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Boredom busting arts and crafts activities for kids

It’s a tall order to tempt little eyes away from video games and various TV streams. Here are some IRL projects to keep kids entertained and screen-time in check.

Free Crafternoon fun

A pack of art supplies delivers hours of art play. Creative Bug’s online encyclopedia of endless crafting activities is a great way to kick off your next boredom busting crafternoon. Sketch, knit, make paints and more. And if you need supplies, try Deans Art, Stranger Than Paradise or Morris and Sons.

A scrapbook with arts and crafts supplies around it

Time to get crafty

Enter the slime lab

Time goes fast when you’re playing with slime. The all-inclusive slime making kit from Australian Geographic harnesses the oozey power of this fun trend for hours of crafty entertainment. Make putty balls, bounce slime aliens off the walls and sleep tight next to your new glow in the dark slime creations.

Learn how to zine

Bust out the textas for an online zine demo with artist Ashley Ronning. Use sustainable materials to make an eight-page zine. Dive into a range of materials to create your own unique mini mag. Great for all ages, especially young adults.

Easy origami

Zen out for a focused afternoon crafting beautiful paper shapes. The origami for beginners book from Readings includes 45 excellent projects and 90 pages of beautiful craft paper. With full colour step by step instructions and easy to fold paper models, it’s the perfect iso project for little hands and active minds. Bonus for Potterheads: there’s now an awesome Harry Potter origami kit.

Origami elephants

Origami is perfect for little hands and active minds

Join the kid’s publishing club

All you need is paper, glue, scissors and imagination to publish a DIY book. The Kids’ Home Publishing series is led by a brilliant bunch of local artists. Listen in as they sharing their ideas and stories to get you started on your book making journey. Then join the virtual ‘Book Cubby’ every week as artist Brigid May selects one newly-created book to read aloud.

Make a model Flinders Street Station

If you and the kids are missing this iconic domed beauty, you can build your own nanoblock version.  Featuring 430 pieces and retailing for $24.95, it’s the perfect lockdown project. Get it from Hearns Hobbies.

A lego figurine of a train station

Nano Flinders Street

Get in the garden

If you’ve got a garden, it’s a great time to go outside and get those hands dirty. Have a bug-finding competition. Hang one of Spotty Dot’s bee and bug hotels and watch critters come to stay. A win-win for curious kids and native bees. Pick and press flowers. Come back a week later to find the fresh blooms transformed. Then make cards and artworks with your dried creations. No garden? No worries, make a peppermint treehouse for mini indoor greenery.

A virtual school holidays program

Trying to juggle WFH life with home-schooling/keeping everyone sane? This interactive virtual kid’s program is your school holidays life saver. All supplies needed for the day are delivered to your door, and the teachers are online to interact, engage and answer questions throughout the day.

Make movie magic with ACMI

Make that screen time count with ACMI’s online learning. The free resources explore art, animation, digital technologies, filmmaking, gaming and more. Activities are hugely engaging, inviting kids to watch, make, play and learn. Aspiring moviemakers can get into stop-motion animation. Claymation, utensils, cut-outs, pixilation. From script to screen, all the steps for making an animation film from scratch are here.

A retro projector in the dark

Make movie magic at home

Download the NGV

If your little mates have earnt some online time, take them to the NGV. There’s interactive activities, a stop motion animation iPad app and a series of online drawing classes. Older kids can access Top Arts resources, including an online tour guided by David Menzies, or see how science and art collide with the Digital Creatives series. Teachers and school staff, listen up: you can now book a virtual NGV excursion online.

Please note that due to current circumstances, businesses may close, change their offerings or run out of stock at short notice. Check with individual stores for more information.