Home Children and Young People Keeping children active & entertained over the summer holidays

Keeping children active & entertained over the summer holidays

by Gemma Melling

The school summer holidays are about to begin – and as usual there are a range of activities to keep children and young people entertained in Knowsley.

Of course the summer holidays are a little different this year, coming on the back of many months where most children have been at home already.

And, whilst lockdown is being eased, there are still some restrictions on where we can go and the way we enjoy activities.

Across the borough this summer, there will be a range of activities for young people and their families to enjoy. Some of these will take place in person, and some will take place online. There are also still some fantastic resources available that were developed during ‘lockdown’ but which are still great ideas for home-based activies now.

Here’s our round-up of summer inspiration (and we will keep adding to it as more activities are confirmed!)

SNAP family activities


This summer, the whole family can take part in SNAP (Sports, Nutrition, Active Play) free family activities across Knowsley.
From arts & crafts to cookery and sport there will be something for the whole family to enjoy throughout the summer holidays.

The activities, led by One Knowsley in partnership with LIVV Housing Group, the council and a range of community and voluntary organisations putting their efforts into creating a summer of fun in Knowsley.

Taking place in community centres, church halls, youth centres and even online, organisations across the borough have come together to make sure that whether you live in Cronton or Kirkby, Halewood or Huyton or in fact anywhere in Knowsley there will be something you can get involved with. Some of the holiday clubs will also be providing free nutritious snacks and lunches and ALL will be following Government guidance on the preventing the spread of Covid19.
Find out more about the activities that are taking place near you.

Online summer classes

young girl on computer

Even when your child isn’t able to attend a summer club in person, there are activities available online to keep them entertained and engaged – at whatever time suits them.

A series of online activities as part of the SNAP programme being run by One Knowsley include activities as varied as yoga, cooking, science and money management.

You can see the full programme online here.

Vibe plan a summer of fun for young people

Vibe – the new name for Knowsley Youth Mutual (KYM) are planning a programme packed with activities for young people this summer – from character drawing, crafts, magic skills & performing arts. These will take place both online and in person.

You can read more details on the Vibe website – and take a look at the activities here.

Enjoy some summer reading

Knowsley’s libraries are now offering a ‘Select & Collect’ service, which means you and your children can still borrow some new books to read during the summer.  There’s also the option to download e-books which can be read on your tablet or smartphone.

Develop your child’s imagination and enter the As You Write It young playwright competition

As you write it, your play on stage - The Shakespeare North Playhouse and BBC's The One Show playwriting competition

As you write it, your play on stage – The Shakespeare North Playhouse and BBC’s The One Show playwriting competition

BBC’s The One Show and The Shakespeare North Playhouse have announced a national children’s playwriting competition backed by actress Dame Judi Dench and writer Frank Cottrell Boyce.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for children and young people to have their idea for a play brought to life on stage at The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot.

The competition called ‘As You Write it, Your Play on Stage’, is an exciting chance to develop playwriting skills with the help of experts and is open to all children and young people aged between 7 and 16 years old.

Find out more. 

Learn to love the nature on our doorsteps

During lockdown, Knowsley Council’s Green Spaces team came up with some ideas to help us stay connected with nature from the comfort our own homes – and those activities can also be enjoyed over the school summer holidays.
With activities to entertain children, tips to improve your wellbeing, the chance to learn about nature or test your knowledge of Knowsley’s green spaces, there’s something for everyone.
There’s a section on stargazing with hints and tips about the best way to view night time skies, as well as a bird watching fact sheet and links to relevant websites.

You can download the guide here.

Activities for families who have a child with disabilities


Children and young people who usually attend Knowsley’s Short Breaks Service are able to join in with a range of exciting activities online.
Merseyside Youth Association (MYA), which provides the Short Breaks service in Knowsley, has been regularly updating its Facebook page since the early days of lockdown with lots of new activities and videos, including crafts, sports and relaxation sessions to entertain the children and young people who usually attend their sessions.
Families can visit its Facebook page and also keep up to date with MYA activities on their Twitter – and Instagram accounts.
Read more.

Using playgrounds and outdoor gyms in Knowsley

Children’s playgrounds and green gyms in Knowsley are open again after the recent lifting of national restrictions. It’s a chance for your child to once again get outside and let off some steam.

If you are taking your child to a playground, there are some new rules you need to be aware of though.

Park visitors will be reminded to still observe 2m social distancing, or where that isn’t possible 1m plus, and to clean their hands both before and after using park equipment.

And there are other measures we can follow to keep everyone safe – read more about them here.

Brush up on the road safety skills

Having spent so much time at home and being out of the routine of travelling to and from school, your child may have forgotten some of the basic road safety techniques that are so important. This might be particularly the case if your son or daughter is in year 6 and about to go up to high school in September. Luckily, there are some resources available to help remind them about the basic steps they need to take to keep themselves safe – and put your mind at rest, too. The council’s Road Safety team have put together a new guide with top tips called ‘Moving Up’, which you may have received a copy of from your child’s school – if not, you can download it now.

Rubbish Shakespeare Company live

The nationally renowned, five star sell-out, all-silly, Rubbish Shakespeare Company will present three of their finest Shakespeare shorts back to back in Knowsley!

Book the best seats in the house – your own house that is – for the madcap retellings of three of William Shakespeare’s beloved classics! Catch all the capers live on Facebook @knowsleylibraries on Thursday 27 August at 2pm.

Thanks to Knowsley’s arts in libraries project you will venture to lovelorn Verona for Romeo and Juliet, sail along the Nile to witness the demise of Antony and Cleopatra, and runaway to the woods for a magical Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Just as in Shakespearean times, the four male actors play the female roles, complete with bad wigs and high voices. Perfect for all ages, from 4 to 104!

Expect water pistols, baby dollies, tutus and more, as these wild interpretations aim to tickle your funny bone – especially the tragedies!

Funded through the Arts Council England the event is part of GEM (Great Emerging Marvellous Places); a project that brings exciting and cultural activities to libraries in Knowsley.

Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

Knowsley Library Service is excited to host the Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge 2020.

Aimed at 4 to 11 year olds, the Summer Reading Challenge encourages children and families to read together throughout the summer and have fun with it!

It takes place every year during the summer holidays with children challenged to read five or more library books over the summer. Every child completing the challenge will receive a certificate and medal.

This year, the Summer Reading Challenge’s Silly Squad celebrates funny books, happiness and laughter. Children taking part in the Challenge will join the Silly Squad, an adventurous team of animals who love to have a laugh and get stuck into all sorts of funny books!

Simply contact your nearest participating Knowsley library to request a Summer Reading Challenge pack and the books your child would like to read and our friendly library staff will arrange a date and time for you to collect these from the entrance of your selected branch.

 The Summer Reading Challenge website is free to access and features games, quizzes and downloadable activities that encourage children to take part in reading related activities. Children taking part in the Challenge can keep track of their summer reading activity using this website.

Silly storytelling

Performance storyteller and actor Robin Simpson will be telling some silly stories and playing some silly games as part of the Summer Reading Challenge with Knowsley Library Service.

The silliness will get underway with ‘The Unluckiest Man in the World”, a story with original illustrations and a sing-along-song!

Next it will be time to jump up-and-down and shake-it-all-about playing a ridiculous game of “Beans!”

And the fun will finish with another very silly story ‘Lazy Jack’ .

Watch at home, listen, sing-along, join in and, most importantly, have fun live on Facebook @knowsleylibraries on Friday 21 August at 2pm.

Funded through the Arts Council England the event is part of GEM (Great Emerging Marvellous Places); a project that brings exciting and cultural activities to libraries in Knowsley.