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Fun Palace in a Box

By Administrator | 5 October 2017

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What is a Fun Palace?

Fun Palaces are yearly events that happen all over the world on the first weekend of October. They are free and community-led and feature all kinds of activities run by local people. They focus on the arts and sciences and have a broad scope, including craft, tech, digital and sports activities.

2016 saw the growth of Fun Palaces in Queensland expand, with the help of State Library’s Mystery Box project. As hoped, this one-off program sparked box recipients to host Fun Palaces; and also inspired additional communities to create their own events using the marketing and creative resources provided by State Library. Read more about how Regional and Rural Fun Palaces Shine across Qld!

Overall, 65 Indigenous Knowledge Centres and libraries in Queensland participated in Fun Palaces, and more than 4000 people across the state participated, with the audience ranging from toddlers to seniors.

Although funding is not available to offer Mystery Boxes this year our hope is that the materials pictured and listed may offer some inspiration for organisations to host, or continue to host, their own events. State Library will support Fun Palace expansion by offering additional marketing materials and inspiration. We believe there are clear community and organisational benefits to hosting, regardless of the size, scope or budget of the event, and no matter if 2017 marks the organisation’s first, second or third Fun Palace.

Sample Fun Palace Mystery Box contents:


alligator clips and jumper wires

coin cell battery holders (sewable)

coin cell batteries

conductive tape

LED lights




spray bottles

60ml measuring cups

eye droppers or/ plastic pipettes

graph paper pads

matt or glossy square paper (great for origami)

kit jewellery pieces

buttons and wooden beads

beading thread fine gauge

cotton twine and large plastic needles

flex-it mesh or/ mesh fibre natural

sewing cotton and sharp point sewing needles

mini metallic paper plates

foil sheets of leaf  (gold, silver or copper)

sidewalk chalk

food dye

coloured wire or/creative soft wire

coloured cellowrap

glitter stretch tubing

felt pieces

pipe cleaners

ice cream sticks or matchsticks

watercolour paints

sugar spray paint

tape, glue, hot glue and guns

plasticine modelling clay

mod rock – plaster of paris bandages

plastic sheets to protect tables and vinyl gloves – so you can get messy!

The Art of Tinkering by Karen Wilkinson & Mike Petrich
Art Workshops for Children by Herve Tullet
Engibear by Andrew King
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn, et al
Create With Artists: An Art Activity Book by Rixt Hulshoff Pol
This Book Thinks You're a Scientist – Science Museum, London

You can also find resources and ideas for where to purchase items at Tinkering Child.



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