Holiday fun

The school holidays are almost upon us and we have come fantastic ideas to keep the kids entertained and educated over their break.

And with only a couple of weeks to go, it’s important to book now.

Emma Grimwade, from Mum-to-Mum, joined TODAY with some fun ideas that won’t break the bank.

Programs for working parents

  • YMCA

Programs for primary school aged children. Activities include films, swimming, water sports, arts and crafts, excursions and sporting activities, all supervised by fully qualified YMCA staff. Costs range from $32 to $44 a day (less with child care rebate benefits), with hours usually from 8am to 6pm. For more information visit www.victoria.ymca.org.au or head to www.ymcasydney.org.

  • CSIRO

For older kids (start age is 7) who love science & experiments. All day program available from 9.30-3.30, lunch is included. Total cost $90 per day. Double Helix holiday programs are hands on Science programs for kids. They are FULL DAY programs. The programs are available for Juniors (ages 7-10) or Intermediate (ages 11-14). This runs from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm with lunch provided. Full day programs are A$90 or A$85 for Double Helix Club members. For more information Phone: 61 2 9490 8677 or visit www.csiro.au.

  • CAMP AUSTRALIA

Variety of holiday sports camps. Camps go for about 3 hours in length over two days or there are also ONE DAY camps. Sports include: AFL, Soccer, Girls Soccer, Netball, Basketball, Cricket. Phone 1800 501 893 or visit www.campaustralia.com.au.

Programs for stay at home parents

  • RSPCA

Programs for kids between 5-14 years old. Perfect for mums who may have promised the kids a dog next year but want them to know how much work it takes! The horse & pony program lets kids groom, feed and get up close. Animals teach kids empathy so this is a top pick. Price $15.00. To view the entire list of activities call (03) 9224 2286 or visit www.rspcavic.org.

  • ART WORKSHOPS

These are different in each state but most galleries have holiday programs. They generally range anywhere from $5.00 per child. The workshops vary in media from drawing to painting and clay moulding and are a great idea for creative kids. Workshops are available to children from 4 years of age.

NSW - Art Gallery of New South Wales. Programs are for kids from five years of age. They are priced from $25 for about two hour workshops. Call (02) 9225 1740 or visit www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au.

VICTORIA - The Art Factory. 2-3 hour programs for 4 to 14 year olds, boys & girls. 18 different activities to chose from, kids take home their masterpiece! Snacks are included & parents can just drop off, the kids are well supervised. Visit www.theartfactory.com.au or (03) 9576 0135.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - The Art Gallery of South Australia. Still life painting of Australian flowers. Suitable for kids aged 5-10 years. The cost is from $5 per child with each workshop lasting about two hours. Call (08) 8207 7005 for more information.

QUEENSLAND - Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art. Artist workshop with local artists Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. 20 September - 5 October 10.30am - 2.30pm daily. Visit www.qag.qld.gov.au/kids or (07) 3840 7303.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Art Gallery of Western Australia. Children's Art Activity. Every weekday during the holidays, 10.00am - 12.00noon. The cost is a gold coin donation. Activity- create your own fantasy creature using self hardening clay. Demonstrate your sculptural skills using Gallery artworks as inspiration. Call (08) 9492 6622 or visit www.artgallery.wa.gov.au.

  • ZOO PROGRAMS

Zoo programs give kids an insight into animal conservation. They get a hands on experience in most cases. Programs differ depending on the Zoo however, they are generally half day workshops. The cost starts at about upwards $30. The age range begins at about five-years-old.

NSW - Western Plains/Taronga Zoo. Go 'wild for wildlife' while you try a new adventure at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Zoo Adventures is an enjoyable and educational holiday program for children in Kindergarten to Year 6. The program is run by qualified zoo staff and meets a variety of educational outcomes. The children are involved in behind the scenes tours, meeting Zoo people, keeper talks, close animal encounters, art and craft and many more exciting activities around the Zoo grounds. Each day sees a different theme, but the program as a whole focuses on the Zoo, the environment and of course the animals! Programs are held from 9:00am to 12:30pm on weekdays. The cost is $32.50 per child per day or $25 per child per day for Zoo Friends. For more information call (02) 6881 1433 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA - ZooVentures and Zu-Fari - holiday programs at Adelaide and Monarto Zoo. For kids aged 6-12 years. You could feed an otter, go into the bear enclosure, chat to a keeper, clean the hippos teeth. Children are dropped at the Zoo at 9am and collected at 4pm. Cost: $45 a day ($35 for Zoo Members) at Adelaide Zoo $55 a day ($48 for Zoo Members) at Monarto Zoo (includes bus trip from Adelaide Zoo and shared lunch). For more information call (08) 8267 3255 or visit www.adelaidezoo.com.au.

VICTORIA - Melbourne Zoo Programs are for kids from 5-12 years old. They are full day programs from 8.30am to 3.30pm. The cost is $55.0o. Call (03) 9285 9406 or visit www.zoo.org.aufor more information.

KEEPING KIDS SAFE IN HOLIDAY PROGRAMS

  • Do your research
  • Enrol your child with a friend
  • Meet the coordinators
  • Check the program policies
  • Prepare the children first
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