkey impressions.“Sophie, aged 6, Cambridge Folk Festival.