Taking the #TheHolidayMakers Challenge

Ring Wing Glider Creation

Did you know that this year is officially the ‘Year of Engineering’ in the UK?

The Year of Engineering is a Government campaign that has been set out to change our perceptions of engineering, showing parents that it is a creative, varied career that shapes the world around us.

Children are, by nature, natural engineers. Mine are fascinated about the world around and want to know how things work and what they do. From problem-solving to making things, give them a challenge and they run with it.

Now the summer holidays are here we have six weeks to not only try to occupy the kids, but also keep their brains ticking over. The Holiday Makers is all about giving parents lots of fun ideas and activities to keep kids busy in the summer holidays, including:

  • Free, fun, eye-popping activities to do at home, in the garden or even at the beach –
    all easy to access via the Holiday Makers website
  • Weekly challenges with great prizes up for grabs
  • Exciting events and days out across the UK

The website is super simple to use, simply download the worksheet and follow the instructions. All the challenges are made with simple equipment that you find around the house, plus you can print a journal and badges to stick in it for each task you complete.

There are six fun weekly challenges to complete online, all with the chance to win some amazing prizes if you share your completed task via social media or email.

Challenge One: Create a Chain Reaction

This one was great fun to do; we simply had to create a chain reaction using everyday household objects.

The challenge uses a simple domino effect, where one thing leads to the next, which triggers something else, however it was very much trial and error at first as the kids had to work out that the books had to hit the car at a certain angle to make it move and not jump.

Chain Reaction

Once they had the right angle on the books, we added an empty bottle to the car, with a spike and positioned a balloon at the end of the reaction to see if we could burst the balloon………it took a few goes before we got it right but if at first you don’t succeed…….

The prize for creating a chain reaction is a sleepover at the Science Museum, but hurry, entries must be in by 2nd August.

Challenge Two: The Ring Wing Glider

This challenge required a little more preparation as we needed the necessary equipment to make our glider: A pair of scissors, tape, 4 straws, and the templates printed out full size (A4) paper.

Ring Glider Challenge

Eliza was my willing volunteer for this challenge and quickly got to work on her Ring Glider, with little assistance from me (I was chief sellotape cutter).

Ring Wing Challenge

At one point she decided that the unfinished glider was a perfect unicorn horn prop, but she did carry on and finish it.

Ring Wing Glider

She wasn’t sure it would fly and ask how to throw it, as her first attempts didn’t work very well. Through trial and error, she worked out that the small end should face forwards and she had to hold one of the straws rather than the paper to get the best traction.

She was soon playing catch with it as she became more skilled at throwing it. There are hints and tips on the instruction sheet for further investigations such as seeing if it flies better with more straws, does a larger version still work and what would happen if you changed the diameter of the rings?

Throwing the Ring Wing Glider

The prize for the Ring Glider Challenge is a day of Hands on Science Workshops for a UK primary school nominated by the winner for 7-11 year olds or, a STEM Challenge Workshop for a UK secondary school nominated by the winner for 12-16 year olds. Entries must be in by 10th August.

Eliza enjoyed the activities so much that she has taken in the instructions on how to make the ring glider to holiday club, so they can all make them together and she is diligently filling out her journal to take to school in September.

I’m working with BritMums promoting #TheHolidayMakers campaign, sponsored by The Year of Engineering. It’s all about getting children excited about engineering with fun and stimulating activities that will keep them engaged all summer long. Check out https://www.yearofengineering.gov.uk/theholidaymakers to find activities for your child, including challenges in which they could win cool prizes!

33 thoughts on “Taking the #TheHolidayMakers Challenge

  1. Cerys says:

    LOVE seeing her having so much fun with Engineering. It’s one of those topics that are really hands-on and fun and young and older children can enjoy. The glider is so fun – we loved doing it too and then had to make paper airplanes.

  2. Well done Eliza – the ring glider looks fantastic! We’re going to try this later in the week xx

  3. Natalie says:

    These challenges sound like so much fun! My eldest loves a good challenge so I’m going to check this website out!

  4. Crystal says:

    Such an awesome way to allow children to be the natural born thinkers they are. Loved reading this post.

  5. Fritha says:

    This looks like such a brilliant way to keep kids entertained during the summer break! X

  6. Tanya says:

    What a great idea, I love how it’s a change for kids to be creative and imaginative whilst actually learning at the same time. And the fact they can enter to win a prize at the end is great as well
    Tanya recently posted…Things End But Memories Last ForeverMy Profile

  7. I think it is important to engage kids young and help them to think about all sorts of careers. There are so many exciting jobs you can do in engineering. Mich x
    michelle twin mum recently posted…5 Reasons we Loved our Stay at Shorefield – Oakdene Forest Park,My Profile

  8. My kids love stuff like this so will definitely check this out for the weeks to come, looks great activities and I love your photos!

