At home challenges for kids to enjoy
These at home challenges for kids are a fun way to encourage your children to set a goal and reach it.
Here's where at home challenges for kids come in: they're great for motivating the children to do something, whether that's reading several new books or throwing a netball into a basket 100 times in a row.
From the physical to the creative, we've rounded up some of our favourite kids' lockdown challenge ideas to try now. Kids can do them as a boredom-buster, undertake one to raise money for the NHS or charity, or enter for the glory on social media. Whatever their reason, they may find something they really enjoy... at least for an afternoon.
Photo: Jess Baile
Reading and writing challenges
National Book Tokens & Puffin Big Dreamers Writing Competition
One for budding writers, this competition invites kids aged 6-18 to write a 300-word story centred around the subject of Big Dreams, interpreted any way they like. The competition will be judged by top Puffin and Penguin children's authors like Robin Stevens, Nathan Bryon and Carrie Hope Fletcher and is broken up into three age categories (6-10, 11-14 and 15-18), with three top winners eligible to win a £200 National Book Token - the best gift of all for avid readers - as well as having their stories published on the National Book Tokens website.
Enter by May 28 and don't forget to check out the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams kicking off June 8th, with creative challenges, writing masterclasses and more.
Biblio-buzz: The Alexandra Palace Children's Book Awards
If you're looking to inspire your child with some literature this month, then encourage them to read the six books in the Alexandra Palace Children's Book Awards, which include works from Aisha Busby and Stewart Foster. Kids 9-12 will be able to take on a series of creative challenges, attend online workshops and listen to author storytimes as part of the literary fortnight, before voting for their favourite book. On through 16 May, children have until June to submit their entries. At the very least, it might inspire a nice selection of new reading material.
Canary Wharf Short Story Stations writing competition
For kids feeling inspired regarding the subject of "Life in Lockdown," Canary Wharf Group has launched its inaugural competition for its Short Story Stations, inviting entrants to write a poem or short story that's either one, three or five minutes long. There's a challenge for under-16s and another for adults, so this is one parents can do alongside their children, as they reflect on their experiences in lockdown to create fictional stories.
The under-16 winner will receive a £150 Canary Wharf gift card, while the top 10 stories will be featured on Short Story Stations. The competition closes May 31st.
Photo: Amelie Mourichon
Foster + Partners #architecturefromhome challenges
Budding architect in your midst? They'll enjoy the challenges from leading architecture firm Foster + Partners, which include helpful templates for anyone keen to build a paper skyscraper or create their own dream city. Share your child's projects with the world by emailing email@example.com.
Dyson Engineering challenge cards
From racing a balloon-powered car to building bridges from spaghetti, those clever folks at Dyson have come up with 44 inspiring engineering- and science-based challenges for kids to try at home. Next weekend, we'll be making raisins dance.
Lego #LetsBuildTogether challenges
If you're sitting on a pile of Lego sets but seem to be missing crucial pieces and instructions, try Lego's online #LetsBuildTogether challenges, which include everything from building ships to sheep, marble run mazes and puppet shows, with the bricks you already have.
Photo: Jess Bailey
Drawing and art challenges
The Ickabog Illustration Challenge
The Ickabog, JK Rowling's newest children's book, will be published in print, eBook and audiobook formats in November 2020, and Rowling has invited children in lockdown to illustrate the story with an Illustration Competition, encouraging children to submit illustrations for the books, the best of which will be published in the final version of the book. Parents can share their children's ideas on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog - there will be some suggestions about illustrations that might be suitable for each chapter, but the competition is about encouraging imaginations to run wild with "creativity, inventiveness and effort" prized over technical skill.
One of our favourite online challenges, the Getty Art Challenge invites people to recreate their favourite works of art using just three objects, to photograph the finished result and to share on social with the hashtag #gettychallenge. Bonus: scrolling through other people's attempts is just as fun as trying your own...
Draw With Rob Guinness World Record Art lesson
Rob Biddulph, award-winning author of Blown Away, Odd Dog Out and many others, is hosting #DrawWithRob sessions online every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT. The videos are here and a must for any child who's ever wanted to draw a dinosaur or a sausage dog...
Be sure to tune in on Thursday, May 21st at 4pm BST and attempt to break the Guinness World Records title for the largest online art lesson (they need 10,000 people to join in). It's for good, too: all money raised is going to charities to fight COVID-19.
Photo: Julia Raasch
Playball London coaches have come up with some brilliant challenge ideas for little ones, including a treasure hunt around Clapham Common. Get involved by creating a free account on the Playball London website and you'll be emailed a variety of challenges for kids to try each week.
Virtual Kilimanjaro cycle or climb
While ascending Kilimanjaro - with kids no less - is a stretch from reality in normal times, intrepid kids are undertaking virtual Kilimanjaro climbs, tackling the 5895m through cycle rides, treks or walks up and down stairs, raising money for a variety of charities in the process. That's 2,578 flights of stairs - and you get the added bonus of feeling like you're travelling the world (with Google Earth you can almost feel as if you're there).
Also if you want to go on a mountain adventure without leaving the house, get inspired with photographer Ivo Popov's mountain adventure at home.
Schoolkids have been encouraged to take part in the Challenge 100 in celebration of inspirational Captain Tom Moore's 100th birthday. Choose any activity - using equipment or without - and repeat it 100 times.