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5+ years

NOTE: Please see Special events and Free stuff to explore for more activities for this age group.  

Before I Fell Asleep
The Legend of Holika
Art and Big Ideas
Reinventing the Wheel     
Doodle and Print
The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things
Couch Guerrillas
Playground Beasties

Inflatables (visual arts)

Artist: Kieran Stewart

You are invited into the fantastic and fun world of inflatable sculpture. Take a peek into all things 'air-filled' to find out about inflatable objects and what they are used for.

Then (as part of the group) plan your own sculpture by drawing shapes and cutting and sticking with lightweight plastic to construct an inflatable object. Turn on the fan and watch your creation take shape.

The techniques are easy to learn and the materials are readily available, so you can keep on creating at home.

Age: 5 to 8 years
Dates and times: Saturday 6 September, 2pm to 3.30pm and Sunday 14 September, 10.30am to noon
Bookings essential: book online - Inflatables
Cost: $15 per child

All children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Before I Fell Asleep (theatre/puppetry)

Created by: Lara Tumak and Collaboratorsa carboard cityscape rests in an open palm

Before I Fell Asleep is an immersive theatrical experience that follows the story of a young child who builds an imaginary city in the transient moment between going to bed and falling asleep.

As the city is created before your eyes, you are invited to enter into it; to wander its streets and peer in its windows. Speeding trains, puffing factories and low-flying helicopters are part of a familiar bustling cityscape, but as the city’s architect grows towards adulthood something strange begins to happen to the city.

Please note: contains theatrical smoke, loud-ish noises and dark shadowy spaces.

Animateur/Director: Lara Tumak; Collaborators: Bronwen Kamasz, Claudia Tory, Jethro woodward, Jodee Mundy, John Shearman, Marta Kaczmarek, Paul Lim, Rory Kelly, Benjamin Cisterne.

As part of this season of Before I Fell Asleep, there are two workshops on offer. Please note: it is essential you see the show before doing the workshop. Bookings essential.

Show (6 to 12 years)

Dates and times: Saturday 20 September, 1.30pm to 2.20pm; Sunday 21 September, 11am to 11.50am; Wednesday 24 September, 11am to 11.50am and 7pm to 7.50pm; Thursday 25 September, 11am to 11.50am and 1.30pm to 2.20pm.
Show cost: $12 per person
Bookings: Book online - Show (6 to 12 years)

Workshops for 6 to 12 year olds:

Come along to build your own illuminated cardboard cityscape.
Dates and times:  Saturday 20 September, 3pm to 4pm; Wednesday 24 September 1.30pm to 2.30pm
Workshop cost: $10 per child
Bookings: Book online - Workshop (6 to 12 years)

Workshops for 9 to 12 year olds:

Meet the artists and go behind the scenes to find out how shadow puppetry works and test your new skills in the set.
Dates and times: Sunday 21 September, 1.30pm to 2.30pm
Workshop cost: $10 per child
Bookings: Book online - Workshop (9 to 12 years)


The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through
the Australian Council for the Arts, its arts funding advisory body.

 Australia Council for the Arts
Before I Fell Asleep  auspicious arts projects   Arts Victoria

The Legend of Holika

Devised by: Citra Devii and Santosh Raju with Justine Jacksonchild covered in colourful dyes

Celebrate the coming of spring and learn about the ancient Indian traditions and art-making of ‘Holi’.

First you will hear about the legend of Holika, a well-known Indian tale of demons, gods, magic cloaks and vengeance, told as reassurance of the power of truth and the victory of good over evil. Then use paint to add to a collaborative mural to illustrate the story.

Learn all about the ancient Indian traditions of crafting colourful flower garlands (we will be using tissue paper) and adorn yourself and your family with them!

And, to finish we will celebrate with an Indian dance performance where we all get to join in. This wonderful, playful, sensory experience of ‘Holi’ is a vibrant celebration of tradition and truth.

Age: 6 to 12 years
Dates and times: Sunday 28 September, 1pm to 3.30pm
Cost: $7 per child
Bookings essential: book online - The Legend of Holika 

All children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Art and Big Ideas (philosophy)

Artist: Alex Desebrock, Damon Young and Dan Goronszythe heads of children sitting in a circle with a string circle joining them 

Do you know what philosophy is? It means ‘the love of wisdom’, and Plato wrote that philosophy begins with wonder.

Lots of things can make us wonder and in this fun workshop, you’ll start with art, drawing, building and dancing. Let your creativity be your guide, as you play with big ideas.

'Maybe (  ) Together' artists Alex Desebrock & Dan Goronszy, and philosopher/author Damon Young will help you along the way.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Thursday 2 October and Saturday 12 October, 2pm to 4pm
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential: book online - Art and Big Ideas

Parents are encouraged to leave the space for this workshop.

