School Holiday Winter Programs & Activities Now Pivoted to Online

  • Toddlers

Just as the NSW winter school holidays were about to kick-off, it was announced that our state would be going into lockdown.

And in turn, all the incredible winter holiday programmes that ellalist has been sharing for the past month or so were quickly cancelled.

But even though in-person workshops and programmes are a no go, many of our favourites have quickly created online alternatives that are just as brilliant.

Here are our top picks for school holiday programs, activities and workshops now found online…

1. Merlin's Wild Holiday Hub

Online holiday programs for kids
Wild Holiday Hub has launched. Image supplied

Lockdown, rain and… school holidays. Don’t worry SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo are here to help!

They’re behind the Wild Holiday Hub, which is the ultimate online destination for parents looking for fun and educational activities to keep the kids busy as well as live streaming of videos and Q&As.

Curated by Merlin Entertainments’ Curatorial and Education teams to appeal to the following three age categories:

  • Fishy and Fluffy Friends. Designed for pre-schoolers, this contains colouring-in activity sheets and video links to storytime at the Zoo.
  • Junior Keepers. Designed for junior primary school kids, this contains information sheets on popular animals including sharks and penguins, word search games, dot-to-dots, and fun plus simple education sheets to support their learning and development in a fun and engaging way.
  • Creature Questers. Designed for senior primary school kids, this contains craft videos – from how to recycle household items for art - to educational task sheets. There are also video links to Q&As with Keepers and everything little minds need to become a Junior Keeper!

Visit the website for more information on the Wild Holiday Hub.

RELATED: Get Kids Craft and Activity Kits Delivered To Your Door
RELATED: How To Celebrate Your Kids Birthday When You're Social Distancing

2. Art Est Online Art Classes

There is a range of fun art classes you can do online with Art Est, following your tutor step-by-step as you would in the studios. You will be able to use art materials you have at home and things around the house, so this is the perfect activity to keep the kids occupied at home.

To join one of these exciting online art classes, all you will need is a smart device with an internet connection (e.g. Laptop, iPad or Mobile phone), the free Zoom app downloaded on your device and some basic art materials.

View the full range of art workshops on the Art Est website.

3. Virtual Vet Camp

Virtual Vet Camp
For aspiring vets. Image supplied. 

The course is hosted by celebrity twin vets Dr Audrey and Dr Alison from the new ‘Bondi Vet’ series.

And it includes interviews with pet behaviourists, animal scientists and well-respected vets throughout Australia. Meet some of Australia's most knowledgeable reptile experts as well a Marine Biologist and her recent study into analysing Whale Snot!

You will get to do live chats, Q&A with their Vets as well as ZOOM into live presentations from their face-to-face HQ camp.

For more information, visit the website.

4. Speaking Schools Australasia

If you're seeking a fun and holistic approach to the art of Debating and Public Speaking that helps boost confidence, critical thinking and resilience, then Speaking Schools may be just what you're looking for!

And they will be running a number of ONLINE Debating & Public Speaking programs across Sydney these Winter holidays! All programs are suitable for Year 1 -  Year 9 students of all experience levels.

For further information, visit the Speaking Schools Australasia.

5. Australia Museum Inside Out 

The team at Australian Museum have created a complete hub to help parents keep kids at home busy during the school holidays.

Step inside (virtually, of course) and there’s everything from expedition videos, a virtual autopsy and downloadable activity sheets.

For more information, visit the Australian Museum website.

6. NIDA Online Program

Online Program for Kids
Still super sociable even online.

NIDA has just released online courses for aspiring actors aged from 5 - 10 years of age. Designed specifically for the online space, these courses provide the opportunity for your young artist to learn new skills and build confidence in a safe and supportive learning environment, all while socialising and having fun!'

Whether your child is interested in an Acting Boot Camp or learning how to prepare for Auditions & Screen tests, they'll have fun and be fully occupied @ home with NIDA's online courses this winter.

For more information, visit NIDA Open's website.

7. Opera House STREAM

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Sydney Opera House’s Stream enables families to tune in for exclusive live streams, and get access to a selection of the very best from the performing arts—with new content added every month.

The service is free (just what we like to hear!), with some pay per play content and is positively bursting with family-friendly content that will engage little minds.

Here’s a full list of everything you can watch on Sydney Opera House’s Stream.

8. MCA School Holiday Program

It’s all about incredible art at home with the MCA school programme. There are five workshops to tap into, ranging from creating a sculpture with pegs and creating a story just by using objects at home. These online activities are really suitable for ages 4-8.

