While researching this guide we found ourselves actually bummed we couldn’t sign up ourselves. There are legitimately cool, creative kids programs on in Melbourne this summer, from claymation classes, to creative-writing workshops and messing around with sound-art.

Here are our top picks.

Sound Art Drawing at MPavilion

Have your artistic creations turned into a live soundscape with Melbourne’s Polyglot Theater for Sound of Drawing. In this participatory workshop and performance the sound of pastel on paper is picked up by sensitive microphones and amplified, creating an educational audio-visual experience. The works from each session will be hung on display around MPavilion and participants are invited to collect their contribution at the end of the project.

Where: MPavilion
When: January 9–15
Cost: free

Hip Hop Action Painting at Heide

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Over the school holidays, the Heide Museum of Modern Art will run a drop-off program designed for primary-school-aged children. The program is full of interactive, artistic activities, such as Hip Hop Action Painting where children learn a choreographed routine and use the dance to paint on paper with their hands and feet.

Where: Heide Museum of Modern Art
When: January 13
Cost: $30–$35

School Holidays at ACMI

ACMI’s school-holiday programs are aimed at a slightly older age group and generally run as one- or two-day workshops. In its Claymation for Kids session, young directors will learn how to create stop-motion animation by sculpting and photographing clay figurines. And for tech-loving kids, the Young Coders program takes them through the basics using visual programming software to learn coding and how to make a game. Bookings essential, these usually fill up fast.

Claymation for Kids

Where: ACMI
When: January 23
Cost: $100–$120

Young Coders

Where: ACMI
When: January 4–6, January 16–18
Cost: $300–$320

Atelier: Viktor & Rolf for kids at NGV

This interactive, multimedia display within NGV’s Viktor & Rolf exhibition gives kids a taste of the creative phases of the fashion industry – from designing in the studio, to making their own ready-to-wear accessories. As part of the NGV Kids Summer Festival kids can take part in a workshop with designer Kitiya Palaskas, in which she'll teach them how to create whimsical, wearable masquerade masks.

Where: NGV International
When: every day until February 28
Cost: free

Freshwater drawing classes at Melbourne Museum

Taking inspiration from the marine specimens at Melbourne Museum, kids can learn techniques to create lifelike drawings of the creatures that live in our local streams and rivers. Pencils and watercolours provided.

Where: Melbourne Museum
When: everyday until January 30
Cost: $40

Holiday workshops with 100 Story Building

Over the school holidays, Footscray’s literacy centre, 100 Story Building, is running a variety of different workshops daily from 9.30am to 12.30pm. There’s a different theme every day, so check the program. From comic-book writing and sci-fi, to re-writing your favourite character, these classes are creative and lots of fun for aspiring young writers. All materials are included, as is morning tea.

Where: 100 Story Building
When: from January 16–25
Cost: $49

Picnic Cooking Classes with Itsy Bitsy Chef

Learn how to make fun, easy and delicious picnic food at the Itsy Bitsy Chef kitchen. The menus for each session differ depending on the day, but all include both a savoury and a sweet option. There are morning and afternoon classes in each session, with a 30-minute break in between. You can choose to do either one, or both. All participants get to take home and enjoy their creations.

Where: Itsy Bitsy Chef
When: January 16–20
Cost: $35 for one session, $70 for both