Fun art activities to do with kids


Experience and enjoy four artist projects for children and families, including drawing, hands-on and multimedia activities and large-scale installations. The projects highlight the preciousness of life and natural resources, the importance of community and storytelling while engaging with the dynamic art, culture and life of the Asia Pacific region.

1. Joyce Ho
UN-Covered Library

Do you like to read stories? In the UN-Covered Library, the books are wrapped in paper, hiding their titles and cover illustrations from view. Joyce Ho invites you to find joy in reading one of the books on display and to share your thoughts about it with others.

Choose a book and find a place to read in one of the small stage sets, when you have finished reading, give your book a new title and cover design using coloured pencils and place it on the display shelves for others to enjoy.

Joyce Ho, Taiwan b.1983 / UN-Covered Library 2018 / Site-specific built environment for APT9 Kids: books, paper templates, coloured pencils, LCD screen, MDF, plywood, timber, furniture covering, pine book shelves, glass with frosted film / © Joyce Ho

2. Sadik Kwaish Alfraji
A Boat to Carry your Dreams

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji received a special letter from his 11-year-old nephew Ali on a trip to Baghdad in 2009. Ali made Sadik promise not to open the letter until he arrived home to Amersfoort in the Netherlands. Inside the letter, Sadik found a drawing of a small canoe-like boat with the words, ‘I wish my letter takes me to you’. This was Ali’s way of sharing his dream to leave Iraq and join his uncle in the Netherlands. Sadik has created a number of artworks inspired by this letter, including the animation work Ali’s Boat on display.

What do you wish for? Write or draw your wish on a piece of paper and fold it into a boat. Maybe your wish will come true.

Related: A Boat to Carry Your Dreams

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Iraq/The Netherlands b.1960 / A Boat to Carry your Dreams 2018 / Site-specific work for APT9 Kids: paper templates, black marker pens, MDF, plywood, timber, metal, carpet, black strings, timber dowels / © Sadik Kwaish Alfraji

Ali’s Boat: The book

Ali’s Boat, adapted from the artist’s artwork tells a story about his past, his family and his relationship with his country.

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Iraq/The Netherlands b.1960 / A drawing from Ali’s Boat 2018 / © Sadik Kwaish Alfraji

3. Jeff Smith

On a visit to the Republic of Kiribati, a Pacific island nation, Jeff Smith saw large fish traps extending from the shore as he flew overhead in a plane. These traps, known as te ma, are made from rock and coral pieces stacked together in a heart shape. As the tide goes out, the design of the te ma guides fish in and traps them for fishermen to collect at low tide. This is a sustainable method of fishing, as the community only take what they need.

Step into this underwater scene and watch how the fish respond to your movement. Try working together to gather fish into the trap projected onto the floor.

Related: Each shark-tooth sword by Chris Charteris is a ‘one-off’ creation

Make sure you see ‘Tungaru: The Kiribati Project’ display on Level 3 at GOMA during ‘APT9: Extended’.

Tungaru: The Kiribati Project, Est. 2012 / Jeff Smith, Aotearoa New Zealand b.1962 / Mauri 2018 / Site-specific built environment for APT9 Kids: projectors, cameras, ambient soundtrack, MDF, plywood, timber, movement sensor, PC / Commissioned for APT9 Kids with support from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation / The artist would like to thank Chris Charteris, Mike Faulkner, Jude Folkard, Sam Folkard, Andy Johnson, Lizzy Leckie and Kaetaeta Watson / © Jeff Smith

Tungaru: The Kiribati Project

Installation view of the ‘Tungaru: The Kiribati Project’ at the Gallery of Modern Art during ‘APT9: Extended’ / © The artists
Mauri by Jeff Smith, ‘Tunguru: The Kiribati Project’ in the Children’s Art Centre / © Jeff Smith

4. Jakkai Siributr
The Legend of the Rainbow Stag

As a young boy, Jakkai Siributr’s mother would read him stories based on the Jataka Tales – sacred Buddhist writings – to teach him about compassion, kindness and tolerance. One of Jakkai’s favourite stories, The Rainbow Stag, is brought to life in an animation narrated by the artist and features his version of this magnificent animal.

Watch your own version of the Rainbow Stag come to life by decorating a template and scanning the image. When you are finished you can share your animation with family and friends.

Jakkai Siributr, Thailand b.1969 / The Legend of the Rainbow Stag (animation) 2018 / Single-channel video: 3:20 minutes, colour, sound / © Jakkai Siributr

Jakkai Siributr, Thailand b.1969 / The Legend of the Rainbow Stag 2018 / Site-specific work for APT9 Kids: LCD screens, headphones, cameras, paper templates, colour marker pens, MDF, plywood, timber, metal, self-adhesive vinyl wallpaper, digiprints, projector / © Jakkai Siributr

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APT9 has been assisted by our Founding Supporter Queensland Government and Principal Partner the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

APT9 Kids is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

Feature image: A young visitor watching her animation of Jakkai Siributr’s The Legend of the Rainbow Stag 2018