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5+ years

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

MEGA Bubbles

Artist: Justin Dwyer

Do you love bubbles? Who doesn’t?!...

Come along to this workshop to find out all about how bubbles work, why they are round and how they hold their shape. Find out about bubbles in nature and those made by humans.

First you will make a basic bubble mixture and a wand. Then learn how to manipulate bubbles using wet and dry hands, tubes and wands. Up the ante by making all kinds of exotic bubbles: bubbles inside bubbles, bouncing bubbles, square bubbles, triangle bubbles!

Justin will even show you how to make a MEGA Bubble … with a secret mega bubble recipe and mega bubble wand. And best of all - everyone will have a turn with the Mega wand!

Age: 8 to 12 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 7 January and Thursday 8 January, 10.30am to 11.45am; 1pm to 2.15pm; 2.45pm to 4pm
Sunday 1 February, 2pm to 3.15pm
Cost: $12 per child
Bookings essential:  book online

Super Box Friends

Artist: Jesse Stevens & Dean Petersen (Cake Industries)

Make friends with a cardboard box… Give your Super Box Friend real moving motorised parts, a personality, and then set them free!

Have fun bringing an inanimate everyday object (a cardboard box) to life, and then customise it to become a new little friend. Led by Melbourne-based robot builders and media artists Jesse Stevens and Dean Petersen, you will learn the joy of hands-on making and basic electromechanical movement.

After the workshop, the Super Box Friends will roam free outside, so that others may enjoy their whimsical movement and playful appearance. Other children will be able to come and meet your special creations and join in the fun!

(At the end of the day, the box friends will go home with Jesse and Dean for other children to enjoy.)

Age: 8 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 10 January and Sunday 11 January, 11.30am to 1pm
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential:  book online 

Polymonsters (print)

Artist: Hayley Rivers

What do you get if you cross a fly and a spider? A “flyder” of course!

History has a long tradition of creating mismatched creatures. What would happen if you started mixing and matching your own crazy creature? What would you choose? What super powers would they have?

Once you have designed your creature, learn how to carve your own beastly print. Use different images of mini beasts and other animals as a starting point to your design before carving out the image onto foam. You can then print multiple copies of your designs and even use them as cards!

Age: 5 to 8 years
Dates and times: Wednesday 14 January and Thursday 15 January, 10.30am to 12noon
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential: book online

Children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

Flight Path (craft & drama)

Artist: Curious Legends

Want to jump into the pilot seat? Where will you and your flying machine travel?

Using a collection of paper and craft materials, make your own cool flying machine - discover how it works and take it for a fly!  You will take your flying machine through a series of exercises including fun games and zany movement as you explore the basics of object theatre and puppetry.

Then take your creation home for more fun times!

Age: 5 to 10 years
Dates and times: Friday 16 January, 10.30am to 12noon; 1.30pm to 3pm
Cost: $15 per child
Bookings essential: book online

Children under 8 years must be accompanied by an adult.

The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things (theatre / visual arts)

Artist: Drop Bear Theatre, The Seam Collective and Zoe Barry

There is a boy. The boy who loved tiny things. He would like to show you some of his collection…

You will see some tiny things - you may have seen them before, you may not. They may have been here for a very, very long time, they may have only just arrived....but they are all TINY. They are tiny, and every tiny thing has a story…Is anything missing? Did you notice?

This in-development showing of The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things, is a participatory theatre work that explores wonder, solace, care taking and story making, through one boy’s collection of tiny things. Be encouraged to play creatively, as you contribute to the ongoing creation of a museum of fantastical tiny things, through sculpture and storytelling.

The work is presented by the creators of Rain, Drop Bear Theatre and The Seam Visual Collective, together with director Zoë Barry and Osten Burkum, the original boy who loved tiny things. Osten is 9 and lives in Minnesota.

RULES: there’re really no rules except tiny.

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

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 17 January and Sunday 18 January, 10.30am to 12noon; 2pm to 3.30pm
Cost: $10 per person
Bookings essential: book online

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tracking with the Pitcha Makin Fellaz (paint)

Artist: The Pitcha Makin Fellaz 

Capture some native Australian animals through story and paint with the Pitcha Makin Fellaz.

First explore some Aboriginal stories about the Yarra River and the area outside ArtPlay, then meet the Fellaz (a group of 7 Aboriginal men from Ballarat), and find out how they create art together and try out some of their techniques.

You will make your own stamps out of foam and use paint to create patterns and imagery for our giant animal designs which will be over 2 metres high!

The Pitcha Makin Fellaz are: Myles Walsh, Peter-Shane Rotumah, Adrian Rigney, Ted Laxton, Thomas Marks, Billy Blackall and Joe Lee. Assisted by Peter Widmer.

Age: 5 to 12 years
Dates and times: Friday 23 January, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm
Bookings essential:  SOLD OUT
Cost: Free

Playground Beasties (stencils)

Artist: Gregory Alexander

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

Building on the drawings and designs created by children in December, you will design and create stencils inspired by the theme of “Beasties”. Working as a group, you will learn how to make layered and rich patterns to produce a variety of designs.

