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Cool summer activities for playful kids

Media release

This is an archived media release. Links were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed or expired.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Just in time for the summer school holidays, State Library Victoria’s brand new Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter is now open and it’s packed full of books, fun and games for kids up to 12 years old.

A selection of drop-in activities will be available all summer long, including zine making, dress-ups, storyboard making, cards, board games and of course, plenty of books to curl up with – no booking or payment required.

A Giant Zine Project will take place from late December, offering kids aged 8-12 the chance to contribute to a collective zine which will be published as an e-zine at the end of the holidays.

Creativity is encouraged with a Story-Go-Round installation by the Soft Stories Art Collective (from 19 December). Kids can add a drawing to the spinning world of the Story-Go-Round, then write about it.

Other summer activities include:

Hidden stories in the Library, Tuesday 14 January, 5–7pm
Inspired by the Library’s collection of more than 5 million items, kids can create characters, settings and rules for their own worlds. Facilitated by 100 Story Building for children aged 5–8 years, their parents and carers. 

Create your own adventure! Thursday 16 January, 5–7pm
Participants are invited to create choose-your-own-adventure style stories using twine – an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Facilitated by 100 Story Building for children 9–12 years, their parents and carers.

Toddler tunes, Monday 20 January, 10.30am, Monday 27 January, 10.30am
Rhythm, melody and stories combine to create engaging entertainment for toddlers. For children aged 18 months to 3 years, their parents and carers.

Baby bounce, Wednesday 22 January, 10.30am, Friday 24 January, 11.30am, Saturday 25 January, 10.30am, Wednesday 29 January, 10.30am, Friday 31 January, 11.30am
It’s never too early to start reading and sharing a love of books. Babies and toddlers aged 18 months and under, their parents and carers are invited to join in a fun, interactive session of stories, songs and rhymes.

Storytime, Friday 24 January, 10.30am, Saturday 25 January, 11.30am and Friday 31 January, 10.30am
Pre-schoolers can share the delight of stories, songs, play and craft activities at Storytime, aimed at kids aged 3–5, their parents and carers.

Toddler Tales, Wednesday 22 January, 11.30am, Wednesday 29
This lively session will be filled with favourite stories, interactive songs and fun rhymes. For children aged 18 months to 3 years, their parents and carers.


About Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter
This free, purpose-built space for kids under 12 and their families, the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter is complete with 4000 children’s books, toys, cushions and nick-knacks to play with. The air-conditioned space with plenty of natural light features a two-level ‘storybook castle’, with the top floor dedicated to kids aged 9 to 12 years old. Meanwhile, children aged 8 and under are catered for downstairs with a tactile, sensory landscape and easy-to-access family rooms. Designed with input from children and children’s book authors, it’s complete with reading nooks and a makerspace. With a focus on stimulating a love of reading, learning and play from the earliest age, its accompanying program is sure to be a hit with children and parents alike. Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter is located off the Quad, accessible from the Library’s Swanston Street entrance. It is open from 10am-9pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-6pm Friday-Sunday. Children under 12 must be supervised by their parents or carers.