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Published September 23rd 2012
Free and Fun
Keep the Kids Happy
There is no reason why the school holidays should cost you big bucks when there are so many free and educational activities to entertain your kids. Try some of these activities for your child's interests and age group. Pack a picnic for these nice spring days and make a day of it with some quality family time your kids will remember.
Want to avoid this? (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
If you have a creative child who loves to tinker with mechanical devices, this might just be the activity for them. It is all about making simple mechanical toys, gadgets and contraptions just by using household objects such as balloons and elastic bands. There are no set sessions, simply drop in and go with the flow. Kids of different ages and abilities are all catered for.
This constantly-changing artistic event is created by the well-known Polyglot artists. Kids get to make all kinds of paper props such as leaves, trees, rocks, and animals out of paper and cardboard. They then decorate the space with their handiwork - or some may end up decorating themselves, as in the picture provided!
5) Look, Think, Draw: Children's Art Trail at the Potter
Footy is a ball
Take the kid who likes games to Ian Potter Museum of Art, where they can see soccer balls made out of paper, paintings of footy players, and a table full of retro hand held video games – all part of the Basil Sellers Art Prize Exhibition 2012. There are three floors of art to explore, a whole campus to run around, and good coffee next door.
Contact details: Call 03 8344 5148 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date and times: 24 September - 7 October, 10.00am until 5.00pm Tuesday till Thursday and noon until 5.00pm Friday and Saturday.
Closest picnic spot: Try some of the lawns and gardens on the University of Melbourne campus, especially outside the university's library, or walk around the edge of the library and cross over to Royal Park.
6) Spring Open Day at Royal Botanic Gardens
Fly into spring
This is a great activity for parents and their offspring. Spring Open Day is like a special open day for the gardens; the celebration of a new lease of life, when sap surges and bird's nest. It is the only chance to tour behind the scenes at the Gardens.
All activities are free and include tours on how to find bush tucker, tree-climbing demos, a behind the scenes look at the plant nursery and herbarium, a look at the fascinating and historic Melbourne Observatory, and bird-watching. Some of the plants are even on sale. Kids will be kept engaged with activities such as planting seeds, walks, mini raft races, nest building (just like the birds), story telling, a bug discovery trail, and children's entertainment. And if it happens to be a nice spring day, this IS the perfect place for a picnic.
Contact details: 03 9252 2429 or email email@example.com.
Date and times: 7 October, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
7) Paint What You Hear Exhibition
Paint what you hear
Paint What You Hear has been a time to respond to live music using crayons and paint. This exhibition features group canvases and individual pieces created at three workshops, as well as photographs and recordings. If you missed previous workshops, this is a chance to draw along to music and discover where the music leads you.
The exhibition opening on Saturday 6 October includes a live performance from Ad Hoc Music Collective
Location: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue.
Contact details: Phone 03 9664 7900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date and times: 6 October - 4 November, 10.00am until 4.00pm Wednesday - Sunday.
Exhibition opening and live performance on Saturday 6 October at 2pm.
This free programme combines growing veggies with educational activities and is designed to teach kids about creating their own veggie patch, as well as cooking basics. There are daily interactive cooking demonstrations and other activities include terracotta pot painting and a drawing competition that gives kids a chance to win a hamper full of fresh, seasonal goodies.
Location: Centro Box Hill, 17-21 Market St, Box Hill.