FINDING activities that will tear your beloved offspring away from their Xboxes and iPads is no mean feat.
As any parent of 21st century children can testify, technology rules the roost in the modern household, with traditional methods of entertainment banished to their own childhood memories.
So for some, summer holidays can be a constant battle of wills – and more often than not it’s the tantruming technophiles who win.
With six weeks of holidays to contend with, parents – and grandparents – need to be armed with enough activity-based ammunition to throw at kids in a bid to get them into the real world.
Here are a selection of activities and events which might just help to prise their fingers off the iPad for long enough to venture outside the confines of the bedroom.
BEACH FUN COME HAIL OR SHINE
Let’s face it, we can’t rely on the weather during the summer holidays in Scotland, so a trip to the beach might end up being cancelled, resulting in an immediate parent nil, child one scenario. But don’t despair as help is at hand. The indoor beach at Ocean Terminal opens today, guaranteeing all the fun from the seaside every day for the next six weeks, no matter what the weather. The beach can be found on the first floor of the shopping centre – overlooking the water for that authentic experience.
YOU’RE HAVING A LAUGH
The Fringe Festival gets under way soon. For a grown-up alternative to the usual children’s shows on offer, youngsters might be tempted out of their bedrooms by the chance to go to a comedy show with well-known stand-ups. The international circuit’s best stand-ups appear at Comedy Club 4 Kids at Assembly Roxy – without the swearing and rude bits of course. The varied programme of acts means there are no two shows the same. Performances run from August 6-30. Visit www.comedyclub4kids.co.uk/shows.php for line-ups.
Join the team at Dynamic Earth to become a summer explorer, from July 20-31. Youngsters aged eight to 16 are invited to become intrepid explorers and discover the wonders of Holyrood Park. Staff have also teamed up with the John Muir Trust, giving participants the opportunity to take part in the John Muir Award. This will see them participate in the challenges this encompasses; discovering a place, exploring its wilderness, doing something to conserve it and sharing experiences. As part of the summer programme participants will have the chance to achieve an Award at Discovery level.
FUN ON THE BEACH
A series of sports and beach games are being served up at Portobello completely free. The On The Beach summer programme takes places each day from 2pm to 4pm aimed at children five and over, starting from August 3. There’s no need to book – just take your child along on the day – and there will be fresh fruit and drinks supplied. Run by the Wash House Youth Clubs and Edinburgh Leisure, this summer scheme is being led by youth workers and qualified sports coaches. Visit thewashhouse.org for full details of the programme.
Kids aged between five and 16 can try out a range of sports for free throughout the summer in the Meadows. Activities on offer include football, boccia, athletics, gymnastics and tennis. These free, fun sessions from Edinburgh Leisure run every Wednesday and Friday from 2pm to 4pm right through the summer holidays, starting on July 1. They will be held next to the Pavilion Café at Middle Meadow Walk. Sessions are run by qualified coaches from Edinburgh Leisure and local clubs. All sessions are drop-in, with no need to book.
The fantastic outdoor sculpture park Jupiter Artland is running a summer holiday programme to entice youngsters aged five to 14. Artsparks Fridays run every week in the holidays, packed full of messy indoor and outdoor art activities.