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Summer holiday activities for kids – how to turn a childcare solution into a brand new passion or skill set for your child

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If you’re a parent with school age children, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the feeling of dread and anticipation that comes when you think about filling the days during the school Summer break. Six weeks can feel like a dauntingly long time to keep the kids entertained, particularly if you’re a working parent in need of summer holiday activities that will double up as child care.

Summer holiday activity day camps for children help ease the pressure on working parents by providing somewhere for kids to have fun, get active, engage with their peers and make new friends. For stay at home parents full or half day activity sessions help give you some much needed ‘me’ time, or a way to keep your older children active while you focus on the needs of their younger sibling/s.

With such a wide variety of summer holiday activities available our children can opt to do something they love, or something they love the idea of but haven’t had the chance to try. While they may get plenty of opportunities to play traditional sports during and after school, a holiday activity camp could give them the opportunity to try a new non-traditional sport like skateboarding or archery. With all the equipment and safety gear provided, it’s a safe way for kids to pick up some cool new tricks and learn new skills that will give them plenty of street cred back at school!

If you like to make sure your children are getting plenty of Vitamin D and making the most of the Great British Summer, you can now sign your children up for an outdoor adventure and/or bushcraft day. Wildchild’s Wild Survivor day is perfect for kids who love nothing more than being in the great outdoors – it combines practical bushcraft activities like fire-lighting, den building and navigating with outdoor team games. Perfect for producing practical helpers for family camping trips!

For kids who like to be more adventurous, an outdoor adventure day gives them the opportunity to experience the thrill of zipwiring through the forest, abseiling the Tower of Terror, and working together to solve the clues to help them navigate their way around and out of Wildchild Wood!
If even the most exciting sport or outdoor activity fails to interest your TV / screen-loving child, then choosing a skills-based holiday activity could introduce them to a whole new area of interest and maybe even open up a new career path. Wildchild’s animation day is incredibly popular with children aged 7-14 keen to take their interest in animated films and programmes one step further by learning how to make their own animated film!

So when you’re thinking about how to entertain the kids this summer, don’t be afraid to let them get WILD with an activity that offers so much more than just the day’s pastime. Your kids CAN do something that teaches them new skills, connects them with the outdoors and uncovers hidden talents – so why settle for anything less?

Wildchild’s Summer holiday activities for kids are suitable for children aged 7-14 and take place in and around St. Albans. For more information and to book visit www.wildchildactivities.com/activities. Book before 19th June and get a 10% Early Bird discount.

Ideas to get the family outdoors and active – for free!

With the promise of a fresh new year comes the familiar resolutions – get healthy and active, spend more time with the family, spend less! These are just a few ideas for how you can get the family active in the outdoors, enjoying some quality time together at little or no cost.

A Winter walk…
There’s nothing quite like layering up with scarves, hats, gloves and wellies and heading out on a winter walk. The silvery white sheen on the ground and the trees, and the crisp winter air make for a picturesque and bracing opportunity to get some fresh air and gentle exercise. Whatever the weather kids will always be grateful for the opportunity to run around, explore and play. If you’re looking for inspiration the National Trust website lists plenty of picturesque walks across the UK.

A family cycle ride…
Cycling is great exercise and being on your bike means you can cover more distance, so you can explore your local area, head to a nearby landmark for a spot of sightseeing, or perhaps even try out a local cycling route. The web is a great source of local cycle routes so do give it a try – who knows you may even discover somewhere new just around the corner!

Sledding…
Even if we don’t see snow this Winter, on the right hill on a frosty day sledding can still prove to be enormous fun! And if it’s snow you want indoor snow centres offer a fun in the snow experience whatever the weather, at a relatively low cost.

Fly a Kite…
Make the most of a windy day to enjoy some kite flying. A great activity for the park, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching your kite take flight and soar gracefully through the sky. If you don’t have a kite you could always use the many templates and tips online to make your own – a creative AND active day out!

Playing / watching local sports
There are lots of sports your kids can get involved in that cost little or nothing. You could organise a game of football or rounders with friends and family, or perhaps head to the local tennis courts. There’s often lots going on locally so check your local newspaper for details of matches or games taking place that you may be able to go along and watch. Who knows it may even inspire a new hobby!

