We all want our kids to dream big, and feel like nothing holds them back in life. While the school holidays are a great opportunity to inspire your kids, it’s so easy to get bogged down in endless to-do lists and activities, social media competitiveness and feeling like you have to do anything and everything for your children (you don’t). A couple of well-placed, inspiring experiences during the school holidays can cut through the noise and instill a sense of awe in your kids that moves them to create, think and find their place in the world.
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The word ‘inspire’ has a special definition for our kids. As well as meaning to excite and encourage, ‘inspire’ also means ‘to breathe life in to’, and comes from the Latin ‘to inflame’. That’s exactly what we want to do in the precious few weeks of the school holidays – breathe life into our children’s hopes and dreams, and light a fire of wonderment, creativity and passion within them.
As parents, our main role is to help our children grow into secure and well-adjusted adults, and inspiration and motivation are a huge part of this. The activities you expose your kids to now will give them the resilience and open-mindedness to live bold lives, full of purpose. This is why, for example, it’s so important for girls to have inspiring female role models in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), where women are underrepresented.
So, what are the best ways to inspire your kids in the school holidays? We’ve put together a few compelling activities and experiences that will build your children’s resilience and spark their passion and joy.
What are some ways to inspire your kids in the school holidays?
Some ways to inspire your kids in the school holidays are to take them to a forest adventure park like Bewilderwood, live and study at the University of Oxford through a top summer school, or visit Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers of World War Two.
You could also enrol your children in online art classes to unleash their creativity, or let them attend a screen-free outdoors camp, where they’ll practice everything from archery and pottery, to kayaking and cookery.
Let’s dive right in, and discover every detail of these inspiring events.
The way that Bletchley Park has made its extraordinary history accessible to kids is almost as inspiring as its work during the war. Bletchley Park makes for a truly fascinating family visit, as your child discovers the vital work of mathematicians and cryptanalysts such as Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. Bletchley Park is particularly inspiring for kids of any age, because it teaches them the link between history and the world they inhabit today. Understanding the fact that the past is always connected to the present will enrich their understanding of human existence, as they learn, through interactive activities and engaging exhibitions, that the work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park had a direct impact on the national security we still enjoy today.
Free events to help insire your kids
Bletchley Park runs free workshops and events for children during the summer holidays, which is a fantastic way to inspire you kids with the mysteries of code-breaking and secret missions. In the past, Bletchley Park has run fun workshops in the summer holidays, with puzzles, games and challenges to enjoy. These included a cyber security briefcase challenge, making a Morse code bracelet, and finding out how you can play teleprinter code on a music box.
Currently, Bletchley Park are running a fascinating, interactive exhibition on cyber security, which is perfect for helping you to inspire your kids and help them understand how to stay safe as they explore the internet. The exhibition will teach your child the direct link between the data processing that happened in Bletchley Park during World War Two, and the ever-evolving cyber threat that dominates our interconnected world today. Your child will get a fascinating insight into the world of cyber security, learn to safely navigate cyber space, and keep their online information secure.
Oxford Royale Academy gives your child the chance to live and study in the prestigious colleges of the University of Oxford. One of the best things about ORA is that your child can go with no idea of what they want to do in the future, and return fully inspired by new passions and experiences. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep, dine and learn in the world’s most famous university setting, and try a range of fascinating courses, from Architecture to Business Challenge, will unleash their potential and help them realise their ambitions.
Truly inspiring courses
With ORA, your child will get the chance to study courses that they would never encounter at school, from Business Enterprise, where they will design and market their own unique product or business, to Creative Writing, where they will get inspired by the techniques and practices of the most famous writers. Your child might choose iOS App Development, and learn the whole process of designing their own app, from learning Swift programming, to designing a user interface. Your child could also study Robotics, and build and programme their own robot with advanced behaviours. If your child is a budding filmmaker, ORA’s film academy course will teach them to shoot, write and produce their own film with top-class equipment.
Living in Oxford’s colleges
One of the most inspiring aspects of attending ORA, is the chance to live in the colleges of Oxford University and walk in the footsteps of some of the most brilliant thinkers in history, from Oscar Wilde to Stephen Hawking. Oxford colleges have some of the grandest and most beautiful architecture in the world, ranging from the medieval to the modern. Your child could be living in University College, built in 1249 and potentially the oldest college in Oxford. They could be sleeping in the dormitories of stunning Merton college with its doors of medieval ironwork, and walking daily across its ancient and famous Mob Quad.
