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School’s Out! Now What? Our Guide To Summer Camps and Activities In Nairobi 30 Jun 2011 | By Clar Ni Chonghaile

School’s Out! Now What? Our Guide To Summer Camps and Activities In Nairobi

If your child is a pint-sized Picasso, the next McDonald Mariga or just a girl who just wants to have fun, there is a place for them to indulge their passions.

Swim Africa is offering a Tiny Tots club for 1 – 4 year olds with arts and crafts, singing and games from July 11 to August 26 at the Montessori Learning Centre in Brookside. There will be a main camp for older children too aged between 4 and 6. Events will include field trips with ice-skating, off road cycling and much more. It’s mornings-only so perfect for people who can spend some time with their children in the afternoons.

Several kindergartens are offering summer schools. Details can often be found on the school notice boards.

Kabete Junior Academy, off Ngecha Road, will run a morning camp for children aged up to 8 from July 11 to Aug 19. Lots of art and activities around a different weekly theme, for example little creatures or beads, as well as pony riding, cookery and special costume days.

Camp BlueSky is a Christian sports and adventure American summer camp for boys and girls aged 7 – 18 years. It’s a residential camp and each camp lasts a week, with three sessions in July. It offers a lot for older children with energy to burn – for high school campers there is an off-campus outdoor adventure programme, including camping, rock climbing, hiking and cave exploration.

Creche International will run a summer camp for children aged 3 – 6 in Nyari West. There will be singing, painting, story-telling, bike riding and football. The camp will run from July 25 to August 19 from 9 am to 3.30 pm.

Sporty kids might enjoy Jaffery Sports Club, which will have events for those aged 3 to 13. Kids can sign up for the full programme or for half a day, and activities include arts and crafts, field sports including cricket, football and volleyball as well as hide-and-seek and singing. It’s down Lavington way on El Molo Drive.

So there’s no men’s World Cup this year? That’s no reason not to indulge your child’s fantasy of becoming the next Lionel Messi. Soccer Sags
will run soccer training camps for children aged 6 – 10 through July and August at Farasi Lane Primary School from 9.30 am to 11 am.

Nyota Zuri Soccer Club will also have soccer training on Saturday mornings at My School on Peponi Road.

If your children are more speed-devils than soccer stars, you might want to try out rollerblading, or roller hockey for the older ones, or wave boarding for the really daring. Sk8inline will be running daily two-hour classes at the SSD Temple on Lower Kabete Road from July 11 for children aged 3 and over. Don’t worry – the little ones have a fine sense of balance and will not have too far to fall and the coaches are experts in coaxing nervous debutantes along. And if you fancy it yourself, you can join in too. It’s a great workout for the thighs and other tricky areas!

You can also organise gymnastics classes in your own home with Kids Gymnastics for children aged from 18 months to 14 years. The instructors will come to your home for a mobile class, and they can bring mini trampolines, gym mats, gym balls and anything else you might need to tire the little dears out.

For tennis fiends, check out the summer courses available at the JD Academy. They will run a holiday camp from July 4 to September 2 for children from 4 years upwards. The programme is broken into two categories: tiny tots and beginners aged between 4 and 10; and intermediate and advanced players.

If you like your fun to be functional (or at least your kids’ fun), this may be for you: The
Youth Summer Etiquette Camp. Yes, people, you heard that right! It runs from July 1 to August 1 at the Muthaiga Shopping Centre and caters for children aged from 4 to 18 with sessions like “Dynamic Diplomats – Fun with Manners”. Perfect Peter’s ideal summer camp? I can imagine what Horrid Henry would say.

Or you could use the summer break to bring a little je ne sais quoi into older children’s lives. The Alliance Francaise  is running a Discover French With Fun 15-week course which teaches the language of Sartre through singing, theatre, drawing and games.

If art is more your child’s thing, why not check out the summer programme at the Nairobi Art Centre? They are running workshops for 4 – 13 year olds. One, on the theme “This is Me”, begins on July 4, with a focus on surrealist Salvador Dali. This workshop will alternate with a second on the wild and wonderful world of nature, with a look at Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau and native Navajo Indian art.  Children can attend a 5-day workshop or book a minimum of two consecutive days. The sessions run from 9 am to 3.30 each day and through July and August.

Art Without Borders at the former RaMoMa will also be running a summer school. They will focus on marine art from June 27 to July 2, with a second camp running from July 4 to July 9.

Some of the main malls in Nairobi will also be ratcheting up their kids’ activities during the summer months. Westgate Shopping Mall has an Art Centre with different creative activities every day of the week, including drawing, jewel art and stone model painting. Your children will be supervised by a trained art teacher on the second floor.

And when they’re done and you’ve had a lovely, peaceful coffee, why not take them up to the parking lot where they can do star jumping or roll around like a hamster in a ball in the bubble pool?

You could also take the children to Village Market for a fun afternoon. There are two playgrounds – one for tots downstairs with plastic houses, and one upstairs with a climbing frame, slides and a sandpit for older children. Both are supervised. Upstairs you will also find quad cars, mini golf, a bouncy castle, and the water slides. Kids love the slides but you will find many Dads enjoying the buzz of hurtling down the biggest ones too!

There is also a smaller pool for younger children. Just remember your sunscreen and beware of the wasps. It can also get very busy at weekends with birthday parties so come early if you don’t like crowds! For older children, there is also the bowling alley. Village Market also runs a kids club and you can find more information here.

If the rain really comes down, why not check out Children’s World at Adams Arcade. They have an indoor climbing frame, movie theatre, toys and oh yes, a Java café just downstairs!

If culture is your thing, you could take the children for an afternoon show of traditional dances at the
Bomas of Kenya. Go early and they can hang out in the large playground or visit the traditional villages, featuring huts from many of Kenya’s tribes.

And for a good day out for the whole family, you could head to Splash Waterworld, off Langata Road – it has one of the largest pools in Kenya, kiddy cars, beach volleyball and camel rides.

If you want something a little more flexible and just need a morning to yourself, you could head to The Rusty Nail restaurant in Karen, where Souljah of Salto Jamborees will be on hand every Thursday to entertain the children with aerobics, gymnastics, a bouncy castle and much more. The sessions are open to children between 5 – 11 years but it’s best to book in advance.

If you know of any other summer camps or activities, please do let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page so you can share your knowledge with other desperate parents. They’ll love you for it!

Clar Ni Chonghaile