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5+ years

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

NOCTURNAL workshops (construction, storytelling & soundscapes)

Artists: Michael O'Dwyer, Emah Fox and Nilgun Guven

Children with glowing cubes on wooden floorWork with timbers gathered from all over Australia to craft your own hand-made box, which will house light and soundscapes recorded over two days.

Explore the Australian landscape by working with raw materials. Learn where and how these trees grow and about their journey from the bush to this project.

Connect with your sense of listening as you observe and record the sounds around ArtPlay. Then explore storytelling, expressing the places you enjoy most and why, and compose your own soundscape.

Please bring lunch, snacks and a water bottle. Wear comfortable clothes for indoors and outdoors.

There will be 50 boxes created overall which will feature in a public outdoor installation as part of the Light in Winter Festival at two events: Saturday 7 June, 5pm at ArtPlay and Saturday 21 June (time to be confirmed) at Federation Square.

For more information please contact

Please note children will work independently – parents are required to leave the space.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: (Please note: this is a two-day workshop)
Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 April, 10.30am to 3.30pm
Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 April, 10.30am to 3.30pm
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 April, 10.30am to 3.30pm
Launch: Saturday 7 June, children required at 4.15pm for 5pm start
Bookings essential: book online
Cost: $50 per child

The Museum of Future Past: Antarctica (design)

Artist: Ben Landau

Penguins with globe and flagsCan you imagine what living in Antarctica will be like in 20 years time?

This workshop is a mix of speculative storytelling, hands on constructing and museum reverse engineering – come along to literally `make the future`.

Just like scientists and historians can tell stories about the past from objects; you will make objects to describe what could happen to this frozen continent in the future. From peculiar stories of fictional explorers to imagined evolutions of real creatures, you will visualise these futures in models and 1:1 objects, to ask: what will happen to Antarctica?

These objects will form part of an exhibition at ArtPlay which will imagine the future. Exhibition opening Sunday 13 April, 2pm to 3pm; with exhibition running until 1 June (Wednesday to Sunday).

Find out more about what inspired artist Ben Landau to create this fun school holiday workshop.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 9 April and Saturday 12 April, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm; Thursday 10 April and Friday 11 April, 10.30am to 12.30pm
Bookings essential: book online
Cost: $15 per child

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

Rivertime (illustration)

Artist: Trace Balla

Drawing of small bird on branchBirds here, there and everywhere: in your local park, by the river or in the bush - ever wondered what their names are? Is it a parrot, a pelican, or maybe a cockatoo?

Join City Of Melbourne Park Rangers to learn about local birds who reside in Melbourne’s parks, and then be inspired by Trace Balla’s new graphic novel "Rivertime" to create a local bird identification book.

Trace will guide you in some simple illustration techniques using pen and water-colour pencils to create a book full of drawings and quirky facts. Take it home in your pocket, so next time you look up in the sky you might know which bird you are looking at!

Book signing and purchases open to the public from 2pm to 2.30pm on Sunday 4 May.

Age: 6 to 10 years
Dates and times: Saturday 3 May and Sunday 4 May, 2.30pm to 4pm
 Bookings essential: book online 
 Cost: $15 per child

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

ArtClub (visual arts series)

Artist: Sue Davis

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

We encourage you to stay with the program for the duration of 2014 so you can be part of a group exhibition at the end of the year.

This season explore a range of art practices including sculpture, landscape painting, ground art and collage.

Featured artists are: Alberto Giacometti, Fred Williams, Ranbir Kaur and Deborah Kelly.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturdays 3, 17, 24 & 31 May, 10am to 11.30am

To register your interest email 

Cost: $85 per child

Doodle and Print (3D printing workshop)

Artist: Kae Woei Lim and Elena Low

Robot with lolliesDoodle your own fairy tale characters and let 3D printing bring them to life.

You will sketch characters inspired by four 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: Sunday 11 May and Sunday 25 May, 2.30pm to 4pm
Bookings essentialbook online
Cost: $15 per child

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

Floating Worlds preview (bubbles)

Artist: Justin Dwyer with Briony Barr

Child's face mapped onto planet in spaceHow do bubbles and outer space fit together? Find out in this exciting workshop.

Learn the art of bubble-making with a difference. Find out what secret ingredients are needed and put together your own mix. Then feed them through a special industrial strength bubble machine that fills your bubbles with smoke as they pop out and up into the room…  These are no ordinary bubbles!

Brainstorm your ideas with the group about what you would like to tell the aliens from outer space about our world. Then you will be videoed and your message projected onto a smoke-filled bubble. Wow!

This is the first time artists, Justin and Briony, will run this workshop, so it’s your chance to give your feedback on how to make the experience the best that it can be for other children. (The official Floating Worlds season will run in the second week of the July school holidays).

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Sunday 18 May, 11am to 12.30pm; 2.30pm to 4pm
Bookings essential: book online
Cost: $10 per child

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

When Moon Dust Falls (opera)

Artist: Victorian Opera and Naomi Edwards

When Moon Dust Falls textThree children snuggle into bed. They sing their lullabies, make their wishes and pull the sheets tight up to their chins, waiting for moon dust to fall.

Be part of something truly magical and join Victorian Opera in this interactive workshop for When Moon Dust Falls. Help them create a brand new work for young children inspired by themes of the moon, sleep and dreaming.

This workshop will explore the sounds, images and stories that children and parents share during the experience of falling asleep.

Age: 3 to 8 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 21 May and Thursday 22 May, 10.30am to 11.15am; 11.45am to 12.30pm
Bookings essential: book online
Cost: $15 per child

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Prophets (instrument-making and music)

This event is part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Artists: Prophets

Masked performers and kidsYou are invited to join members of the vibrant masked musical troupe Prophets in a joyful exploration of mask design, instrument building and collective music making! 

A band unique in sound, image and energy, Prophets will share their love of uninhibited play, improvisation, grooves and the challenge of being creative with recycled materials.

Jam with the band, rehearse your tunes with your newly-made instruments, then parade through Fed Square as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.

Jazz festival logoThis workshop is a parent and child collaboration.

Age: 6 to 12 years and their parent / carer

Dates and times: Sunday 1 June, 10.30am to 2.30pm (including half hour lunchbreak and performance at Federation Square at approximately 2.15pm)
Cost: $20
Bookings essential: book online

All children must be accompanied by an adult.