Tree climbing
A favourite for outdoor loving kids everywhere, if you find a park with a few good tree climbing trees you’re guaranteed a good few hours of outdoor fun for the kids!

Treasure / scavenger hunt
If you’re still trying to get rid of all the Christmas treats how about using them to create a fun treasure / scavenger hunt? A quick internet search will throw up plenty of fun scavenger hunt ideas you could tailor to create the perfect outdoor activity for the whole family. Or take your local treasure hunt one step further and join the thousands of people discovering the thrill of geocaching

Wildchild Top Skateboarding tips for kids

Wildchild Skateboarding Birthday PartyWith new and improved skateboards designed specifically for kids, and the growing number of skateboard parks around the country, skateboarding is now THE adventure sport of choice for active kids.

2015 has been our busiest year for skateboarding birthday parties and Wild Wheels skateboarding holiday activities. We love to watch kids go from complete beginners learning to ride a skateboard for the first time, to attempting their first ollies, heelflips and kickflips by the end of their session.

Skateboarding can be dangerous if some basic safety rules and best practise guidelines aren’t followed. Here are the top tips recommended by our skateboarding instructors for kids (and adults!) learning to skateboard for the first time:

1. Choose the right skateboard
Most shops like Toys R Us / Argos will stock cheaper skateboards for kids and these are fine as toys but they are generally of poor quality cheaply put together. These are tricky to balance on therefore more dangerous and likely to put off potential skateboarding champions! We’d recommend spending slightly more (around £39.99) for a good quality skateboard – these come in a range of sizes catering for different ages and can be purchased easily online and in good sports shops.

2. Wear protective gear
Even fast learners will fall over a lot when learning to skateboard. Helmets are a must at all times and you should ensure it’s a good quality one with CE certification. We’d also highly recommend investing in a set of skateboard pads to protect knees, elbows and wrists. Wearing the right protective gear reduces the risk of injury and increases the skateboarders’ confidence level allowing them to attempt gradually more daring manoeuvres without worrying about getting hurt.

3. Choose a safe place to practise and adopt the skateboarding stance
If skateboarding for the first time you may want to start off on grass which keeps the board steady as you practise jumping on and off your board, and helps you to balance. When balancing on your board your dominant (ball kicking) foot should be at the back with your front foot planted. Bend your knees and face your shoulders forward.

4. Practise balancing
Once you have learned to balance on the grass move to a flat hard floor area and practise balancing without moving. With your knees bent use your back foot to push yourself forward while balancing on your front foot. This will feel awkward to begin with but you’ll soon get the hang of it!

5. Let’s Roll!
Once you’ve got the right balance you’re ready to start moving – push forward until you’ve built up enough momentum to start rolling and bring your back foot back on your board as you roll. Use your bent knees and arms to help you maintain a steady balance. To stop put your back foot on the ground.

Once you’ve mastered the art of balancing and riding your skateboard there are a host of fun tricks and flips you can learn.

Wildchild skateboarding parties and skateboarding holiday activities are run by trained and experienced skateboarding instructors in St. Albans / Harpenden. All equipment is provided including skateboards, helmets and protective pads and everyone is welcome from complete beginners through to those looking to pick up some new moves! We often see kids returning every school holiday and it’s great to see them growing in confidence each time and leaving each session with another cool move to show their friends!

A great idea for a children’s birthday party, Wildchild skateboarding birthday parties are suitable for children aged 7+ and take place on weekends in St. Albans, Harpenden or at a venue of your choosing. We limit the number of children per party to 18 to ensure children get the best experience possible. Click here to check availability on your preferred party date.

Our Wild Wheels skateboard holiday activities take place during Easter and Summer school holidays. Click here to receive updates on our holiday activity dates and locations as we launch our activity programmes.

Let your kids get wild in the outdoors – it’s good for them!

Outdoor Adventure activities for children

We’re very lucky to live in a time where our children have more choice than ever before – choices around their food, clothes, after school activities and what they want to do with their playtime.

The staggering number and sophistication of modern computer games and consoles provide a huge temptation not just for children who can immerse themselves in these colourful, noisy and creative new worlds, but for parents who can make use of the relative quiet of screen time to get jobs done around the house, or as a bargaining tool for help with chores, homework time or good behaviour.  Let’s face it, computer games are here to stay and the magnetic draw to the PC/TV is only going to get stronger.

