With the school holidays upon us, families are looking for clever ways to keep their children entertained, educated and engaged from the comfort of their homes.
And while families may not be able to travel right now, there are many free and interactive learning experiences allowing kids to explore Queensland's history, culture and natural environment available online.
So why not sit down with the kids this week and check out the top 15 online learning experiences in Queensland – it might also spark some great ideas for the next family holiday to the Sunshine State.
Amazing animal encounters
- Sea Life Sunshine Coast are live streaming from their Facebook page each week to introduce viewers to the different animals and creatures that live at the aquarium. These educational talks also invite children and their parents to submit questions during the live stream.
- Cockatours are streaming free ecology talks from their Facebook page which introduce children to the native wildlife they can find in Tropical North Queensland.
- Splitters Farm in Bundaberg is bringing rescued farm animals into our living rooms via a Facebook live stream each weekday at 10am.
- Kids can tune in to watch the crocodiles feed at Koorana Crocodile Farm via Facebook live stream and learn more about these prehistoric creatures.
- Families can feel like they are right there in the passenger seat next to the experts by taking a virtual tour with FNQ Tours. The in-depth tours explore different topics such as nocturnal spotlighting, nature and wildlife.
- The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary website hosts a range of webcams where people can watch koalas snacking on Eucalyptus leaves, dingo puppies playing and platypus swimming at all times of the day – a great resource which will keep the kids entertained for hours.
- Aspiring keepers can find out what goes on behind the scenes at Dreamworld as a team of carers looks after the theme park's 400 animals. Videos will be uploaded to Dreamworld's Facebook page.
- The CaPTA Group Wildlife Parks are sharing their furry, feathery and scaly friends with the world on their Cairns ZOOM Facebook page. This includes a live stream of their beautiful Australian wildlife in “hibernation mode” and Q&As with the zookeepers.
- The Ginger Factory on the Sunshine Coast is bringing their live bee show straight to family living rooms via Facebook live stream. Children can tune in to learn all about the busy bees, how they make honey, the different species and what is involved in being a beekeeper.
Dive deep below the surface
- Children are invited to keep track of turtles, dolphins, sharks, manta rays and whale sharks on the Reef Tracks website. They can learn how marine researchers monitor these animals that spend most of their time underwater to gain valuable insights into their movements, behaviour and habitats to help inform management and conservation practices.
- Oceanpedia is a multimedia library that allows viewers to discover the animals and environment of the marine world through their computer or TV screen. The video clips have been created from thousands of hours spent underwater by the Biopixel Oceans Foundation team (based out of James Cook University in Cairns) and provides viewers with an overview of the animal or habitat in focus.
Keep moving and stay active
- Queensland Ballet have launched a new campaign designed to “Keep the Magic Alive” which has seen the dance company release a series of community engagement classes that can be accessed free of charge online. Aspiring dancers of any age can learn the technical skills of ballet from experienced teaching artists while also keeping active at home.
- SeaLife Sunshine Coast is also streaming virtual 'underwater' yoga on their Facebook page every Monday at 10am. Children can join their parents for a five-minute break to get moving and have some fun while watching sea creatures swim by.
Join the arts and culture club
- Parents and students alike can watch a variety of artist and exhibition videos on the The Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art YouTube channel. High school students may also be interested in the free interactive online tour of the Women's Wealth Exhibition, whereas younger children can access the Children's Art Centre to download activities, books and programs made by artists for kids.
- Queensland Museum exhibitions, as well as various learning resources, are also available to access and download online. Information packs about the ANZACs, dinosaurs and a plethora of other insightful topics can be accessed on the Queensland Museum learning resources page by both parents and students.
And while families eagerly wait for current travel restrictions to lift, they are encouraged to grab a map and use this time to plan the next Queensland holiday by pinning places they have visited online and highlighting where they would like to visit in person. For more Queensland holiday inspiration, visit queensland.com.
Images (to be credited as per file name instruction): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dazz5i9qa1xcpdk/AACwqgwaHPlo3AqUHEjXNP9La?dl=0
Publicist, Tourism and Events Queensland
P: +61 7 3535 5337