Once completed, the final designs will be digitised, printed and adhered to the ArtPlay playground panels.

You do not need to have completed the previous workshops to attend these sessions.

Age: 6 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 24 January and Sunday 25 January, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm
Bookings essential: book online 
Cost: $15 per child

Parents do not need to stay for this workshop.

Dramatic Lines (drawing)

Artist: Elise Hurst

Calling all daring drawers! Come and make your mark in this line drawing session.

Using the age-old techniques of hatching and crosshatching, create enchanting worlds and wondrous creatures with simple black lines.

Led by the creator of the new picture book Imagine a City, Elise Hurst will take you through the steps of creating simple shapes and bringing them to life with patterns, details and shadows. Draw a fish bus, giant bear or a sea of wild waves - everything is possible with a pencil and your imagination.

Age: 6 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 31 January, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm
Bookings essential: book online 
Cost: $15 per child

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

Sustainable French Ceramics

This event is part of the Sustainable Living Festival

Meet eight French ceramic artists from the Rhone Alpes region, find out about each artist’s unique way of working with clay and then have a go!

Learn how to work with clay in a variety of ways including hand building, decoration or brush work and make your own piece of art to take home. 

(You can keep your artwork 'raw' or organise your own firing).

The artists are:

  • Jean Marc Plantier – creative containers
  • Yves Gaget – decoration
  • Brigitte Long - sculpture
  • Maryse Tavernier - objects
  • Christian Faillat  - sculpture
  • Claude Wolf – fish sculpture
  • Vincent Tournebize – figuration
  • Padou de Seve Davy – contemporary design  

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturday 14 February and Sunday 15 February, 10.30am to 12.30pm; 2pm to 4pm
Bookings essential: book online

Cost: $15 per child / participating adult

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

ArtClub (visual arts series)

Artist: Sue Davis

In this first season of Art Club for ArtPlay in 2015 we will explore different approaches to art in the work of Paul Yore, Andy Goldsworthy, Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Gower through sculpture using recycled materials, temporary land art, Pop Art and collage.

Week 1 (21 February) – Paul Yore
Melbourne artist Paul Yore collects plastic junk and creates elaborate sculptures that look like shrines. We will use his work as inspiration to make our own sculptures from recycled junk.

Week 2 (28 February) – Andy Goldsworthy
We will meet in the Alexandra Gardens (weather permitting) to explore the ideas of English artist Andy Goldsworthy who creates temporary sculptures from objects he finds in nature and then we will create our own land art.

Note: no workshop on 7 March due to Labour Day long weekend

Week 3 (14 March) – Andy Warhol
We will look at the work of the ’Pope of Pop Art’, Andy Warhol and see how nothing was too mundane a subject for his art. We will then create our own paintings of everyday objects.

Week 4 (21 March) – Elizabeth Gower
Elizabeth Gower is a Melbourne artist who uses junk mail to create beautiful collages that evoke this city. Inspired by her work we will create our own collages.

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Saturdays 21 February, 28 February, 14 March and 21 March, 10am to 11.30am
Cost: $70 per child
Bookings essential: book online

Couch Guerrillas (show)

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

The family couch… Is this a hotly contested piece of territory at your place?

Do you like to roll and slide on your couch, or build amazing cushion worlds? Do your pesky parents always get in the way trying to “relax”?

In this performance, come and see how family couch interactions are played out in both familiar and unexpected ways.

This is the first showing of a work-in-development dance theatre piece.

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

Age: 3 to 10 years
Dates and times: Sunday 22 February, 11am to 11.45am and 2pm to 2.45pm
Cost: $10 per person
Bookings essential: book online

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Granny Skills (food)

Artist: Snack Habitat

Bring your own Granny or special grown-up along so they can share their stories and help you create some fabulous batches of jams, pickles and edible art with Rebecca Sullivan (safe-guarder of Granny Skills).

If you have any spare jars with lids in the cupboard, bring them too so they can get filled with something tasty.

Age: 6 to 9 years
Dates and times: Sunday 1 March, 10.30am to 12.30pm
Bookings essential: book online 
Cost: $15 per child

This is a collaborative workshop between child and adult.


Exploring Sound

Artist: Michael O’Dwyer

Explore the world around you through sound.

In this workshop you will explore sound in various ways including listening to atmospheric sounds as well as creating soundscapes.

Find out about sound maps and create symbols to represent different sounds; play with the Federation Bells to compose a music score; and listen to the hum, clatter and splash outside through headphones (and a hydrophone for under water listening). Learn how sound travels and how it is contained.

For the finale and with your newfound knowledge, grab a whistle, xylophone or thumb piano and play in our improvised orchestra!

Age: 7 to 12 years
Dates and times: Sunday 22 March, 2 to 4pm
Bookings essential: book online 
Cost: $15 per child

Parents do not need to stay for this workshop.