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Parents’ guide to beating iso boredom

Kids’ free time and screen time don’t have to be idle. Get them creating and active on a virtual voyage through Melbourne. Want to go offline? Jump down to the board games section, or check out our ultimate guide to kid friendly arts and crafts.

Free Aussie TV streaming service

Looking for what to watch that won’t cause brain rot? Check out Kanopy Kids streaming for great Aussie entertainment. Under-fives will love Bobbie the Bear. And primary age kids can revisit favourites Lockie Leonard and Skippy. Check out Paper Planes for family film night.

All you need to join Kanopy Kids is a library membership.

A retro projector in the dark

Make movie magic at home

Yoga for kids

Little Mandarin Yoga isn’t just for adults. Their Little Guru yoga class is designed for kids aged six to 12. It’ll give your youngster a playful introduction to improving balance and mindfulness. The 45-minute session is live streamed every Sunday in August at 10am.

Get arty with virtual NGV

The NGV’s online resources have been specially designed to get kids creating. Download activity sheets and ebooks to transform the kitchen into a table-top studio. Or roll the dice to play art games with the whole family. Surrealism, monsters, fashion. They’re all here.

Craft sustainable zines

Bust out the textas for an online zine demo with artist Ashley Ronning. Kids can use sustainable materials to make an eight-page zine or create their own mini mag. Great for all ages, especially young adults.

A scrapbook with arts and crafts supplies around it

Get crafty

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.

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. Step into the past with Marvellous Melbourne. Or take the challenge to find the weirdest thing in the museum’s collection. Kids will get the giggles if they spot the scary 1940s toilet paper made from crepe paper. There’s more to see and do in the Museum at Home collection.

A dinosaur skeleton exhibit

Explore the museum at home

Go behind the screens 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.

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 houseguest. Vision Australia have online options for the whole puppy carer application process.

Puppy in arms

Meet Seeing Eye Dogs online

ACCA activities

Keep kids creating with ACCA’s free artivities. There’s a new thought-provoking art-making activity each week. Everyone in the household can take part, and no high-tech gadgets are required. For more online learning programs, check out ACCA Art Kitchen. It’s a series of artist-led workshop videos. And VCE students can access heaps of helpful resources online.

Join the Argonauts Club

Visit the virtual Argonauts team as they set sail across the high seas of the internet. Their home base is the Hellenic Museum. 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.

Games to play at home

Jigsaw Puzzles

The humble jigsaw has become a hero in lockdown. Even the Prime Minister reckons they’re essential. For a vicarious stroll through the city, order the Melbourne Map jigsaw. The 1000-piece puzzle has become a lockdown must-have, and the good news is it’s back in stock. Find more puzzles with our jigsaw delivery guide.

Jigsaw of Melbourne map

The Melbourne Map Jigsaw

Games for littlies

Games don’t need to be virtual to be cool. Get into some old-fashioned fun with colourful wooden toys from Spotty Dot. Kids aged three-plus can put together their own iconic W-Class Melbourne tram. With wheels that move. And there are heaps of puzzles with a message at Australian Geographic. The Numby the Numbat jigsaw leads kids aged four and over on an adventure through the Aussie forest.

Activities for older kids

Upper primary schoolkids can get hands on with Body Lab. It’s perfect for budding doctors who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. They can grow things in petri dishes, listen to heartbeats and analyse fingerprints. And don’t forget Lego. See what’s available in the land of building blocks at Metro Hobbies and Hearns Hobbies.

Games for families

The play experts at Games Lab have a choice of family-friendly games and games for two players. For pocket-sized gigantic fun, try the Mini Jenga block game. And who hasn’t passed an afternoon playing Pass the Pigs? This version swaps the mini pocket game for two big pink porkers. It’s perfect for larger family groups and picnics.

Card games

Make learning fun with Farmyard Heads & Tails from Spieledeluxe. The matching game introduces memory skills and the strange idea of taking turns. Older kids might like Go Fish from Readings Kids. The pack includes bonus card games Snap and Concentration. And who can ignore Exploding Kittens from Mind Games. The card game version of Russian Roulette is for anyone into kittens, explosions and laser beams! Yes, it’s as fun and intense as it sounds.