Family Online Activities

While we’re all spending a lot more time at home, we don’t want anyone to miss out on being creative!

Over the past year, all our learning teams from across our cultural venues have been creating a whole array of family activities, challenges and  even bedtimes stories which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home!

There’s also a great selection of family activities that you can take and enjoy outside in your garden or local park this spring and summer – check out our family arts packs for lots of fun ideas.

Take a look at some of our activities below and see how many of them you can complete! We’d love to see how you get and what you create so remember to share your pictures on our social media channels ☺️

Facebook: @SunderlandCulture
Twitter: @SundCulture

  • Family Art Packs

    Over the past year, we’ve created a group of themed art packs for you to enjoy at home with your family!

    Each pack has a different theme, inspired by our natural history and art collections at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Arts Centre Washington, and National Glass Centre.

    Inside you’ll discovertons of fun activities for all ages to enjoy, exploring everything from plants and gardens, seas and rivers, bugs and beasties to castles and local landmarks.

    The following themed packs are available for you to download and enjoy:

    Dinosaurs and Fossils

    Inspired by the geology collections at  Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, this pack is full of creative activities for children to enjoy – from fun dino facts and colouring sheets to creative activities such as making your own fossils and a Dino Dinorama!

     Plants and Gardens

    Discover some unusual plant stories, make your own plant potion zine and try colouring sheets and seed bunting activities. Why not head off on a minibeast hunt and make a paper butterfly?

     Sunderland by the Sea

    This pack supports National Marine Week with the Wildlife Trusts. Families can make a seagull kite, an ocean drum and a saltdough starfish then explore the coast to discover rockpool wildlife and seabirds using spotter guides.

    Taking Art Everywhere

    This pack is packed full of amazing art activities created by artists and inspired by works in the Arts Council Collection, the UK’s largest loan collection of modern and contemporary art. Express yourself by making your own zines, animations, light displays, story sticks and much more!

    Castles and Heritage

    This pack will explore castles, local landmarks and famous historical figures with activities such as  model castle building and heraldry.

  • Dino Egg Hunt
    Join us on a virtual dino egg hunt this Easter!

    Can you help Tina the Triceratops find her 8 dino babies that are hiding around the virtual Winter Gardens? They’ve just hatched from their eggs and are really hungry but what healthy snacks do they want to eat?

    Find out by clicking on each baby dino in our virtual Dino Egg Hunt below to reveal a clue and a special letter. Collect the answers on your activity sheet as you go along and then unscramble the letters to spell a themed word!

    You can download and print your Dino Egg Hunt activity sheet here: Dino Egg Hunt Activity Sheet

    Dino Egg Hunt – How To Guide

    – You will find the 8 dino babies and dinosaurs in different ‘scenes’ around the virtual Winter Gardens. The opening scene also has clickable symbols (a clipboard and musical note) to download the activity sheet and to play a video of songs.
    – Click on the dino babies and dinosaurs in the scenes to reveal different facts and clues.
    – You can pan around in each scene to search for the dino babies and dinosaurs.
    – To move left, right, up and down in a scene swipe the touchscreen on your phone or i-pad with your finger. To move around a scene on a laptop, hold down the left-side of the touchpad with your finger as you swipe left, right, up and down on the touchpad with your other finger.
    – To move from scene to scene in the Winter Gardens click on the arrows on the floor.
    – You can follow the arrows in different directions around the Winter Gardens to find the dino babies and dinosaurs.

    Win a Dino Prize!

    We really hope you enjoy the Dino Egg Hunt and would love to know more about what you think. This will help us to plan more exciting family activities over the coming months.

    Simply fill out this short survey and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a dinosaur cuddly toy:

    There will be 3 prize winners (one prize per household) and the draw will take place on Monday 26 April. Winners will be notified by e-mail.

    Thank you!

