kids

5 creative things to do at home with the kids if you've tried EVERYTHING.

Museums Victoria
Thanks to our brand partner, Museums Victoria

We're constantly trying to find ways to stretch our daughter Nia's imagination, interests and creativity. 

As a three-nager (which sometimes feels like a full time job within itself), the stories Nia constructs makes me realise just how incredible her little mind truly is, how much she is capable of understanding and equally how much rests on us as parents to navigate that curiosity of hers.

With the stage four restrictions in Melbourne taking over our lives and the limited outdoor activities, we've had to think outside the box ourselves on how we keep our minds and bodies active.

So, we've had a play with the Museum at Home activities on both the Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks websites, which are absolutely free, and perfect if you too are looking for fun and educational activities to keep the kids entertained.

Let's try this out. Image: Supplied.

 All of these hands-on activities are designed by educators - meaning zero thinking on our part. Their website has short, instructional and educational videos that captivate little minds throughout the process.

Below is just a small snapshot of some of the fantastic ideas that we have either tried, or are looking forward to trying. The beauty of these ideas is you need less than a handful of items, which you've most probably already got at home.

1. SLIME. That's it, that's the word.

Mess is something we've come to embrace and welcome when it comes to Nia. If you asked me this three-and-a-half years ago, the answer would have been very different, I assure you! 

There comes a time that in order to truly and completely enjoy yourself, those boundaries need to be lifted.

With a handful of household items, simple instructions provided by Marie, and a bit of extra sparkles, we made slime.

The happiness gleaming from Nia's face the moment she heard the word 'slime' was absolutely priceless. Such an incredibly easy project, and definitely a messy one.

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My in-house slime maker. Image: Supplied.

 Watch the full video here.

2. Paper aeroplanes.

I didn't know that there were so many different kinds of paper planes! Did you?

I thought it was just the one kind. The Classic Dart, The Suzanne and The Blunt Nose Glider are just a few we've discovered thanks to Scienceworks.

We learnt about the importance of a well-balanced design that takes into account air resistance, thrust, gravity and force. All that out of a A4 piece of paper. Mind blown.

She's just plane awesome. Image: Supplied.

 Watch the full video here

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3. Online jigsaw puzzles.

There is a small library of puzzles online with three options – easy (10 pieces), medium (60 pieces), and hard (200 pieces).

Nia chose the kangaroo puzzle and was quite fascinated with putting the 10 pieces together.

She's still learning how to fully use a mouse, so it was an extra dimension of learning for her, and a team effort for us. 

She dictated, I followed.

What's she putting together? Image: Supplied.

 Access the puzzles here.

4. How to make an air cannon.

This was so interesting! Nia learnt how to use household items to create her own air cannon.

She was equally yelling out the letters she recognised from the alphabet (double win).

Let's make an air cannon. Image: Supplied.

 Watch the full video here

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5. Colour in our native animals.

Print these out. Image: Melbourne Museum.

Listening to Nia attempting to pronounce beautiful Indigenous words is so heart warming. She learns quite a bit at daycare, and also knows a handful of songs when it comes to our Elders.

Thanks to Di-Di Vaha'akolo, Melbourne Museum's First Peoples Educator, we're looking forward to learning about animals that you might find along the Murray River. I've saved this wonderful colouring project for this week as it's forecast to rain and I too am looking forward to learning something myself. Did you know the word for kangaroo is Bugumanama?

Watch the full video featuring Di-Di here.

Prior to trying out Museums Victoria's Museum at Home ideas, our usual practice at the end of a long day after wearing our multiple hats of work, life and parenting, was using the last bit of energy we had, sitting up in bed scrolling through Pinterest, Youtube and Google trying to figure out what else we can do at home with Nia.

Sometimes it felt much easier to pop the TV on or give her the iPad so she could navigate down her own rabbit hole. It feels so much better giving her - and us - something more active to do together.

Head on over to the Museum at Home website for more activities, including a 'Solary System in your pocket', a dinosaur colour-in, virtual museum tours, and how to make a magnifying glass. And lots more we are yet to discover...

Museums Victoria
While Museums Victoria’s venues are closed we’re excited to showcase the stories, galleries and collections of Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum online—bringing the magic of our museum experiences to your home and family.
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