I grew up in the 50s and 60s addicted to all kinds of competitions (yes, I started early!). Back then there were colouring competitions, guessing competitions, raffles, lucky dips and ‘spot the difference’ competitions among many others (found especially at school and church fetes). My favourites were in the kids sections of the Sunday Papers. I would regularly send in drawings and poems and along with the occasional competition win I would accumulate points that could be exchanged for cash. It was my first foray into the world of competitions and publishing and a way to earn pocket money.
Kid’s competitions these days are far more sophisticated with much more exciting prizes than a few points or a pound or two. The first one I came across the other day, just after I started writing this was a full page advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Called litteBIGidea, it is being promoted by Origin Electricity as ‘The Big Competition for Innovative Kids’. Kids from grade three to eight are being encouraged to enter by coming up with a bright idea for the future in 200 words, supported by a drawing or video. What is most impressive about this particular competition is the prizes: three adventures to the NASA Space Centre in the USA as well as nine runner up prizes of $1000 education grants. On top of that the 12 finalists will receive a $4000 energy grant for their school and an educational conference prize for their teacher. This sure beats a jar of lollies!
After being rather amazed by this I started checking out some online kid’s competitions from some of the well known children’s magazines. Here are a few that I found:
1. K-Zone (www.kzone.com.au) had quite a few competitions with some great prizes of toys, Smiggle Packs, books, vouchers and Play Stations. I had a quick look at the terms and conditions which stated that entrants had to be under 16, have their parent’s permission and all entries had to be the original work of the entrant. Pretty much the same stuff as for adult competitions.
2. At Total Girl (www.totalgirl.com.au) there was a family holiday at a Big4 park, an X-Box, and a Lego Pack up for grabs with much the same conditions for entries as above.
3. At nickelodean (www.nickelodeon.com.au) there were competitions to win a family holiday at SeaWorld, ToysRUs vouchers and other prize packs. This site looked like a lot of fun too!
4. I found a rather obscure competition for kids at Beanie Kids (www.beaniekids.com) where kids (divided into 4 different age groups) could win prizes of Beanie Packs by designing a bear onto a template provided on the site.
So it seems that, just like competitions for adults there are plenty to choose from for kids too. You can just google ‘kid’s competitions Australia’ and see what else comes up in your state.
Each week Take5 and That’s Life magazines have a few pages of puzzles for kids. The puzzles aren’t that hard (I am sure mum or dad are allowed to help. How would they know anyway?). You do have to mail the coupon with the answers into an address, so it will cost 70c to enter but that’s not much these days is it? The prizes are excellent too. In the latest issue of Take5 the prizes included a Sports Station, DVDs’ a Hot Wheels Pack, a Water Blaster and a Sleeping Bag. That’s Life ‘Kiduzzle’ pages featured prizes that included a Barbie Pack, a Simpson’s Trivia Pack and heaps of electronic games.
So if your kids are budding compers and it looks like later on in their lives they are going to take over from you, all these competitions are definitely worth a go!