I’ve seen a number of posts recently from parents worrying that their children are getting too much screen time during the long school holiday. Personally I’m comfortable with an hour or so of TV or gaming – kids need to switch off and mine are definitely happier for a bit of down time. But too much will turn them feral, and so once my official work hour is over, I’m all about getting them active, or using their imaginations, in a fun way.
Getting kids active in the holidays.
This year we’re working with an organisation called Freaky Rivet, to help them support Cause You Can, a charity that helps underpriveliged kids increase their self-confidence and social skills through the performing arts. Scroll down for more on that, but for now, we wanted to let you know about how Freaky Rivet inspire kids (and their parents) to come up with ideas for fun play and activity, by actually using their time on the internet.
Freaky Rivet gets kids moving, creating and exploring again. Butts off the couch, snouts out the fridge, paws off the iPad.
Freaky Rivet’s mission is to get kids moving, creating and exploring. They do this with an online club which rewards kids for engaging with real world activities. They’re effectively using gadgets to try to get children off their gadgets! Children can use the website to get ideas for activites, or inspiration to create their own new fun thing to do. Then they upload their achievements to get a score from other children online. They can also award points to others for the activities they see on there, for bragging rights. The activities can range from physical, through arts and crafts, outdoors pursuits, real world adventure games, music, astronomy and more.
A day out with morals!
Part of their mission is to work with charities to provide children who may not have the opportunities to engage with more real-world activities. And here’s the bit that really excites me. Freaky Rivet have created themed and fun itineraries – days out – for a variety of locations. You download the itinerary for £1, and all the profits are donated to a local charity. The first set of itineraries, 18 of them in total, are for London, and we’ve partnered up to try some of them out, and tell you all about them.
Discovering London in a different way:
Each itinerary takes in a theme of interest to kids, and builds a day in London around that theme. The day includes a variety of stops – they try to avoid the obvious, so no Plane Hollywood for us! There are directions for going from one place to the next, suggestions for food stops, and a themed game either using things you’re likely to have knocking around, or using nothing other than brains to keep the kids amused as you go along. And all have quirky facts to keep it interesting. The themes range from Animals to Tudors, Bridges to Spies, Gory to Football, and 12 more besides. Check out the example below.
In buying an itinerary for a day out in London, you’ll also be helping the chosen charity, Cause You Can, to support the social, emotional and educational needs of children aged 6 to 12 who live in London’s deprived areas. Cause You Can is a wonderful charity that uses training in the performing arts, culminating in a live performance, to foster emotional development and life skills. Their vision is to help children to realise their potential and offer the support they may need to follow their dreams and aspirations. Children attend a series of workshops with qualified and experienced practitioners in acting, music or other performing arts, and at the end of 8 weeks of training, they will do live audience performances in Battersea. The results can be immediate, as 8-year old Melissa says “When I’m singing, I feel confident! I feel like I can do more things like singing.” They are also longer lasting, as mentioned by the teacher of a group of children who have been through the workshops. “We have noticed a ‘knock-on’ effect this term. The children are taking a more vocal part in their class activities and peer groups.”
Learning something different:
So, we’ll soon be doing the Plague itinerary (don’t ask, the Bug is going through a gory phase – it began with armpit farting and who knows where it will end)?! We’ll let you know what we think when we’re fully up on filthy rats and the pox 😉