Zoos, museums and art galleries may have closed their doors – but with virtual tours, behind the scenes live streaming and activities specially designed for children at home, there’s still plenty of fun to be found in taking an online visit.
With careful selection, you can steer your child from the virtual to actual activities to extend the learning.
- Mogo Zoo came close to obliteration in the summer of bushfires and its gates were closed before lockdowns began. But zoo keeper Chad is posting daily Instagram videos with some of the cutest critters you could hope to encounter – and big ones too. Find them here.
- Melbourne Zoo is live streaming animal action from Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo 24/7. Catching activity can be a bit hit and miss. so best to tune in at feeding times when the animals are guaranteed to make an appearance. Click here to join in the fun.
- You can catch live videos daily of keepers feeding the animals at 2pm on the Reptile Park’s Facebook and Instagram, or on the website, a series of educational and fun videos with Park Director Tim Faulkner. Find them here.
- Complementing live streaming of animals from Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park, Zoos South Australia has collated a highlights package and added a few activities for children. A highlight of this site is a section on how to keep pets happy and healthy at home. Enjoy it by clicking here.
- Perth Zoo has put some serious thought into rounding out its virtual zoo offering for children with videos complemented by fact sheets and activity tasks, and keeper talks. Find all the fun here.
- In addition to live streaming feeding time at its aquariums and wildlife parks Merlin has a nifty Education Toolbox featuring worksheets, videos and fun activities. Find it all here.
Most art galleries around Australia have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by offering a range of resources and activities suitable for children online. Below you will find links to galleries where you will find activities to engage your children in a range of arts, crafts, games and videos.
- The National Gallery of Victoria
- Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art
- Art Gallery of South Australia
There’s nothing like theatre to really engage young children but with live performances closed that’s a pleasure to be set aside for later. In the meantime, actors and performers have taken their talents online with some offering fare suitable for the under 5s.
Emily Who is hosting the first Aussie Kids Couch concert, featuring 12 children’s entertainers from around Australia, bringing music and dance into homes everywhere. The line-up includes The Beanies, Cheeky Tunes, Lizzy Loo, Penny Pom Pom, B Minor Music, Pevan and Sarah Van Serano. Find it all here .
- Canberra’s National Museum of Australia has a seriously good catalogue of activities for children at home. While they’re there, they might even find themselves exploring some of the other treasures to be found in the museum. Find all the activities here.
- The National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour is a family favourite to visit and its online offering will whet the appetite for a return to the “old normal”. Children can play educational online games, access art and crafts and activities, and explore the museum’s library of videos. Click here to access.