Taking the #TheHolidayMakers Challenge

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!

35 thoughts on “Taking the #TheHolidayMakers Challenge”

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. What a fab challenge and project. I think making simple things like gliders and be so much fun for the little ones. I think we should try out the chain reaction one too. Sylvia would love that!


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