10 Children’s Activities For August In Melbourne

The last month of winter – hooray! I do prefer the warmer weather and all the outside activities that it brings with it. So here are some activities to do with the kids in August in Melbourne.

1. Children’s Book Week

Children's Book Week August 2009 Melbourne

Each year, many schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.

The theme in 2009 is… Book Safari

Organised by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Children’s Book Week is to be held from 22- 28 August 2009.

The State Library of Victoria is holding a Book of the Year story time session. Stories for children, chosen from the Children’s Book Council Awards shortlist, followed by a fun activity to celebrate Children’s Book Week .
Time: Fri 28 August, 11am–12noon
Venue: Experimedia
Free (bookings required) on 03 8664 7099, email bookings@slv.vic.gov.au

Most libraries will have events to celebrate Children’s Book Week, so check out your local library for more events.

2. National Tree Day

National Tree Day will be held on Sunday 2nd August, and aims to shows children how easy and fun it is to help our environment.

National Tree Day is Australia’s biggest community tree-planting event and a day for all Australians to help out by planting native trees and shrubs at a Tree Day site in their local area.

National Tree Day aims to inspire, educate and recruit Australians to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians.

Check out the National Tree Day website for details of planting near you.

3. Melbourne Writers Festival @ ArtPlay

The Melbourne Writers Festival returns this year, along with the popular WordPlay @ ArtPlay activities. Come and be immersed in the literary world of making books, illustrating, writing and storytelling.

We’ve got some fabulous authors and illustrators dropping in, including Morris Gleitzman, Terry Denton, Leigh Hobbs and Alison Lester.

Running from 21 – 28 August check ArtPlay website for further details. Be sure to book early if interested as the sessions book out quickly.

EDIT: Rosemary from MWF kindly left a comment to let me know that the Schools Program which runs from Mon 24 to Wed 26 open to everyone not just students & teachers. Tickets are only $6 and there is an amazing array of authors to see. The program can be found on the MWF website. Hurry though. I have booked Thinker in to a few sessions, but lots are already sold out. We missed the Andy Griffiths’ one 🙁 .

4. The Magic Flute by Mozart

Performed in English and featuring an outstanding cast of young artists, this slightly reduced version is approximately seventy minutes in duration and has been designed as “opera for the whole family”. It is the perfect outing for opera lovers or as an introduction to this wonderful art.

This performance is presented by the Opera School Melbourne which is an elite level training programme for young artists. The Magic Flute is being performed on August 6 and 8 ant the National Theatre in St Kilda. This is not a cheap night out with tickets $48.20 adult and $37.20 concession/child, but would be a great event for a special occassion.

5. Science Week

August also host Science Week on the 15 – 23 August. There are a number of free and paid event in Victoria so check out the wedsite for details. Highlights include:

LIVING SCIENCE AT VICTORIA MARKET 16th August – 9am-3pm –all ages
Films, forums, frivolity and the future. Celebrate and explore the world of science and innovation, join us to find out about how science is meeting the challenge of world’s growing food and energy needs. Enjoy some sweet tooth science, see what science can teach us about choosing and cooking meat, peer into possible futures and discover DNA. Supervised hands-on activities for children all day, as well as free-ranging demonstrations, tours and engaging performances for all ages.

6. Fire Safety Display

Held weekly at the East Melbourne Fire Station these displays can include demonstrations of various fire equipment including the ‘Jaws Of Life’, a presentation on basic fire safety and the chance to meet firefighters and see fire engines up close. It has been a few years since we have been and my current three year old would just love this, so it is time to go back for a visit I think!

All demonstrations are free of charge however bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Day: Every Friday
Time: 10.30 am
Location: Eastern Hill Fire Station, 456 Albert St, EAST MELBOURNE (entrance off Gisborne St)
Duration: One hour (approximately)
Bookings: Zone Secretary
phone: (03) 9665 4501
fax: (03) 9665 4510

7. Caterpillars, Clotheslines and Cubbyhouse Rainbows

Live Theatre at La Mama aimed at 2 – 5 year olds.

Jack and Molly take you into their backyard to explore all those areas we remember so well… trees, cubbyhouses, frogs, spiders, caterpillars, snails, rainbows and all the adventure, fun and learning that went with it!

As always loads of audience participation through songs they know – Incy, Wincy Spider, I Hear Thunder, (in two languages) Gollop Went The Little Green Frog, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree (sign language) plus our Backyard adventure Song and a great caterpillar story where Jack discovers caterpillars don’t eat baked beans while the children help feed and take the caterpillar through the cycle!

It is on Saturday 8th August and 11am. Tickets are $12 for adults and children.

8. Cupcake Day for the RSPCA


Monday 17 August 2009 – the official national Cupcake Day for the RSPCA.

Head to the the RSPCA website to register and then cook up a storm.

RSPCA Cupcake Cooks across Australia will descend on their schools, workplaces and social groups with batches of yummy homemade cupcakes to sell. 100% of the proceeds will go to the RSPCA.

9. Como House Family Fun Day

Will be held on 23 August (Sunday) 2009. Celebrating 50 years of National Trust custodianship with tours, kids gardening activities, a treasure hunt, story time, art and market stalls, a fairy garden, an animal farm, face painting, live music, games, roving performers, and more. Entry for children under 12 is free.

10.00am to 4.00pm at Como Historic House and Garden, Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra.

10. Len Lye Exhibition

An artist in perpetual motion is a free exhibion being held at ACMI from Thursday 16 July 2009 – Sunday 11 October 2009 and is open daily 10am – 6pm.

Discover the art of Len Lye (1901 – 1980), one of the most radical creative minds of the modern age. This unforgettably exuberant exhibition surveys his work across film, sculpture, painting, poetry and more. Exploding with kaleidoscopic colour and pulsing with rhythmic beats, the exhibition is the largest survey of Len Lye’s work ever presented.

This exhibition should hold the attention of the kids, with the movement and sound that it holds. Check out this video made by a young girl, visiting the exhibition in New Zealand (runs fro 2.51 minutes).

Here’s to a speedy last month of winter! Enjoy your August.