Fun for kids on the footpath, art by Stacy Lazzara. Picture: @stacylazzara/Instagram
With many of us choosing to have our holiday at home these school holidays, we’ve put together a range of resources and activities so that there’s still plenty of fun to be had for busy kids and families.
Melbourne and Taronga Zoos are live streaming to their animal enclosures giving you 24-hour behind the scenes access to enclosures. The Animals at Home program at Melbourne Zoo is where you can ‘meet the animal keepers, learn about the animals, see live streams and join in virtual animal encounters. Taronga Zoo has launched Taronga TV, featuring elephant, seal and tiger cam, and you can watch Taronga’s famous bird show, all from the comfort of your living room.
There’s also the good old favourite, Collingwood Children’s Farm. While the Farm remains closed to the general public, members will have limited access from July 1. If you’re not a member, why not sign up as it’s a great way to support a wonderful community asset, and you can also enjoy a day out on the farm during the school holidays (please double-check the website for reopening updates).
Family movie fun
Lido at Home is a carefully curated collection of films from local and international distributors, bought to you by the group which runs the Children’s international Film Festival featuring movies for children aged 4 – 16. It’s a great way to support local, family-run cinemas by renting from their selection of kids movies. And it’s pay as you watch, so there’s no joining or subscription fees. Choose from family comedy classic Elf, the dog-umentary Pick of the Litter and the movie based on a true story about Belfast Zoo during World War II, Zoo. New titles are added each Thursday.
If you want to experience the real thing, why not spend a night under the stars at your traditional Drive-in which have recently reopened. Choose from Dandenong’s Lunar Drive-in, Coburg’s Village Drive-in or Dromana Drive-in. Every Drive-in has COVID restrictions in place to adhere to social distancing and hand sanitising so you can be reassured of a great movie experience from the comfort of your car. See each website for specific details.
Craft and DIY activities
YouTube channel 5-Minute Crafts boasts a whopping 67 million subscribers and no wonder. There’s hours and hours of activities available. Jump online for life hacks, DIY projects, recipes and craft such as 13 drawing ideas for kids, 24 simple homemade toys and easy magic tricks.
Your kids can join in the worldwide movement by creating their own chalk drawing on the footpath right outside your home. Spread joy, make people smile, and join in the movement creating drawings and messages of hope in the community.
And for a great selection of free drawing sheets visit the Crayola website.
A mega-Melbourne jigsaw puzzle
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison described jigsaw puzzles as an “essential” item, telling Australians it was OK to leave the house to buy them during Australia’s period of self-isolation. Stores sold out of puzzles across the country from unprecedented demand. Recently back in stock the Melbourne Map puzzle is a 1000-piece jigsaw depicting a hand drawn illustration of Melbourne’s renowned streets, parks and buildings in great detail.
No cost, creative and easy to set up, a scavenger hunt will challenge kids of varying ages and keep them amused (for an hour at least). Set up an indoor hunt to find “something with eyes”, “something to sit on” and “something squishy”. Link here to a printout to get you started. Get creative or look online for other ideas such as a bookshelf hunt, colour hunt, alphabet hunt and neighbourhood hunt.
Think back to how much fun it was as a kid playing in a kids-only fortress. Encourage the kids to take over a room and build an indoor cubby for play and to sleep the night. Arm them with sheets, pillows and cushions, a broom, chairs, toys, books and a torch and give your kids free rein to design their own grand design.
Science and entertainment
Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and IMAX are all planned to reopen on Saturday 27 June. We don’t have to tell you what a go-to place all three are for some family/friend fun over the holidays. Please check the websites for specific details around COVID restrictions.
If you’d prefer to stay at home we’ve also got you covered, as there’s plenty of online museum content and activities to enjoy from your lounge room. Or get the kids involved with home science experiments here.
And if you do run out of things to do, refer to our first list of boredom busters for more inspiration, where we looked at everything from fun fitness workouts to Lego challenges and mindfulness exercises.
Please leave a comment below to let us know what creative activities you did during the school holidays.