A mum of two and children’s TV casting director has launched her unique ‘Whirly Wiggle’ workshop to engage kids in fun activities, music and storytelling.
At home Tracy Nampala is known as mum to her two children, aged five and seven, but at work she is the creator of Whirly and Wiggle, two hand puppets that lead a unique pre-school activity.
Most recently performing in Storrington’s Chanctonbury Sport and Leisure, the Crawley resident has brought the village children a little magic into their lives through the boundless power of the imagination.
“Kids, particularly preschoolers, have got the most amazing imaginations,” said the 42-year-old. “If you say let’s pretend to be pirates or super heroes, they can instigate where that story is going next - they never cease to amaze me and I think they need to be encouraged.”
Aimed at children between two and five years old, ‘Whirly Wiggle’ has a different theme for each session, which starts with children looking at ‘The Magic Book’.
“We open up the book and it’ll have a picture of a castle, or a cowboy on a horse, or a pirate’s hat and that’s what we’ll be that day. Then we’ll have a song to get into character. I’ve formatted it like a TV show.”
With 15 years’ experience in children’s television and responsible for discovering the voice talent behind ‘Angelina Ballerina’, ‘Mike the Knight’ and ‘Thomas and Friends’, it comes as no surprise that Tracy has utilised her skills as a casting agent.
“I put on lots of silly voices. I think I’m actually a frustrated actress, because I always loved drama as a kid and at school. I do it for my cowboy and pirate characters.
“I don’t mind being a bit silly through, I’ve got past that embarrassment level now.”
Also partial to singing, music is an integral part of Tracy’s stories from children’s classics and Abba to original songs composed by Anton Mullan, who has worked with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and played guitar for Chuck Berry.
“I have a welcome song, a jump into the story song and a goodbye song - those three were created by Anton who I met when I worked on ‘Get Squiggling’ for CBeebies.”
Another featured song, ‘Take a Look in a Book’, encourages children to read at home with their parents.
Engaging the kids in dance, role play and singing, Tracy said parents and guardians were also prone to join in with the fun, especially the dancing. Tracy is planning to take ‘Whirly Wiggle’ across West Sussex. To see her in Storrington or Crawley visit www.whirlywiggle.com for details.