Kids clubs can be classified as a broad term and can mean different things to different people depending on what kind of ‘club’ a child is attending. However, there are certain factors that remain consistent within the kids club environment and this often includes a fully staffed mini playground or play village suitably designed for children and quality care. In some cases a kids club may be offered by private companies, health and fitness clubs, major sports events, trade fairs and so on. The premise is simple and that is to educate and engage children for short periods of time of the day depending on how long the parents require care, while the little ones are entertained in a playful, dynamic, and safe environment. Kids clubs offer a wide vast range of activities including art, music and dancing, cookery and nature experiences, language and sports lessons.
Some clubs are in place for new and fun ways to help children learn and to support them in their studies. Other clubs are looking for ways to improve their pupils’ physical and emotional health and to promote healthy habits. So with this in mind, if a kids club is something you are looking to set up, there are certain factors that need to be considered when doing so as well as a few pointers and tips to adhere to for some extra guidance! Read on to discover more about running your own kids club.
It can encourage more reserved kids to talk to each other and to talk to staff, building new relationships. Clubs run by school staff can also help staff and pupils get to know each other better
and to be able to spot if a pupil is having difficulties in school or outside school. Socialising in school clubs gives them confidence to speak to people, they will ask for things and it gives them courage to speak up.
Food and Nutrition
Running kids clubs can have a big impact in the sense that they can be beneficial to
having an impact on reducing the numbers of children being hungry and allowing them to learn about nutrition. Child hunger has been linked to poor concentration in as well as behavioural issues. A strong start to the morning as well as a healthy breakfast will have good influences on kids ability to concentrate, kids are better able to settle into what they are doing and ready to calmly learn and play. Kids clubs can have an impact on pupils eating more healthily, provided that the food on offer is healthy and nutritious.
Be Prepared with Wholesale Juice and Snacks
If children will be in your care throughout the day, it will hugely simplify your plan the snacks and or packed lunch options for each child. You will then just need to provide morning and afternoon snacks, and drinks. Do consider that, strictly speaking, you should register with your local authority as a ‘food business’ if you serve any kind of food in your setting. It is a cost-effective option to order your food from a wholesaler rather than a general supermarket.
Healthy Food for Kids Club in Practice
In practice you have to offer a range of healthy food throughout the day. In order to help you to achieve this you could even involve the kids and create a menu of healthy favourites! If you have some fussy eaters in your group, offer fruit juice in addition to water, as well as a glass of juice will count as one of their ‘five a day’. It is also useful to recall that children are way more likely to try something if they have made it themselves or had some involvement in making it, this also encourages independence, so this benefits everyone!
Healthy snack ideas:
- Toast, bagels, tortillas, pitta bread (it is great how straightforward and satisfying the process of spreading toast is for children of any age).
- Sandwich fillings, for example cheese, ham, or houmous.
- Carrot sticks, cucumber, celery with a range of dips.
- Fresh fruit: grapes, sliced apples, segmented oranges, sliced melon and so on.
If the range of food provided is of a high quality, healthy and nutritious, you will then need to add a little indulgence with cooking activities in the form of making cookies and or maybe even rice crispy or cornflake cakes, which then become a treat, rather than the standard go-to option.
Food handling training
You may be surprised to know that there is no specific legal requirement for operators of food businesses to carry a formal food hygiene qualification, just that they have had some kind of training. If an educational environment however, Ofsted will expect that at least one member of staff at an Ofsted registered setting has a Food Handling and Hygiene Level 2 qualification.
Lots of clubs have a few members of staff who have the formal food handling and hygiene qualification, who then inform other staff members of best practice. Many authorities will offer food hygiene courses for childcare settings, often funding them for one or two members of staff each year. If this is the case in your area, it is a good option to implement a training plan so that over, say, a three year cycle all staff receive some kind of formal training.
The significant consideration for running a kids club is that you need to keep the children entertained for significantly longer than what would be considered normal. As well as an usual mix of activities, you may want to add in some more ‘structured’ activities to help break up the day and to create more variety, such as theme days, outings, workshops by external providers and visits from other organisations (eg fire service).
In your planning activities, don’t forget to factor in some chill-out time everyday for when the children can just chill out and do their own thing. Also bear in mind the principle of ‘freely chosen play’ will allow children to opt out of any activity if they wish.
With some children possibly attending your kids club for weeks at a time, introducing a number of days based around a particular theme may help to keep everyone interested and excited! For example you could have special themed days based around themes such as:
Pirates: children come dressed in pirate costumes or use the club’s own dressing up box clothes; use big cardboard boxes etc to communally create a giant pirate ship; making pirate puppets; play treasure hunt games and creating their own treasure maps; creating individual pirate ships.
Jungle: children make or colour in animal masks to dress up in, you could use camouflage netting and other props to create a jungle play den; play crossing crocodile-infested river game; competition to make a giraffe out of newspaper and sticky tape, use could even make animal face fridge magnets.
Backyard beach: children come dressed in ‘beach’ outfits (bright t-shirts, shorts, flip flops, sunglasses, floppy hats) and decorate flip-flops; making frisbees, playing volleyball with a big soft ball; water play with sprinklers, water pistols, decorate and float paper boats in large container of water, blow through straws to race them around.
Other themes you could try:
- Cops and robbers
- Harry Potter themed
- Camping trip
Here at Freshways we know that running your own business is no mean feat, so if you are set on running a kids club, one thing is for certain and that is that you must have plenty of supplies for the kids in attendance. That’s where we come in! As wholesale food suppliers anything from wholesale apple juice to wholesale yogurt is something we can provide for you.
At Freshways, we are dedicated to providing each and every one of our clients throughout London, Wales and the UK, with the freshest milk and dairy products available. From wholesalers and manufacturers right through to small businesses such as bakeries, cafes, hotels and retailers, we are the reliable dairy products supplier in the UK. to find out more about the services we offer, please get in touch with us to find out more about the various wholesale products we sell.