Family learning is at the heart of the museum visit experience and the exhibitions throughout the museum and art gallery have been created to offer inspiration to children and adults alike. In addition to formal education programs for school students, TMAG offers a dedicated program for families, with a particular focus on engaging visitors in early learning programs.
A range of hands-on programs and resources, events and exhibits allow families and children to explore the museum and art galleries at their own pace and in a way that best suits their group.
Once a month on a weekend, TMAG will host a family day that will be focused on 3-8 year-old children with structured activities and tailored experiences particularly designed to foster a joyful and creative investigation of the collection and other relevant themes. Family Days repeat on the last Sunday of every month. For details on upcoming family days, keep an eye on our events page here.
Discovery backpacks are a free, in-gallery loan resource designed to help families explore specific areas of the museum in a fun, engaging and hands-on way. The backpacks are filled with objects, props, activities and resources across a number of subject areas including History, Art, Antarctic and Southern Ocean and Natural Sciences. Each backpack journey can take up to one hour and they are suitable for children aged 7-12 and their families. Backpacks can be collected from the Visitor Information Desk.
If you just need the basics for your visit to TMAG then pick up your personal ‘toolkit’ from the Visitor Information desk. The free loan toolkits include several ‘tools’ to assist younger visitors in making their museum discoveries. Toolkits are suitable for children aged 4-7.
The Art and Museum carts
The Art Cart and Museum Cart will be gallery-based interpretive resources for use by visitors in either guided or unstructured sessions. The Art Cart is primarily designed for use with art education staff to enhance programming using a creative mode of discovery, particularly the visual arts. The Museum Cart focuses more on a multisensory engagement with the wonder of objects. Both carts will incorporate strong playful elements and create social learning environments for younger visitors.
Early learning programs
The Early Learning Program specifically focuses on children up to the age of 5 in recognition of the important role a museum environment can play in early childhood development. The new Centre for Learning and Discovery space in the museum provides a bright, lively and playful area for exploration through guided programs. These programs include:
A dynamic 1 hour weekly program for 4 weeks for young children and adults to explore, enjoy and learn about the museum together.
This program is designed for pre-school children aged 3-5. Younger siblings and friends are also welcome.
The next 4 week program commences on Tuesday 18 February 2014. All sessions commence at 9:30 am.
Bookings for the Eye Spy program are essential. Please contact the Centre for Learning and Discovery:
Phone: (03) 6211 4189
Artist in Residence Program in January 2014
6 – 31 January 2014
Following on from recent works at other Australian museums, Barking Spider Visual Theatre will spend January at TMAG as a part of a new Artist in Residence program focused on enhancing creative opportunities for young children and families.
Melbourne-based artists Penelope Bartlau and Jason Lehane will research and be inspired by TMAG’s collection to create a new work by the end of January. It may be an installation, an artwork or a play – we will find out as the residency unfolds!
This program is an AccessArt initiative, supported by Detached Cultural Organisation.
More information about session times coming soon.
Young Collectors at TMAG
The Young Collectors case has been a popular part of TMAG’s displays for many years. There have been collections about dragons, sheep tags, bones and dominoes, even simply 'green things', amongst many others. People collect all sorts of things for interesting reasons.
Do you have a collection that you would like to display and that would be interesting for other people to look at?
If so, please contact email@example.com to ask for a Young Collectors application form or ring 62114177
School holiday program
TMAG’s ever popular school holiday program returns each school holidays, offering a range of activities across the full spectrum of TMAG’s collection and into the community’s wider interests and environments. For details on the school holiday program keep an eye on our events page here.
Join us for fun hands-on science activities, with visiting scientists, artists and curators. To see the full inspiring August 2014 Science Week program please visit our website again in early 2014.