  • Memory Scavenger Hunt

    For this activity children are encouraged to ask questions of their older relatives about their childhood memories. You can also take part in challenges to help kids make and record memories with their family/carers.

    Download the full activity here: Memory Scavenger Hunt

  • Make your own Dinomites!



    Download all the dinosaur templates and instructions here: Creative Challenge: Dinomites

    What you need: Cardboard, scissors

    Instructions: Draw around your template onto cardboard. If you’re working on thick card, you might need to make your slot a little bit wider to fit both pieces together. You can colour, collage or paint onto your card shapes before assembling if you like.

    We’d love to see what you’ve made so remember to share your finished dinomites!


  • Make a Macrame plant hanger with Sarora Knots

    Make your very own woven textile creations inspired by the artwork by artist Lubaina Himid, one of the works featured in Sunderland Museum’s recent Received Wisdom exhibition, a National Partners Programme exhibition from Arts Council Collection.

  • We Love Plants: Colouring Sheets

    We Love Plants Colouring Sheets 

    The team at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens are passionate about plants…








    Use these colouring sheets to discover some of our favourite plants that grow in Mowbray Park and the Winter Gardens: We Love Plants Colouring Sheets

    Why not colour them in with pencils, pens or pastels?

    For an extra fun art challenge you could cut them out and stick them onto a background to make your own creative plant collage, adding different bugs and animals that pollinate and feed on the plants.

  • Dinosaur Mania

    Our dinosaurs are missing all the visitors to the Museum and can’t wait to see you all again. If you’re missing them why not try this dinosaur challenge to test your knowledge and get creative?

    Download the full quiz here: Creative Challenge Dinosaur Mania

    What you need: paper, a pencil or pen, colouring pencils. If you get stuck you can use the internet to search for the answers.

    Instructions: (if you can’t download the quiz worksheet above)

    1. It’s Easter and everyone is thinking about eggs! Can you draw a baby dinosaur hatching out of an egg?

    2. How many teeth did a T-Rex have?

    3. In our Winter Gardens we have a descendant of the dinosaurs which can still be found today. What type of animal is it? Crocodile, Rabbit, or Owl

    4. Scientists are starting to find evidence that dinosaurs might have been many different colours. If you designed a dinosaur what colours would you choose?

    5. Dinosaurs can have unusual names but which of these are real? Gasosaurus, Arthurdactylus, Supersaurus, Pantydraco, Melsaurasaurus

    6. The Therizinasaurus had the longest claw of any dinosaur. How long could they be? 50cm, 100cm, 35cm, 150cm, or 200cm

    7. Which famous fossil hunter found her first dinosaur fossil when she was 12? Clue – she lived in Dorset.

    8. Which famous dinosaur came to visit Newcastle last year?

    9. How many horns does a triceratops have? 

    10. Palaentologists find lots of fossils in the U.S.A. Some states even have a state fossil or a state dinosaur. Which has the Utahraptor as its state dinosaur?

    11. How many other words can you find in the word dinosaur?


  • No Strings: Artist Linked Family Workshops

    National Glass Centre are celebrating the work of the seven international artists shown in their current exhibition No Strings.

    There are a series of fun home-based workshops inspired by each of the 7 international artists you can access online including:

    • Recreating the Ordinary: Faranak Sohi and Pop Art
    • Jim Skull and Curious Connections
    • Felieke Van Der Leest and Object Storytelling
    • Caroline Broadhead Perspective and Illusion
    • Shige Fujishiro Blending and Shading
    • David Chatt Collecting and Recording
    • Ran Hwang Composition and Colour Mixing

    For each activity you can use the images on available on the webpage or you can download the full pdf worksheets.

    To view the activities and download them visit:

    No Strings family activities

  • Sounds and Vision - inter-generational activity

    Artist Andrew Holder has created a step-by-step worksheet which encourages conversations about music between different generations. There’s also some drawing activities! 

