For those of us who work full time, the approaching summer holiday can be a nightmare. We want to give our children an enjoyable break from a year of hard work but keeping them entertained or finding suitable childcare isn’t easy.
However, there are lots of options out there and holiday clubs are among the best. At Smartkidz, year after year we have excited children telling us how much they are looking forward to the upcoming holiday club. Our summer playscheme is not just childcare, it’s a summer to remember.
Packed with trips, obstacle courses, Smartkidz Bake Off, the ‘Not a Stick’ challenge, forest school, badge making, slime making, the Shredder skate school and so much more this is the Summer that children dream of. For parents, that means guilt free childcare which is worth its weight in gold!
Holiday clubs aren’t always stuck in the same location. There are lots of opportunities to take the fun to new and exciting places. Children love the opportunity to spend time with their friends and make new ones in different exciting environments.
Smartkidz often receives complements from venues and members of the public about the behavior and manners of the children we take. To see a recent trip have a quick look at how we got on at Gulliver’s World of Adventure earlier this year.
On our visits we often see children develop new levels of confidence. They begin to gel as a group and any previous age or friendship groupings slowly wear away as new friendships are created.
This Summer we have more exciting adventures ahead of us than ever before:
Visitors and special workshops
While holiday clubs often have extensive facilities, they also book in special visitors who can bring specific skills and equipment. At Smartkidz we aim to provide new experiences in which children can challenge themselves, overcome fears and view themselves in a new light.
We specifically focus on visitors who can introduce us to something they might not normally get to experience. These visit days are often some of the most talked about and can leave an impression that lasts for years to come.
This Summer we have:
The Shredder Skate School– A community driven skateboard club, run by Skateboard England professionals. Children who are already familiar with skateboarding will meet new challenges and those who are new to it will develop new skills that they hadn’t ever thought they could possess.
Willow weaving with the Coddiwomplers– An amazing and creative day spent making a range of amazing structures, including bird feeders, snails and wands. The coddiwomplers have become regular visitors and are a firm favourite. They excel in unleashing creative and structural skills in all of us.
BMX Stuntman Mike Mullen -Learn some cool tricks and stunts while improving self-esteem, confidence and “give it a go” attitude. Mike is a former world champion BMX rider who has ways of inspiring children while at the same time pushing staff to their mental and physical limits.
Socialising with friends
Regardless of visitors and trips, the real reason that holiday clubs stand out is that there is time and space to develop new friendships. At Smartkidz we believe in child led opportunities. Whenever possible children can make their own choices and do their own thing.
Regardless of age or previous alliances this makes for lots of new friendships as children from all round Cambridgeshire find things In common and develop their own play together.
We often find that children who are often quite shy and anxious begin to feel at home and then thrive in this environment. With children aged from 4 to 11 the most unlikely friendships are forged and cemented through the Summer weeks.
Access to equipment and the freedom to engage with it according to their imagination
Holiday clubs often have a huge range of items that can be used for all sorts of play. At Smartkidz we use both Forest school and playwork approaches to get the best from our setting. The playwork approach encourages adults to act as observers to child led play. Their main role is to provide relevant items to support children’ play when required.
The best items for play are not the £300 battery powered ride on quad bikes, although I wouldn’t say no, but objects that inspire the imagination and become almost anything. These could be boxes, sticks, tyres, leaves, planks, cardboard and loads more.
Because a holiday club can have such a wide range of children with differing tastes and expectations, we work hard to provide a full range of stimulating experiences.
Inside and outside free flow
A key part to a holiday club, particularly in the summer, is the ability to go outside when you like. Free flow between indoors and outdoors gives children a real sense of freedom and allows them to explore at their own pace. This approach and our play ethos has resulted in us being the preferred choice for children with additional needs.
A free flow environment brings several benefits including greater independence, decision making, physical skills and knowledge of different environments. In our settings it also allows children to embrace the natural environment and explore a range of outdoor skills.
We feel that at each of our settings it is important to use the natural environment to its full potential. Children can climb trees, sit in the shade, play with sticks, go on bug hunts and discover amazing leaves, all when the mood takes them. By making the outdoors easy to access it has become a huge part of what makes us stand out as a holiday club and one of the reasons children can’t wait for the Summer.
There are so many great reasons to choose a holiday club this year. There is often a lot more going on than you expect. If your children want an action-packed Summer with plenty of time to explore and chill with friends, new and old, get them booked in today.