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Free ways to keep kids entertained

Screen time doesn’t have to be idle. Get restless kids coding and creating on a virtual voyage through Melbourne.

Go behind the screens with ACMI

Make that screen time active with ACMI’s awesome interactive games. Aspiring movie makers can write their own script and learn shorthand basics. Dive into stop-motion animation and create a cracking contraption, Wallace & Gromit style. Or go behind the console and get coding with the video game builder.

Design and develop digital versions of IRL playground games using Scratch. Younger ones can get inside the world of Horton Hears a Who. They’ll love to make a mini garden for Whoville.

Craft Sustainable Zines

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.

ACCA at home art classes

Keep kids creating with ACCA’s free art-ivities. Download a new challenge each week. VCE students can sign up for art writing classes and access heaps of helpful resources online. Coming soon: artist-led workshop to get the whole family making quarantine creations at home.

Get arty with the virtual NGV

Didn’t manage to get the kids to KAWS or Keith Haring? Now’s your chance to take a virtual tour of the NGV International exhibitions for free.

Download colourful activity sheets and ebooks to transform the kitchen into a studio. Little artists can draw their own Escher optical illusions. Or design a runway collection with Romance Was Born.

Or send them on a treasure hunt through the virtual galleries of the NGV’s Digital Collection. Challenge them to find a farm, a mermaid and Louis the dog.

A dog in a blonde wig. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1992 © William Wegman This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Bowness Family Foundation

Louis, by William Wegman. Accessed through the National Gallery of Victoria online collection.

A night at the Museum

If the kids are going around the bend, go behind the scenes at the Museum on a virtual tour. Visit Phar Lap and the forest. Take a trip into town with Marvellous Melbourne. Or challenge them to find the weirdest thing in the museum’s collection. They’ll get the giggles if they spot the fancy 1940s toilet paper. There’s even more to explore in the Museum at Home collection.

Live fish TV at Sea Life Aquarium

Watch the gentoo and king penguins play in their icy home and tune in for feeding time. Download penguin activities to keep the kids entertained. Live stream clam as the mesmerizing jellyfish pulse through the Ocean Invaders exhibit. Or sign up for the virtual VIP tour under the sea. Check in for future live streaming to catch shark feeding time, tropical fish or turtle cam.

Cook with Sandro Demaio Foundation

The folks at The Little Food Festival have rounded up heaps of nutritious and delicious kid-friendly recipes. Get Healthy at Home with banana bread, flatbread pizzas and cauliflower korma. Yum. Make sure to check out the arts and crafts ideas too. Make toilet roll trees, paper doll chains and mood cups.

Cauliflower korma curry and rice

Cook cauliflower korma with Little Food Festival’s Healthy at Home recipes

Join the Argonauts Club

Visit the virtual Argonauts team as they set sail across the high seas of the internet. Download interactive fun like digital labyrinth puzzles, creative worksheets and more. Kids can also learn about the life and times of ancient sailors, get lost in mythical tales of creatures from the deep and become a Greek theatre performer from the living room. Join the crew on their website.

Bring the Zoo to you

Penguins, giraffes, baby snow leopards. Keep the kids entertained with real-time cuteness from Melbourne Zoo’s Animal House. Background stream on the TV and for some primate playmates.

The neck and head of a giraffe visible over a fence

Um sorry can we take that again I wasn’t ready. What do you mean it’s a video? It’s LIVE? I need a better agent.

Free Aussie kids’ TV through your library

What to watch that won’t cause rot? Check out Kanopy streaming for great Aussie kids TV. Under-fives will love Hoopla Doopla! And primary age kids can revisit favourites Lockie Leonard and My Place. Check out Paper Planes for family film night.

Get free and unlimited access to Kanopy Kids through all partnering libraries. Until 16 April. It might already be available through your existing library membership.

You can also now sign up to become an online member at these Melbourne libraries. Get access asap to the eLibrary filled with kids audiobooks.

Skype with Seeing Eye Dog puppies

Need some company? Seeing Eye Dogs are looking for carers for their sweet pups in training. Join an online meet and greet info session. You might find a new house guest. Vision Australia have online options for the whole puppy carer application process.

Puppy in arms

Meet Seeing Eye Dogs online