school holiday fun

It’s School Holidays Again?

Its school holidays again (boy, do they come around fast!) so I thought I might share some of the freebies and competitions I have found lately for my grandkids. The first one I came across while out shopping the other week was the Officeworks Kid’s Ollie Club – www.olliekidsclub.officeworks.com.au. To join the kids up all you have to do is fill out a form in the shop or online. Members will then be sent a card to take to their nearest store to pick up a Members Pack (a care with pencils, rubber, sharpener and ruler and a box of coloured pencils). There are regular competitions each month on the website and a birthday surprise as well as activities in the store during lunch time on each day of the school holidays. If your kids are into art and craft and related activities it would pay to get in touch with your local store for more information.

While wandering around online I also came across the IGA Kids Club – www.igakidsclub.com.au – which appears to also have all kinds of activities online and birthday vouchers for members. So I duly enrolled my littlies.

Quite a number of websites have free downloads of activity sheets and colouring pages. One of the best local ones is Kidspot (www.kidspot.com.au). Just click on the link ‘Things to Do’. If your girls are into Frozen (like my granddaughter) or your boys or girls into Lion King here is another site with colouring pages they might enjoy – www.disneymovieslist.com/colouringpages.

It’s spring now so it seems a good idea to get the kids outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the warmer weather. In my search for things to do with the grandkids I came across the Yates Spring Veggie Growing Challenge at www.yates.com.au. If you apply to enter the challenge they will send out some free vegetable seeds. All the kids have to do then is to plant them and grow them, taking photos along the way which they upload to the website with comments. I am sure quite a few young gardeners would love this. While on the subject of gardening, free seeds are also available by purchasing a loaf of Abbots Village Bakery bread and filling out an entry form with your details and a unique promotional code found on the bread wrapper at www.growyourownsandwich.com.au.

More active kids might prefer to win a Year of Bowling at AMF Bowling. More information and an entry form can be found at www.facebook.com/AMFBowling. Simply click on WIN PRIZES.

Writing competitions can be a great way to help kids with an interest in writing to hone their skills through the school holidays and motivate them a little before school goes back. Here are a couple I found:
1. Andy Griffiths Kids Writing Competition. This one closes on October 14th and is open to kids between 6 and 12 years. The entry needs to be an original story between 200 and 500 words based on the theme – Living in a Treehouse. The winner will have their story illustrated by Terry Denton then framed and presented to their school. The top ten entries will also win an Andy Griffiths book pack. You can check it out at www.dymocks.com.au/promotions.
2. Writing Classes for Kids Writing Competition. This one is for children under the age of 18 years and involves writing a story of no more than 500 words on the theme of space. The ten winning entries will be published in an e-book and winners will also receive a certificate. For more details head to www.writingclassesforkids.com. The closing date is 31st October.
Legitimate writing competitions are usually free to enter so if the competition asks for an entry fee, I would give it a miss. As with all competitions, it is always important to read the terms and conditions carefully, make sure the entry doesn’t go over the word limit and get it in before the closing date.

Finally, let’s not forget that it is still free and heaps of fun for kids to simply spend some time at a local park or beach (with a picnic lunch) or just hang out with friends.

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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