Summer holidays are already underway and there’s no better place for children to spend their time off than right here in Kent.
Kent County Council, along with its partner agencies, is offering a wealth of activities across the county so whether your child loves sport or reading, is a fan of Disney and Star Wars, or wants to explore some of our beautiful countryside, we have something for everyone.
KCC is backing the national ‘Train like a Jedi’ campaign, which is encouraging youngsters to grab an imaginary lightsaber and get active this summer.
The Public Health England Change4Life project is joining forces with Disney, with the support of Sport England, to launch the brand new programme where kids can take inspiration from their favourite Star Wars characters, Rey and Luke, as they learn to master the ways of the Jedi with a fun video and new games and activities.
Youngsters can play along in their own home, garden or local park using resources from the website (https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/train-like-a-jedi) or parents can check with their nearest Children’s Centre or Youth Hub as some are planning to include ‘Train like a Jedi’ activities as part of their summer offering.
Children’s Centres and Youth Hubs across Kent are offering a huge variety of exciting activities this summer. From sport to art, films to food, and everything in between there really is something for everyone.
Some highlights include totem pole making, circus skills and t-shirt tie-dying at Stanhope Community Hub in Ashford; cooking, a Pirates’ Day and a teddy bears’ picnic at various Maidstone Children’s Centres; and music and art sessions, bug and bird box making, and a wildlife hunt at locations in the Folkestone and Hythe district.
There will also be gliding, horse riding and a road safety experience organised by Northfleet Youth Centre; and den building, fishing and craft in the Tonbridge and Malling borough.
Many centres and hubs will also be holding summer fun days and organising trips to Kent attractions. Contact your local centre or hub for their programme of events (see ‘notes to journalists’ below).
The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is Mischief Makers, in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the much-loved comic Beano. Children aged four to 11 are invited to sign up at any Kent library and are challenged to read six books over the summer. For every book finished youngsters will receive a sticker (some of which smell!) to add to a colourful map of ‘Beanotown’ with the aim of solving clues and finding treasure.
Kent’s Country Parks are a pleasure to visit at any time of year, with their wealth of walking trails, cycle tracks, lakes, picnic and play areas. But over the summer holidays there will be even more reasons to visit as a range of exciting events have been organised.
At Lullingstone Country Park near Eynsford and Shorne Woods Country Park near Gravesend, youngsters can follow a summer activity trail, seeing what they can discover about the parks. The ever-popular pond or stream dipping take place on various dates at Lullingstone as well as Brockhill Country Park near Hythe. Family geocaching days will take place at several of the parks and minibeast hunts will be held at a few, including Trosley Country Park, near Meopham.
Kent Children’s University is challenging youngsters to spend part of their school holiday producing a tourism leaflet about the town or village they live in, building a fort out of newspapers, making and taste-testing a fruit-based ice lolly, or taking on one of their other Summer Challenges. Children who are already part of KCU can earn Learning Credits by completing any of these challenges.
Roger Gough, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “We’re very lucky here in Kent that we have so many wonderful opportunities for children, young people and their families to make the most of the summer holidays. I hope all pupils, and staff, have an enjoyable break and are able to take advantage of some of the activities and attractions on offer in our county.”
Notes to journalists:
To request permission to send a reporter/photographer along to events, please contact the individual setting/organiser.
Children’s Centres often post upcoming events on their Facebook pages. Search for one of the following or for the name of your local centre for summer events:
- Ashford Children’s Centres
- Dartford Children’s Centres
- Dover, Deal and Sandwich Children’s Centres
- Gravesham Children’s Centres
- Maidstone Children’s Centres
- Sevenoaks District Children’s Centres
- Thanet Children’s Centres
- Tonbridge and Malling Children’s Centres
- Tunbridge Wells District Children’s Centres
(Children’s Centres in Swale, the Canterbury district and Folkestone and Hythe have individual Facebook pages)
Alternatively, use this link to search for activities that interest you at a children’s centre near you: http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/childcare-and-pre-school/childrens-centres
Find out more about Youth Hubs, search for your local one and look for activities that interest you here http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/young-people/youth-hubs
Find your local library here http://webapps.kent.gov.uk/KCC.Libraries.Web.Sites.Public/Default.aspx and find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge here https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/
Find out about all of Kent’s Country Parks and the various activities they are offering here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/kent-country-parks
Find out more about Kent Children’s University here http://www.kentchildrensuniversity.co.uk/cukent/home/ and the Summer Challenges here http://www.kentchildrensuniversity.co.uk/cukent/home/kcu-challenges/kcu-summer-challenge/