Which is why it’s more important than ever for us to create balance by giving our children another choice. A choice that a generation ago would have been the first choice, and possibly the only choice – outdoor activities.

When we think back to our childhood while we may remember the games and toys we played with, the real nostalgia for our youth comes with recalling moments you can only appreciate (and get away with!) as a child – the wind rushing through your hair as you freewheel downhill having finally mastered two wheeled cycling, the feeling of dizziness after rolling down a steep hill – just because it was there, the sand in your toes as you walk along the beach searching for shells, the dirt in your fingernails after a day spent foraging for grubs, climbing trees and making mud pies.

At Wildchild we acknowledge the importance of reconnecting with nature for our generation and generations to come. We want to help parents restore balance by providing outdoor adventure activities for kids that inspire creativity, enjoyment and excitement beyond the confines of indoor play or even conventional sports. We want to encourage children to enjoy the freedom that comes with outdoor play. The freedom to run, shout, climb, forage, find and delight.

All our outdoor activities – whether birthday parties, summer holiday activities for children or after school clubs – are designed with the aim of getting children back to nature to do what they love best, but may not normally get the opportunity to do. A typical Wildchild outdoor adventure activity will see children fire lighting, tracking, navigating, wood carving, den building, abseiling and trail finding. Hands on physical activity goes hand in hand with the tactical thinking needed to crack codes, plan adventure trails and outsmart their opposing teams. These skills help build confidence, encourage good teamworking and provide invaluable survival techniques that children won’t find in the traditional education system.

Beyond a Wildchild activity session we do all we can to encourage the children, parents and teachers we work with to make outdoor adventure the norm for their children.  We hold a monthly competition on our Facebook page encouraging people to tell/show us how they’ve been having fun outdoors in return for prizes. We also support Project Wildthing with the fantastic work they are doing to encourage people to reconnect with nature. While we may be put off by the weather our children rarely are, so as long as it’s safe we say give them a pair of wellies, wrap them up warm, and get them outside! It’s free and they’re likely to enjoy it a whole lot more than an afternoon watching TV!

Lets give our children the memories and sensory pleasures we enjoyed most when we were young. It’s easy, all we have to do is open the door…

Now is the time to get children outdoors again…

Recession presents us with a big chance to get children outdoors and reconnected with nature…

The National Trust released a report called Natural Childhood. It highlighted the growing and concerning gap between children and nature. Less than 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild spaces now, compared to half a generation ago. This matters, the report argued, because nature is good for mind, body and soul. Read more

Letting youngsters be wild at heart…

Ditch ‘surfing’ – letting youngsters be wild at heart is the key to a happy – and healthy – childhood

With substantial evidence showing outdoor activities give youngsters great life skills, as well as keep them happy and healthy, daring kids throughout the area are being given the chance to take part in a really ‘Wild’ adventure.

According to a survey by the British Heart Foundation, more than 55% of children aged 8-15 interviewed about how much exercise they took during the school summer holidays, said that they spent 60 minutes or more a day texting, talking on the phone or using instant messaging and internet sites.

‘Escape from Wildchild Wood’ is an outdoor day’s adventure, which involves young people on a mission to find pieces of a missing code, by completing various team challenges, then escaping down a 70-metre zip-wire. Challenges along the way include abseiling down the ‘tower of terror’ and building a base camp in the woods to discuss strategies for the challenge with team members.

Organiser, Lynda Regan, said: “We know from research, that encouraging young people to take part in outdoor adventure activities gives them greater independence, confidence, self-esteem and better social and teamwork skills.

“As a result, we have set up this day-long outdoor adventure, which is not only great fun, but gives youngsters challenges such as solving secret codes and building base camps, as well as abseiling the ‘tower of terror ‘ and travelling down a 70-metre zip wire.”

She added: “When people my age were growing up, we loved to go out and find ‘wild’ places to play in and build dens. Given the chance, I would say any child would love nothing more than having a bit of freedom to go out and build a camp to play in. This is something different for the kids to try on top of the more common holiday activities.”

‘Escape from Wildchild Wood’ is based at Phasel’s Wood Scout camp near Hemel Hempstead.