  9. What a great activity that mixes fun and learning together. I’ll have to give this a try with my niece – she’d love it! x

  10. We absolutely LOVE educational crafts in this house, and this sounds like such a fun campaign to have been a part of. Super cute photos, too. x
    Super Busy Mum recently posted…Spending the day at the Animal Farm Adventure Park in SomersetMy Profile

  11. kirsty says:

    Lovely activities which are super easy and not costly. I love how your daughter made a unicorn horn as well, bonus points for that! A sleepover at the science museum for a prize sounds amazing.
    kirsty recently posted…July ’18 HighlightsMy Profile

  12. What a great idea, all mine would have loved this when they were younger, and by the looks of concentration and the smiles on her face looks like Eliza loved it.

  13. Jen says:

    This just shows that learning can be so much fun. The summer holidays can be difficult to occupy children, so activities like this are ideal.

  14. I can’t wait to see what other challenges there are. My kid is more in his demolition phase right now…

  15. Louise says:

    This looks like such a cool challenge. I can’t believe I’m only just hearing about it! My two would love to take part in something like this 🙂

    Louise x
    Louise recently posted…Five Tips About Buying Your First HomeMy Profile

  16. WOW I had no idea about this year being the year of engineering! My kids love activities like this and are so inquisitive! I will definitely be trying out some of these activities over the summer holidays.
    Jess Howliston recently posted…Get Camping Ready With Simply Hike **REVIEW**My Profile

  17. Yaya says:

    This looks like the perfect combination of fun and learning. I’m definitely going to do this with the kiddos.

  18. Mandi says:

    Neva and Eowyn seem much more interested in engineering than any of the boys and Neva is certainly going towards a career in STEM, so these challenges are perfect for them during the summer
    Mandi recently posted…Ten Restaurant Chains That Kids Eat for £1 or Free This SummerMy Profile

  19. We are loving the series of challenges available from this campaign. Perfect to encourage the children to learn through play

  20. Oh I love this – go Eliza – what a great job you did! Kaz

  21. Abbi says:

    What a wonderful way to get children involved in skill forming and educational things! It looks like a lot of fun! Hope the rest of Eliza’s holiday club enjoyed it as much as she did.

  22. These look like such fun challenges and activities- and perfect for keeping children entertained!

  23. What a great way of involving children in being creative and being fun too. Engineering is a brilliant subject and I love how children are so good at thinking out simple ideas and putting them in to practice. Great summer holiday activity and motivation.

  24. What a great idea to keep the kids busy over the school holiday period. Also did not know that it was the year of the Engineering here in the UK. I love how kids can learn through play in this challenge

  25. Fritha Quinn says:

    these look like so much fun! I need to try these out with Wilf over the summer! x

  26. Michelle Murray says:

    This looks lots of fun and educational too! Would definitely keep the kids occupied and happy over the Summer.

  27. This is great fun and educational too! Great for entertaining them over the summer x

  28. Great idea to do something fun but educational at the same time.
    Lyndsey OHalloran recently posted…Post Office Broadband and Google Digital Garage’s Free Digital Drop-insMy Profile

  29. Alex Gladwin says:

    I love this. The activities look really fun but also educational. What a great way to spend some of the summer holidays!

  30. Educational things to do in the summer holidays are a great idea, I don’t even remember the kinds of things I’d do when I was on summer break x
    Rhian Westbury recently posted…The Best Things About New Online Dating App MeetchuMy Profile

  31. Charli Bruce says:

    This is such a fun way to keep the kids busy during the holidays, not only is it fun but also educational. I love that kids of all ages can take part as well x
    Charli Bruce recently posted…Personal Injuries and What You Can Do About ThemMy Profile

  32. What a fun way to keep children entertained this summer while teaching them new skills 🙂
    Treasure Every Moment recently posted…NURSERY: Ways to Support your Child to Settle in QuicklyMy Profile

  33. Kate says:

    She looks like she had so much fun and I am so happy to hear she is going to share her learning too. Loved your pictures – certainly got over that engineering challenges can be great for both learning and fun in the holidays and all year round for that matter. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.
    Kate recently posted…Reflections on friendship and my lifeMy Profile

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