A family strikes a post for the Flip Book interactive experience in The Story of the Moving Image exhibition (photo by Phoebe Powell)
Credit: Phoebe Powell
Stories & Ideas

Thu 16 Sep 2021

Your one-stop guide for school holidays at home

AnimationEducation Families FilmTelevisionVideogames
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Emma Sullivan

Communications Assistant

Have fun and keep busy over the school holidays with these activity ideas for creative kids.

We’ve put together a list of activities that can be enjoyed over various time frames – from a movie night watch party with the family to a three-day game building challenge. Whether your kids love to write, draw, act or code these modules from ACMI Education will keep them inspired and creating.

1–3 day projects

Build your own videogame with Scratch Coder

Recommended for Years 3

Make your ideas into reality by using this free interactive resource to build your own videogame. Your game will include backdrops, characters and objects of your own creation, as well as music.

By following the step-by-step guide, you’ll have built your very own fully functioning videogame.

Scratch Coder_1

Make a stop-motion animation

Recommended for Years 3–8 

Love Wallace and Gromit, Pingu or Isle of Dogs and ever wondered how they’re made?

Learn about what Stop Motion is and all the different types of stop-motion animation you can make using our handy guide.

Many hands make light work; grab your siblings, parents or dog and make your stop-motion animation together. Once your masterpiece is done, dim the lights and make some popcorn to screen it to your family!

Day-long activities

Make a Trailer

Recommended for Years 3–6

Do you love a book so much you wish everyone would read it?

Making a trailer is a fun way to recommend your favourite books. We'll take you through the process of creating your very own book trailer.

Make A Trailer _1.jpg

Write a Script and Act It Out

Recommended for Years 4–10

Scripts include all essential information such as the setting of each scene and dialogue, to help you tell a story for screen or stage. Set the scene, learn how to write some dialogue and create characters you can act out!

Use skills you’ve learnt from our screenwriting guide to put on a play for your family, or film it to keep forever.

Screenwriting

Turn Your Script into a Storyboard

Recommended for Years 5–9

Storyboards help filmmaking teams tell the movie’s story through images so they can plan how the film will look.

Create a storyboard from your own script with our easy-to-follow step-by-step guide.

Jeremy's Lie Storyboard

Re-enact your Favourite Film

Recommended for Years 3–10

Pay homage to the movies you love by making your own, lo-fi DIY version.

We show you the process of 'sweding' your favourite film. Find out what 'sweding' is and why it's important in film making.

You'll learn about camera shots, story structure, visual effects and more!

Get hands-on with the craft of animation

Recommended for Years 3–6

Explore the history of animation by creating your very own thaumatrope, zoetrope or claymation.

Thaumatrope

A Thaumatrope is an optical toy that uses a spinning disc to merge two separate pictures to create the illusion of one complete still picture.

Print out our ready-made Thaumatrope or make your own from scratch.

Zoetrope

A zoetrope is an optical illusion toy and a way of making a short-looped animation.

Use our Shaun the Sheep zoetrope template or get creative and make your own moving images!

Claymation

Use our worksheets and tips to sketch out your own Claymation character.

Learn about building Claymation characters through behind the scenes Wallace and Gromit examples and create a 3D character from a sketch of your own.

Magic of aardman wallace gromit 2160 x 1023

An evening with the family

Blinky Bill: The Movie Watch party

Recommended year levels Pre-primary and above 

Crikey! Join us for a fun family film night with your favourite gang of Aussie animals.

A new take on a classic tale, screen Blinky Bill the Movie on ABC iview as the mischievous koala sets out on a journey across Australia to find his father. Watch along with the ACMI Education team on Friday 17 September as we tweet family-friendly trivia throughout the film,

We've put together an activity pack of movie fun-facts, Australiana themed crafts, activities and delicious snack suggestions to go along with this family film night, whether you watch with us, or on a night that suits you.

Blinky Bill the Movie - Watch Party

Ernest & Celestine film night

Recommended for Year 3 and above

Ernest is a hungry violin-playing bear and Celestine is a mouse who wants to be an artist but is studying dentistry!

When these mismatched characters become friends, their friendship is met with prejudice and fear.

Use our resource to learn about how the animated film was adapted from a beloved series of children's books created by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent and the various themes explored throughout. We’ve included conversation starters so you can talk about film languages and development.

Ernest Celestine header 2048

Delve into Disney

Do you have a favourite Disney movie?

Enjoy an evening of screening your favourite Disney film (available on Disney+) with your family and use our online resource (best for Years 3-8) to learn about the world’s most recognisable and beloved animated films.

Inspired by our exhibition, Disney: The Magic of Animation, this resource offers rich insights into the art, design, and storytelling of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and includes creative prompts and activities.

You can even purchase one of or our Disney at home kits and enjoy a fabulous family night in.

Get stuck into a puzzle, use your imagination to colour in your favourite Disney characters or test your knowledge with a friendly game of trivia – there’s something for everyone in the family.

Throw a screening night

Using the tips and tricks from the activities above, throw your own family film festival event to present all your creations to your captive audience.

Invite your special guests (your family) to the cinema (lounge room), pose for photos, present them with popcorn, usher them to their seats and give your film a formal introduction. You could also connect with your friends through a video call to show off your stunning work.

If you’re showing multiple films, you can ask the audience to vote for awards like “funniest” “most creative” “most unexpected” “the one with the biggest plot twist” and “most dramatic”. Don’t forget to thank us in your acceptance speech!

Students looking at screen 2160 x 1023

Competition!

School holidays animation challenge

For ages 12 years and under 

Feeling competitive?

We're challenging you to create a short animation in any style you wish.

ACMI CEO Katrina Sedgwick will be the judge, and the winning entries will receive an ACMI prize pack and be screened on the ACMI Education YouTube channel.

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry we’ve provided some useful ‘tips & tricks’ to get you started and there are plenty of guides to help you through your creative process.

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