    Download the full activity here: Sound and Vision

  • Rebel Women Bedtime Stories - Steph Houghton and Jill Scott

    Join our very own Corinne Kilvington as she reads you a very special bedtime story!

    Inspired by the Rebel Women of Sunderland project, these stories celebrate the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland, both past and present.  

    Tonight’s story is about two Rebel Women, football players Steph Houghton and Jill Scott.

    So…make sure you’re comfortable and we’ll begin!



    Find out more about the Rebel of Women of Sunderland project, read all the stories and see all the artworks here:

    Rebel women project

  • Rebel Women Colouring Sheets

    Download our Rebel Women colouring in sheets. Add some colour back into the beautiful illustrations, originally commissioned from Sunderland based artist Kathryn Robertson, for the Rebel Women of Sunderland project.

    Be as rebellious as you like!

    Download all the Rebel Women of Sunderland colouring sheets here: REBELS COLOURING



  • Creative Challenge: Rainbow Beads

    Download the worksheet with instructions here: Creative Challenge Rainbow Beads 

    You will need:
    Scrap paper with some colour on. Look through magazines, junk mail, newspapers, wrapping paper
    Clear tape
    Something to wrap the paper around, such as a pencil
    String, thread or wire


  • Creative Challenge: Koi Karp


    Download templates here: Creative Challenge Koi Carp Pool

    Once you’ve made your koi carp fish, why not add some string and hang them up in a window for everyone to enjoy?

  • Paper Butterflies

    It may not be summer but we adore butterflies all year round!

    The Museum has many different butterflies in its natural history collections, including Birdwing butterflies, one of the largest butterfly species in the world. Butterflies belong to the order of insects called Lepitoptera which means ‘scaly winged’ in Greek. A person who studies butterflies is known as a Lepidopterist!

    This activity celebrates the summer season and the many different colours of butterflies that visit flowers in our parks and gardens.

    Suitable for age 4+ with adult support

    Download the full activity here: Paper Butterflies

  • Rebel Women Bedtime Stories - Marion Phillips

    Join our very own Corinne Kilvington as she reads you a very special bedtime story!

    Tonight’s tale tells the story of Marion Phillips, Sunderland’s first ever female MP.

    Inspired by the Rebel Women of Sunderland project, these stories celebrate the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland, both past and present.  

    To find out more about the whole project visit:

    Rebel women project


  • Beloved Portraits - inter-generational family activity

    Artist Andrew Tift has created a series of intricately drawn pencil portraits of residents living in Washington care homes.

    This exhibition was previously show at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens to accompany the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing and was supposed to open at Arts Centre Washington in 2020.

    Inspired by the exhibition, we’ve created a fun family activity for you to share with your grandparents or someone older that you look up to!

    Download the activity here: Beloved Portraits

    Plus, you can now explore the exhibition online instead!

    one day you’ll be older too


  • Rebel Women Bedtime Stories - Emeli Sandé

    Join our very own Corinne Kilvington as she reads you a very special bedtime story!

    Inspired by the Rebel Women of Sunderland project, these stories celebrate the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland, both past and present.  

    Rebel women project



  • Creative Challenge: Rainbow Rocks

    There are two options for this; decorate real rocks from your garden or make your own using paper mâché. Whichever one you do, display them in your window so that people know you’re staying safe by staying home.

    Download the worksheet with instructions here: Creative Challenge Rainbow Rocks

    If you have real rocks….

    You will need: Paint or felt tips

    Instructions: Simply paint on a colourful rainbow design like ours below! Display them in your yard, garden or window sill so others can see them.


    If you want to make your own rocks…

    You will need:
    Newspaper or scrap paper such as old magazines, junk mail, used envelopes, tin foil. You’ll need some that isn’t glossy for the outside.
    Tape or elastic bands
    PVA glue *see below for alternatives
    Paint brush

    1. Screw up old paper or foil into balls about the size of a fist or tennis ball. Use up any shiny or glossy paper for this part, save any newspaper and nonshiny bits for step 3. Keep one side flat for the base.