Access to the best university in the world
Not only will your child live in Oxford University’s world-famous colleges, they will get access to its exclusive buildings and institutions, which are usually only open to members of the University of Oxford. They will be truly inspired as they absorb life -changing knowledge in exclusive locations such as Oxford University’s Examination Schools. If your child is aged 16+, they will attend talks and debates in the elite Sheldonian Theatre. The chance to get inspired by world-famous guest speakers in an institution which was built for the graduation ceremonies of Oxford University students is a once in a lifetime experience.
At the end of your child’s course, they will attend a beautiful, black tie ball with a delicious, three course dinner. ORA design these final dinners to reflect the University of Oxford’s famous and elite Formal Hall, in which grace is said in Latin. Your child will also have a formal graduation ceremony, to celebrate their fantastic achievements.
Trips to inspiring places in the UK
No two days should be the same at a summer school, and your child will have many opportunities to go on exciting trips, for example to London Eye and Harry Potter World. Your child can also visit Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s incredible Tudor palace, which includes a winding maze and Tudor kitchen (which made 1600 meals a day!).
Your child will get the chance to visit London’s West End and see its most famous shows. With a variety of critically acclaimed performances on offer, your child could see everything from Les Miserables and Wicked, to Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock!
Visiting Bewilderwood is one of the most exciting things your kid will ever do, and it is a truly inspiring experience. From treehouses and wobbly wires, to slippery slopes and marshy woods, Bewilderwood is a whirlwind ride of family fun and outdoor adventures. The forest adventure park is bursting with so much creative energy that it sparks delight and inspiration in anyone who enters it. We actually visited it when the kids were younger, and wrote about it over on Kids Days Our Reviews, so do go check it out. It have changed a it since we visited, but the stories and fun are still the same.
You’ll enter the forest via the river, where you’ll enjoy the most striking natural playground and enjoy traditional and outdoor play as a family. Bewilderwood is so inspiring to children and families because it gives us back something that our instant gratification and screen-infused culture can sometimes take from us – imagination and initiative.
As your child dresses up and joins in with compelling daily story telling, visits treehouses and crosses jungle bridges, and works their way through treacherous trails and befuddling mazes, they will find themselves in a magical world, and discover their natural, imaginative powers. BeWILDerwood is home to enchanting creatures such as Boggles, Twiggles, the Thornyclod Spider and vegetarian Crocklebogs. These are characters from the book “A Boggle at BeWILDerwood”, by Tom Blofeld. Your child discovers their very own make believe world, as the world of Boggles, Crocklebogs and Twiggles at Bewilderwood are brought to life quietly and subtly.
We talk about getting our kids into STEM subjects a lot these days. While this is right to do, because STEM subjects are vital, fascinating and important, Art activities are possibly the most inspirational of all. Whether drawing, painting, sculpting or making a mosaic out of anything from twigs to magazine pictures, the unrestricted exploration that art permits allows children to form vital connections in their brain, which build up their intuition, emotional intelligence and creative power.
University of the Arts London (UAL) currently offer inspiring online art classes for children and teenagers during the school holidays. Your child will gain a strong creative education, and build their resilience and artistic technique through practical learning activities and feedback from expert teachers. If your child is aged 7-11, for example, they could do an art class called Creating Cartoon Characters, where they’ll master the basics of creating their own comic character. You’ll start developing your characters, learn how to draw different head angles and add features. You’ll also practice drawing facial expressions and poses to bring your characters’ individual personalities to life. If your child is aged 11-15, they could do a class called Creative Collage, where they will explore a wide range of fascinating collage methods, from pattern-making to sculpture. They’ll unleash their imaginations as they cover all elements of paper manipulation, including cutting, scrunching, folding and weaving, and learn to create 2-D and 3-D sculptures.
Wickedly Wonderful Summer Camp is the perfect place to inspire your child in a screen-free outdoors setting. Nature, with its acres of forest, beautiful beaches and stunning lakes and rivers is the most immediate source of inspiration for your child. Wickedly Wonderful gives them the chance to experiment and grow their resilience in awe-inspiring settings, as they enjoy endless activities such as horse riding, kayaking, boogie boarding, crabbing, playing in the woods, archery and biscuit making.
Your child will grow their natural self-confidence in summer camps which are small, personal and supportive. They will enjoy a “positive, exciting and constructive environment” where they can develop mentally, emotionally and physically. Your child will take on new challenges and get inspired in a safe and exciting environment, where they will push their limits and discover just how much they can do.
Now that we’ve explored five ways you can inspire your child during the school holidays, we hope it’s been an illuminating experience. It’s so important to stop in the midst of the mad rush of life, and take a moment to be inspired.
We hope that these ideas are helpful for you, and inspire you to get out and about with the kids in the holidays; both over the summer and in the winter too. Why not check out some of these ideas for travel-related activities on the site too?
If you are looking for other articles outside KiddyCharts that are focused on exploration and travel – do take a look here too.
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