Technology, the mindfulness movement, encouraging, understanding and tolerating diversity as well as multiculturalism has been on the agenda for most of 2015.
So, why not infuse our kids with the same themes (in an age-appropriate manner of course) during the school holidays? These programs have been developed in response to modern-day needs and trends and it is not hard to see why they are so popular.
Lemonade Stand program
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" may be replaced with the question "What do you want to create?" according to Steve Glaveski, the co-founder of innovation hub Collective Campus.
To supplement discussions about starting and running a business in an age and atmosphere where entrepreneurism and digital literacy is strongly encouraged, Collective Campus has launched the inaugural Lemonade Stand program to teach children the fundamentals of entrepreneurism.
From ideas to value propositions, business models and prototypes to distribution channels, customer acquisition and program success, Year 5 and 6 students can learn, apply and pitch to investors (parents) during the one or two-day program in Melbourne.
Innovate Tech Camps
In addition to entrepreneurism, STEM education is another important focus area for the 21st century. While the new digital curriculum is being developed to impart these skills at schools, kids can learn about robotics, engineering challenges and other technology at Robotics Club Australia's Innovate Tech Camps. The one to two week long camp in Melbourne offers children from Years 1 to 12 an opportunity to learn new and readily usable skills over the summer break.
Fun Works' Multicultural Games
Teaching children about other cultures' lifestyles help improve relations, open their minds and help create a more harmonious environment. And this is the premise behind programs like Fun Works' Multicultural Games.
The program exposes children to multicultural games from Africa, Sweden, Egypt, England and Russia to name a few. Learning how other cultures play allow for a mutually enjoyable experience and a fun way of understanding diversity. Such programs can be organised for school holidays, during term or for special events in NSW, QLD and the ACT.
The Great Aussie Bush Camp
With the continuing talk of the importance of being in nature for kids, comes a program that develops strong connections with the great outdoors during the school holidays. Running for 14 years, programs like The Great Aussie Bush Camp, near Sydney, NSW take the school holidays as an opportunity to introduce kids to activities they may not have tried before.
Activities such as abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing and team challenges help children step out of their comfort zone, build confidence and teamwork skills. It is now more important than ever that kids spend time in the natural environment not only for their benefit but also because they need to become aware of the issues impacting the planet.
Domestic violence and trauma are becoming unfortunate signs of the times we live in here in Australia. In response, programs like Camp Kulin in WA offer children affected by violence, assaults or in the case of refugees, by war, an opportunity to learn and deal with their situation while learning important life skills such as self-respect, confidence and teamwork. While a case worker needs to refer a child to attend this particular program, other general school holiday camps are also run in the Kulin region of WA, promising to offer a memorable experience.