Reinventing the Wheel (construction)

Artist: Edna Primoratz Child holding a hand crafted train made from a toilet roll with cotton wool steam

Experiment with materials, ideas and movement to plan, design and construct your own moving machine (with no engine).

'Re-invent the wheel' as you learn how to construct your own machine out of recycled materials. Lids become wheels, boxes become bodies and string become pulleys for your contraptions, as you transform inanimate objects into a moving machine. Then take home your invention to show your friends.

Age: 5 to 10 years
Dates and times: Thursday 2 October and Sunday 30 November, 10.30am to noon
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential: book online - Reinventing the Wheel 

All children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

Doodle and Print (3D printing)

Artist: xyz workshop a yellow and grey robot holding lollies

Doodle your own fairy tale characters and let 3D printing bring them to life.
You will sketch characters inspired by three iconic Melbourne locations and learn the basics of how 3D printing works and how it can be used.

Then cut, create and colour the set for your characters to inhabit as you watch your drawing being converted from lines on paper into a 3D object. Introduce your character to their newly created environment and see what happens.

You can take your new creation home and find another special place for them to live.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 11 October, 11am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 3.30pm
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential: book online - Doodle and print 
All children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

ArtClub (visual arts series)

Artist: Sue Davistwo rocks with foliage, joined by string

ArtClub is a series of visual arts workshops at ArtPlay. Each week explore the work and ideas of an artist and use this as inspiration to experiment with materials and techniques, while developing skills and confidence in your own self-expression.

This season at ArtClub is top secret. The ArtClubbers and Sue are busy with lots of work to do before the ArtClub exhibition launch on Sunday 30 November at 3pm.
What will be revealed? Come along to find out.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturdays 25 October, 1,8,15 and 22 November, 10am to 11.30am
Cost: $85 per child
Bookings: ArtClub is currently sold out

The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things (installation theatre)

Artist: The Seam, Drop Bear Theatre and Zoë Barryclose up of a boy wearing spectacles with tiny figurines

Do you have a favourite tiny thing?

Using clay and illustration, storytelling, magnifying glasses, projection and mirrors, come and investigate the secrets and stories that precious little objects hold. You will invent magical tiny objects through sculpture, projection and lighting.

Parents and grandparents - you can recreate your favourite, precious things, share your stories and create new ones together with your child or grandchild. Part treasure hunt, part storytelling theatre, part museum, become a scientist of the imagination, as you create a fantastical museum of tiny things.

These workshops are part of the development of a new theatre performance called The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things - your involvement in the workshop will help create the show. The work is inspired by and will be co-directed by Östen Burkum, the original Boy Who Loved Tiny Things. Östen is 9 years old and lives in Minnesota, USA.

This workshop is part of the ArtPlay New Ideas Lab program where artists are supported to develop new work for children and families.

Age: 7 to 10 years
Dates and times: Sunday 26 October, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm and Sunday 9 November, 2pm to 4pm
Cost: $15 per child 
Bookings essential: book online - The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things

This is a child and adult collaboration - we particularly encourage child and grandparent pairs.

Couch Guerrillas (movement)

Artists: Nerida Weller, Sarah Fiddaman, Adrienne Chisolm, Deborah Prentice

2 soft dolls and 1 hard doll stand on their heads on a couch
Do you like playing on your couch? What are your moves? What does your couch become in your imaginary games? Join dance and design artists to explore the way we all use the family couch. We will discover how to put our moves together to tell a story. And we will also put our heads together to design the ideal family couch - however fantastical!

These workshops are part of the creative development of "Couch Guerrillas", a dance theatre show reflecting family life in the lounge room. You can come back and see the show... and the couch in 2015!

This workshop is part of the ArtPlay NEW IDEAS LAB program where artists are supported to develop new work for children and families.

Age: 6 to 8 years
Dates and times: Saturday 29 November, 10.30am to 12noon; 2pm to 3.30pm
Bookings essential: book online - Couch Guerrillas
Cost: $15 per child

These are family workshops, for children and adults to participate together.

Capacity 15 children with at least one adult each

Playground Beasties (visual arts)

Artist: Gregory Alexandera child's drawing of a 'beastie'

The ArtPlay playground panels are in need of some sprucing up and we need you!

Artist Gregory Alexander will lead you through the process of creating strong colourful images and designs. Then, become the artist as you develop your own animal beastie design for the panels.

Using a variety of stimuli such as stories, music and pictures, you will create drawn creatures (real and imaginary) to decorate the panels. You will be introduced to a variety of drawing materials and ideas to create the artwork.

Please note: This is a two-part project. You are welcome to come back in January to continue the process by making stencils and using paint to build on the work done in December. Once completed, the final designs will be digitised, printed and adhered to the ArtPlay playground panels.

Age: 6 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 13 December and Sunday 14 December, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm
Cost: $15 per child  
Bookings essential: book online - Playground Beasties

Parents do not need to stay for this workshop.