The summer holidays are now upon us and children across the country will be clamouring for something to do. I know that the six long weeks of summer can be a challenge for parents trying to keep their offspring entertained without breaking the bank.
Summer holidays provide children with the opportunity to relax, visit new places, spend time with their friends and try out new activities. This is quite an extensive brief and logistically challenging for parents to arrange.
Now in its sixth year, our jam-packed Summer in the City programme has opportunities covered as there are literally hundreds of activities on offer across central and west London to engage and entertain children, young people and their families.
Our wonderful Ecology Centre has a wide range of outdoor and creative activities utilising Holland Park and its wooded Wildlife Area. The programme is ideally suited for would-be David Attenboroughs and the programme includes sessions on dragonflies, mammals, spiders and animal-themed craft sessions on animal tracks and birds.
Budding thespians can check out Chickenshed’s summer holiday project at Chelsea Academy and work together to create an original piece inspired by the 2016 Olympics in Rio that their families and friends will be invited to see.
Booklovers can pop into their local library and join the Summer Reading Challenge that encourages children to read six books from their library during the summer holidays. Children can read whatever they like for the challenge – joke books, picture books or even listen to audio books and collect stickers and other rewards along the way.
I’m exhausted just flicking through the booklet and, to give a flavour of the wealth of fun on offer, other activities include: cakemaking, kayaking, keep-fit, football, rock climbing and songwriting – there really is something for everyone and many activities are suitable for those with disabilities.
I know that the summer holidays can be a logistical nightmare for working parents and so the booklet has details of the numerous play clubs that operate during office hours.
For more information on what is on offer, go to www.mysummerinthecity.org.uk or pick up a copy of the Summer in the City brochure from your local library, council buildings, children’s centres and youth clubs.
There’s absolutely no excuse for any of our young people to ever utter the phrase ‘I’m bored’ this summer.