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We all love our kids, but no doubt, just like us, you’ve been stretched to the limit with parenting in 2020. Around Australia, the summer school holidays are upon us, meaning parents will soon be facing the challenge of how to keep their children entertained for six weeks.
Shazia Juma-Ross, CEO at corporate activities company, Skills and Thrills says, “With international borders still closed, you may not be able to take the kids on your annual overseas getaway, but this doesn’t mean they need to be stuck in front of the telly or playing video games all day. There are plenty of fun activities to keep them engaged both at home and in the community – without taking a huge toll on the wallet!”
To help you take a load off and retain some sanity these summer holidays, here are Shazia’s top activities for keeping kids entertained. Most of these are free, some require a small fee and others can be played at home with minimal fuss or financial outlay.
Holiday Rock Climbing Camp
Climbing has a ROCKCAMP program held in January for kids aged 5-14 to learn how to climb in a fun and safe environment. The camps are led by a qualified school teacher and climbing instructor, with small groups to ensure each child is engaged and learning. Rock climbing isn’t just exciting for kids but it’s also a great way for them to get active and learn valuable skills like teamwork.
If your child is interested in how animated films are made, Code Camp’s animation program is for them. Over two days, kids will learn how stop-motion animation works, and make two movies of their own! They’ll be making figurines from LEGO, designing storyboards and editing their videos. The camp is suitable for 6-10 year olds and they accept NSW Creative Kids vouchers – cutting the cost by almost 50 per cent! The current Creative Kids vouchers expire 31st December, and they are then re-issued 1st January.
Creative Writing Workshops
Story Squad is running various creative writing classes in January for kids in grades K-2, with various themes including Alien Invasion, Spy School, Magical Ice Cream Mystery and Dragon Island. The workshops are taught by professionals and aim to encourage kids to build confidence in their creative thinking, ideation and writing skills. As a bonus, they also accept NSW Creative Kids vouchers!
Holiday Gymnastics Camp
Evolve Gymnastics has a summer Holiday Gymnastics Camp that offers half day and full day clinics for kids aged 5-12 years old. Not only do the workshops allow kids to get active and learn new skills, they also include art, craft and fun games in the gym. Evolve Gymnastics also accepts NSW Active Kids vouchers, which cover the full cost of the camp! Like the Creative Kids vouchers, they expire 31st December, and they are then re-issued 1st January.
StopMotion Animation Movie-Making
Bricks4Kidz has a summer school holiday program all about stop-motion animation. Aimed at 7-12 year olds, the workshops teach kids how to make an animated movie, complete with music and special effects. Working in small teams, students will plan, script, stage, shoot, and produce their own short films all in one day.
Drama and Arts Holiday Program
Aspiring performers will be right at home with Immerse Drama’s summer holiday program in January. They offer both half day and full day workshops for kids starting from as young as four years old, up to 12 years old. Not only will they be engaged in music, dance and drama, they’ll also get crafty with props and costumes, leading to a final performance!
Created for budding entrepreneurs aged 7-14 years old, the Australian School of Entrepreneurship’s Business Camp is a three-day workshop for kids to learn everything they can about business fundamentals. In addition to finding out about business planning, networking, ideation, market research and more, each child also receives one-on-one mentoring. The workshop will culminate with a presentation for all the parents to see.
Through December and January, Australian Sports Camps is featuring three day coaching programs in all facets of soccer with specialist coaching sessions. The panel will include experienced soccer coaches with guest coaching from leading players and coaches. The program caters for 6-16 year old kids and is designed to improve their soccer skills while maximising enjoyment. Every child will receive a written coaching report at the end, along with an autographed photo with their group.
The kids will love Birdlife Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
Melbourne Museum has opened a range of educational exhibitions and activities for the school holidays.
The Brisbane Museum offers school holiday activities to suit the whole family – all for free.
All the activities mentioned and more are available in the Skills and Thrills school holiday e-guide for parents. These activities and programs have been specifically designed for Australian kids across the 2020/21 summer holiday period. Download your copy on the website for a curated list of activities in your state.
Shazia Juma-Ross from Skills and Thrills shares her top activities for keeping kids and families entertained during the Australian summer school holidays.
The summer school holidays are the perfect time to spend extra time with the kids and get creative together. DIY activities like arts and crafts are perfect because they can be done at home with minimal cost. There are also a wide range of activities available to suit your child’s specific interests, but these are a few favourites that can be found online; for younger kids, some fun and cute DIY activities include making colourful ice chalk, polka dot slime or glittery space crayons that they can then play with. Older kids might enjoy a marshmallow and toothpick building challenge, making a LEGO zipline, or a ‘flight school’ game with paper planes!
Take them to sing Christmas Carols
Singing Christmas carols is one of the most exciting parts of the festive season for many kids. Most local councils hold official events so the community can gather and sing carols in the park or similar, so you can get involved no matter where you live. This year could be a little different due to COVID-19 restrictions, so be sure to check if there are any additional steps needed – for example. whether you need to register for social distancing purposes or bring face masks for yourself and the kids.
Online classes so the kids continue to learn
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean kids can’t keep learning. For something fun and educational for them to get into, there are various online classes available to be done at home. Unlike traditional e-learning, the programs are live streamed with tutors who run each workshop and interact via video and online chat with the kids at home. Activities are all skills-based and engaging, for example they have a Kitchen Chemistry workshop, where kids follow along to make lava lamps and bubbling volcanoes using ingredients found at home. There is even a gingerbread house decorating class to help get them in the festive spirit! Class sizes are kept small so that the kids have a fully interactive experience.