    2. Tape it in place or wrap elastic bands round to keep the shape.

    3. Rip your scrap paper into small pieces. Newspaper is best but everyday writing paper or printer paper or envelopes work too.

    4. Make a watered down PVA by adding a little water and mixing it together. It needs to be quite runny so it’s easy to paint on and will dry quickly. Recycled plastic packaging makes a good mixing bowl, or an old jar. (Make small amounts and top it up as you need to).

    5. Paint your PVA mixture onto the first rock and cover it with the pieces of paper. Just do one layer for now. Paint over the joins to help the pieces stay stuck down. If you’ve made a few rocks repeat this step for all of them now and leave them to dry.

    6. Add more layers of paper. Make sure your paper pieces overlap the ones underneath so you don’t have any gaps as these will create weak points. Leave each layer to dry in between. Aim to do at least three layers if you can.

    7. Leave your rocks to dry overnight.

    8. Paint your rocks with a base colour to cover up the print from your newspaper then leave them to dry.

    9. Decorate your rocks with rainbow designs.

    *You can use wall paper paste but follow the safety instructions carefully as it may contain fungicide. You can also make your own glue using equal parts flour and water. Add a bit of salt to stop it from going mouldy!

  • Past and Future Heroes

    A useful resource to help children find out more about local heroes and to write, in a positive way, about themselves and others!

    Be inspired by Sunderland’s heroes and create your own superhero identity! What would your super power be? Would you have a costume?

    Download the activity here: Past and Future Heroes

  • Rebel Women Bedtime Stories : Florence Collard and the Shipyward Women

    Join our very own Corinne Kilvington as she reads you a very special bedtime story!

    Inspired by the Rebel Women of Sunderland project, these stories celebrate the diversity of the achievements of the women of Sunderland, both past and present.  

    Rebel women project



  • Creative Challenge: Dino Diorama

    Creative Challenge: Use lots of imagination and create a Dino Diorama for your own dinosaurs inspired by the Winter Gardens.

    Download the full instructions in the worksheet here: Creative Challenge Dino Diorama

    What you need: Paper, colouring pencils or pens or paint ,scissors, glue, large box eg. cereal box/ shoe box/ Easter egg box, bit of card.

    Other things you could use: magazines, wool, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, tissue paper, egg boxes

    Tip: Before you start look up pictures of what the landscape looked like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.


    Step 1: Take a piece of paper (you may need to use more than one sheet) and draw your background or draw straight onto the box whichever you find easiest.

    Step 2: Stick the drawing into the box

    Step 3: Now draw trees, rocks and plants onto your card. Leave a tab at the bottom you can fold under. You can make 3D models just remember to leave a tab to fold under. Make them in lots of different sizes.

    Step 4: Cut them out fold the tab under and stick them in place. If you have made lots of different sizes remember to put the littlest at the back and the biggest at the front.

    Step 5: You could use tissue paper for trees and plants, add rocks made from egg boxes, blue card or wool for a river or a lake and many other things. Use lots of imagination.

    Step 6: Add your dinosaurs to their new home!

    Top tip: If you don’t yet have your own dinosaurs then check out our first Dinomites challenge to see how to make some!

  • Plant Potions: How to make a plant spell book

    Download the full activity worksheet here:How to make your own spell book

    First of all, we need to create the book itself:

    Once you’ve folded you’re book, you’re ready to start designing your plant potions…

  • Let's go on a mini-beast hunt!

    Let’s go on a minibeast hunt in your garden or local park. Good places to spot minibeasts are the undersides of leaves, on flowers, on the bark of trees and hiding under small logs and rocks (always replace these after you have lifted them up for a look).

    To find out more about minibeasts, why they are important, and to take part in a mini-beast hunt with your very own minibeast spotter guide, download the activity: Minibeast Hunt