These Sydney Museums Allow Your Children To Make, Create, Play and Learn

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By: Alex Harmon, ellaslist

Get out of the way, helicopter parents, and make way for the new threat - lawnmower parents! 

This new and concerning parenting trend was coined by an anonymous high school teacher in the US who wrote a post called, “Lawnmower Parents Are the New Helicopter Parents & We Are Not Here for It”. It sounds threatening, so what does it mean? 

Lawnmower parents, basically, will go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity or struggle. Instead of preparing children for challenges, they "mow" obstacles down so kids won’t experience them in the first place. It comes from a good place, of course, but by taking away challenges from our children, this teacher believes we are depriving them of important life lessons.

That's not to say we should let them run free and fight their own battles. It means equipping them with the skills to deal with life's adversities. And you can do this from a young age by simply letting your kids play, explore, make and create. And no, we don't mean sending them into IKEA armed with a pocket knife and some glue. We mean finding places that allow kids to get hands-on and creative. Here are our picks for places in Sydney that have this on the menu for the Spring school holidays. 

 

Powerhouse Museum

Little creative types will love the free KID COUTURE drop-in activities these school holidays in celebration of the Powerhouse Museum’s newest exhibition, Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715 – 2015from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. With over 130 outfits, spanning 300 years of fashion history there is plenty of inspiration to draw from in designing your own wearable art. From sketching to pattern making and working with figure mannequins, visitors to the Tinkering Hall will have a hands-on experience of the fashion industry. 

There are also some full day Holiday Workshops for kids aged 6+. From Minecraft, stop motion, electronics and game design, to songwriting, movie making for YouTube plus workshops for families to get creative together. The play-based learning even gets messy with science, where kids can make their own props, become a creative inventor and discover the secret science of photography. Find out more here.

Sydney Observatory

Are your kids stargazers? Take them on a science journey at Extravaganza: Sci Art at Sydney Observatory. During the school holidays Sydney Observatory allows your kids to get hands-on and peer through telescopes and binoculars with our expert guides and learn how you can build your own scientific investigations at home. Get set for a moonwalk at our Astronaut Obstacle Course, explore the solar system at the gravity table and launch with space themed arts and crafts. Budding archaeologists can unearth the Observatory’s historic site and grounds at the dig pit. Find out more here.

Museums Discovery Centre

This museum is a collaboration between the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS),Australian Museum (AM) and Sydney Living Museums. During the holidays you can book into a range of 2-hour creative workshops where kids can experiment by making moving creations, programming their own rover, experimenting with electronic design and much more. Family workshops also available. Find out more HERE.   

We hope that your kids enjoy the holidays and that they also get a chance to get outside and explore. Remember, if we eliminate all struggle in the younger years, our kids won't be equipped to deal with hardship or any inevitable failures when they're older. While we don't want to see our kids fail, we can help with how they cope if they do. After all even Einstein failed his way to success! 

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