NGV under 4s

HOT: NGV Under 5s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The National Gallery of Victoria is a fantastic family-friendly destination and every month they run ‘NGV Under 5s‘, a specially developed program for children age 2-5 years where kids get to discover the gallery through look and making activities with their parents/carers.

The event is now being run virtually and for free! Rather than the usual 60-minute session in person, the online version is 20 minutes and hosted by a lovely member of the NGV Kids team.

On Wednesday 20 May and Friday 22 May at 10am, discover what inspired Danish designer Poul Henningsen to design his iconic Artichoke, pendant lamp, 1958 and watch a demonstration of an easy art-making activity you can do together at home using the Make it Bloom Activity Sheet

Next week, NGV are running three sessions on Monday 25 May, Wednesday 27 May and Friday 29 May at 10am in time with Reconciliation Week, where children can learn about Indigenous artist Julie Dowling and how her family and their stories inspired her work Federation Series 1901-2001.


NGV under 4s

The theme changes every month and there are three 60 minute sessions at 10am-11am (NGV members only), 11:30-12:30pm and 1-2pm.

As a preschooler Baby 2.0 and I attended various sessions throughout the years.

For instance, one of our sessions is based on the temporary painting exhibition Shut Up and Paint.

The session starts with an in-gallery visit where around 20 kids and their carers are asked to pick a colour swatch and then to spot the colour in the works around them.

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Then we all troop off to the education centre on Level 1 where a painting session is set up. The kids match their colour swatch to a pot of paint and then start dabbing paint on the wall – right behind a (replica) Degas. It’s like a rainbow of cuteness!

NGV Under 4s,National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

So that everyone has a chance to take artwork home the kids then free paint on A4 sheets.

The session ends with a storytime while we wait for the paintings to dry. It’s Herve Tullet’s ‘Mix It Up’, a fantastically interactive picture book all about mixing colours.

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NGV under 4s

During another visit, we go inside the gallery’s ‘Love: Art of Emotion‘ exhibition where we read a book before making a musical bracelet and ending with a song.  NGV under 4s

On our next visit we are inspired by one of the pieces in the temporary exhibition Creating the Contemporary Chair to create our own paper plate shark.

NGV under 4s

NGV under 4s

At $16 per child ($13 for NGV members) NGV Under 5s is a good value introduction to the world of art in a professional gallery. The sessions are popular so bookings are essential. Note there can a bit of schlepping around the gallery, particularly if you have a pram and have to use lifts.

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HOT Tips:

  • NGV Under 5s is suitable for kids 2-5 years;
  • runs monthly with 3 sessions a day;
  • A ticket is for one child-parent pair ($16, $13 for members), adults do not need a ticket;
  • Any additional adults wishing to attend the program can purchase an ‘Additional Guardian’ ticket for $10 per person; and
  • bookings essential.

I hope this post has helped or inspired you! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to find out more ways for your family to have fun together!

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi.

    Can you tell me what days the NGV under 4s art sessions are? We are in Melbourne 22-25may and looking for things to do with our toddler

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In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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