The holidays are a great time to get children reading at home – with reading challenges and lots of places to visit that can spark their imaginations.
You can get your children interested in books just with a visit to the library. This year, the Summer Reading Challenge theme is taking a trip to Beanotown, with the theme of ‘Mischief Makers’. Sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s free to take part!
There are loads of events for children in the Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme at the book festival, with talks, story telling and workshops.
This year there’s also a musical theatre performance of ‘The Beatrix Potter Musical Adventure’ as well as the exhibition, with Peter Rabbit’s garden to explore, and a tea room for a nice cup of tea – all set within the beautiful landscape of the Lake District.
Join the company in Stratford-Upon-Avon during the summer holidays for workshops and activities for all the family between 24 July and August 2018. Adults with full-price tickets for ‘The Play’s The Thing’ can also bring up to four under-18s to climb the Tower and explore the exhibition of props and costumes for free throughout the holidays. Workshops are split into three age ranges. For ages 4 – 8, there’s a series of fun and active 45 minute taster workshops introducing children to Shakespeare and the theatre. For 8-12 year olds, discover how their actors work in the rehearsal room to make theatre whilst learning more about Shakespeare’s plays. There are also full-day workshops within this age group for young people to attend without their parent/carers. Sessions for 13-17 year olds will give a greater insight into the work of the RSC and how they create theatre and bring Shakespeare to life (without parents/carers.)
Take a trip to the Discover Children’s Story Centre, in Stratford, London, and visit the 3-D technicolour world of children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, with the UK’s first immersive exhibition.
The Grosvenor Open Air Theatre is showing a new stage version of Swallows and Amazons, based on the children’s novels by Arthur Ransome. Endless summer days, pirates and treasure maps. Captain John and his crew; Susan, Titty and Ship’s Boy Roger, set sail for Wildcat Island to do battle and find adventure on the lakes. A major new adaptation by the Tony Award-nominated Bryony Lavery (Treasure Island for National Theatre, Frozen for National Theatre & Broadway).
Fans of Harry Potter will love a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, where there is currently an exhibition of costumes from the films. Alternatively, try Broomstick Training at Alnwick Castle (£13.95 adults, £7.20 children), or take a guided-by-experts Harry Potter walking tour in Oxford (£18 adults, £17 students, £14 children, under-fives free).
8. Just So Festival, Cheshire
Just So is a weekend-long family festival, featuring literature, theatre, dance and music – inspired by a love of stories and childhood japes. Expect campfire stories, dreamcatcher workshops, songwriting lessons and fancy dress. 18-20 August, weekend tickets with camping; adult £140, child £50, day tickets; adult £50, child £20, justsofestival.org.uk
Hastings Literary Festival has lots going on, with workshops, talks and various other events around the town. Why not sign up your child (10 yrs +) for a ‘Make Your Own Book’ session at the Jerwood Gallery Studio, Sunday 2nd September 11.00 – 13.00, £10 per child plus accompanying adult.
If you’ve recently watched the film ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ or have children who love Winnie the Pooh, why not take a nostalgic trip to Ashdown Forest, inspiration for the 100 Acre Woods? Go on a ‘Winnie The Pooh’ inspired walk, and play Pooh-sticks in the shade of the trees- keeping cool in the current hot weather.
Do let us know if you have any recommendations for days out this summer!