I have in the past lamented a lack of free kids’ arts activities in Sydney, but I have to hand it to the City of Sydney’s libraries which have been running some really great free afterschool programs.
My partner stumbled upon them when I was sick one afternoon and he came home early to take the kids out of my hair. They headed to the Newtown Library where we’re frequent visitors and I started getting very excited texts from him “Did you know they do coding workshops here??”
I’ve been trying to combat after-school fatigue as much as possible with creative, open-ended projects. This one was inspired when I saw a neighbour throwing away this big plastic sheet. With the use of washable paint it’s completely re-usable and I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve.
Yesterday we had some friends come by for a playdate after school so it was a perfect opportunity to try out this one. I don’t have a very big back yard so we took this activity to the park around the corner. Along with the plastic sheet we brought a container full of paintbrushes, a towel and an Ikea storage box that I’ve repurposed into a sealable paint tray with a variety of washable paints.
Today I have to give some major props to my (soon-to-be) sister-in-law Charlotte who made my kids probably the coolest Christmas gift ever: an interactive puppet theatre. This thing is truly a work of art.
She designed it all herself and it’s got so many little details, from the red velvet curtains and decorations on the facade to the hand-painted interchangeable backdrops.
You may have read me post before about “pop-up adventure playgrounds” but I had never actually been to a “proper” adventure playground before. I don’t know of any that exist in Sydney, but there’s one in St Kilda that had been on my radar for years and we finally got to go check it out.
I first came across ArtPlay by accident while on holiday in Melbourne in 2016. I’d been looking for good parks to take the kids to and Birrarung Marr came up. It’s a lovely playground between Fed Square and the Yarra River. But what of course grabbed my attention most was a building labelled “ArtPlay”.
A quick google search told me that ArtPlay was an initiative of the City of Melbourne offering a variety of children’s programs from structured school holiday workshops to regular weekly events. I was a little bit floored.
Abbotsford Convent is one of my favourite places in Melbourne, maybe even in all of Australia! So it only made sense to kick off my recent Melbourne Adventure here.
Quick background: for a few different reasons I decided to take a trip to Melbourne with just my 6 year old daughter and we planned out a week jam-packed with art and play! It was the best!
So we began at Abbotsford Convent, which, if you’ve never been, I highly recommend for the grounds alone. It is, indeed, a former convent that has been converted into a community arts and events space.
Oh, school holidays… they fill me with many mixed feelings. On the one hand I love spending so much time with my big kid before she goes back to school. But on the other hand… it is such a long time! And in the middle of summer.
And while there are lots of vacation care programs and full-day workshops for school-aged kids, there’s little programming that I can take my 3 year old along to as well. So for the most part we’ve been hitting up the usual beaches, parks and pools. But we have done a couple of workshops.
Once upon a time there was a mum who loved making art and doing messy projects with her kids. And she wanted a space where they could get together with other kids to make art and mess. So she threw all her passion into starting up Sydney Creative Play. A little organisation with big ideas for raising creative kids and building community – bit bigger obstacles. SCP closed in late 2018 and, now finding herself with significantly more free time, she decided to go where many mums had tread before her, and start a blog.
Reader, that mum is me.
Hi, I’m Sharon. And this is my new site about all things related to kids, play and creativity. Enjoy!