To learn more about the online program, head over to the MCA website.

9. Sydney Olympic Park - Park LIVE Online

Virtual tours, art exhibitions, kids activities, ranger programs for the little ones and cooking with Isobel Bishop are just some of the great activities now hosted online at Sydney Olympic Park LIVE.

Check out all of their amazing content across their 6 channels, which will keep the kids occupied at home throughout lockdown and beyond!

For further information, visit the Park LIVE website.

10. Art Gallery NSW's Together in Art Kids

Online Art Classes for Kids
Art Gallery NSW. Image supplied

Art Gallery NSW has rolled out an incredible mix of workshops in their online hub, Together in Art Kids. Each of the 13 online classes is an artist-led activity to suit all ages. There’s a cardboard sculpture class, bush brushes workshop and even how to create a unique collage portrait.

For more information, head over to the Art Gallery NSW website.

11. WOW Early Start Discovery Space

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the range of workshops being created by the WOW Early Start Discovery Space. There’s Lego landmark making, book reading, a virtual pirate ship and an interactive puppet show. Each is suitable for younger school kids and costs just $12.50 a 30-minute class.

For more information, head over to WOW Early Start Discovery Space’s website.

12. Code Camp

Suitable for those aged 5 up to 13, this is the ultimate winter school camp for kids wanting to learn code. In fact, since launching Code Camp has taught over 100,000 kids in Australia with everything from cutting videos for YouTube to coding your own DC Superhero and even creating a website from scratch. And best of all, they even accept the Creative Kids Vouchers.

For more information, head over to Code Camp website.

13. State Library NSW

If you are looking to keep your kids occupied, join the State Library of NSW for a series of fun and interactive online programs that you can do at home during these July school holidays. They've just dropped a program with 10 different workshops, including secret codes, poetry, online board games and alien and watercolour drawing. Each workshop is tailored to different ages and there's really something for everyone. 

To book visit the State Library website.

14. Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park

Featherdale Zoo Virtual Tours
Featherdale will be launching virtual tours. 

Want to see Australia’s unique wildlife in a natural bush setting but from the comfort of your own home? Well, Featherdale will be dropping videos on their Facebook throughout the whole of lockdown and even a virtual passport tour.

To keep up to date, make sure you’re following the Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park Facebook.

15. Evergreen Music

Evergreen Music will be hosting Lunchtime Music Trivia every day of the school holidays, with questions for the young and old. Perfect way to bond with the family if you’re juggling both work and looking after kids.

It costs $20 to join and you have to pre-book on the Evergreen Music website.

16. Toon Creations

Online workshops Kids
Take their drawing to the next level.

Cartoon and drawing workshops don’t get much better than those offered by Toon Creations and they’ve just opened up even more online classes over the winter school holidays. Here you’re budding artist will be taught tips and techniques to develop their skills.

Suitable for school Year 10 and above. For more information, visit the Toon Creations website.

17. Fizzics Education

The talented bunch of science education professionals behind Fizzics Education have created a number of incredible workshops for the next two weeks. Here’s a rundown:

Kitchen Chemistry Hour Online Workshop, July 1

Slime, Sherbet & Bubbles Online Workshop, July 2

Light and Colour Online Workshop, Jul 2

CSI Forensics Online Workshop, July 5

Creative Coding Online, July 5 & 6

Liquid Nitrogen Online Show July 6

Inside your Outside Workshop, July 6

Slime, Sherbet & Bubbles Online Workshop, July 8

Light & Colour Online Workshop July 8

Liquid Nitrogen Online Show July 8

Inside your Outside Workshop July 9

Kitchen Chemistry Hour Online Workshop, July 9

To learn more, head over to the Fizzics Education website.

18. Class Bento 

Step inside the incredible world of Class Bento, even when out of lockdown, and you'll discover a staggering 4500 different workshops to pick from. The only limitation is your imagination. There are cooking classes, weaving workshops, how to make a mosaic Turkish lamp and even an introduction to glass blowing. Perhaps leave that last one to the adults. 

To check out the huge range of workshops, head to the Class Bento website. 

19. iFLY Downunder At-Home Virtual Reality 

The team over at iFly are offering a “FREAK In the Box” package which is a full kit of VR equipment delivered straight to your home for unlimited gameplay. Inside, there's a gaming laptop, high-end VR headset, controllers, and tracking system complete with leading VR games and educational content. 

Want to get involved? Visit the iFly FREAK website.