Nothing gets you through the chilly winter months more than the daydreams of an impending holiday in the sun. With the English springtime having seemingly packed up and taken its own vacation, it may be time to head somewhere you can guarantee will be filled with warm summer’s days that the whole family can enjoy.
That said, travelling with little ones can often be as stressful as not going on holiday. However, from Majorca to Florida, there is a good choice of destinations that offer kid’s clubs as part of their onsite facilities. Here’s a handy little guide when it comes to considering a destination with a children’s club.
Catering for the age of your children
Whether you’re looking to keep the little ones out of trouble, or you want to find some amusement for teenagers, clubs in holiday resorts and hotels offer a range of games, sports and entertainment options for the younger members of the family.
Many resorts offer clubs for different ages, with separate spaces for babies, young children and teenagers. One of the things you should check before you travel is if the kids club offered is suitable for the age of your children, and what kinds of facilities it offers for the different age groups.
Kids’ clubs can be great fun for children of all ages with even the fussiest kids being catered for.
Thomson Family Resorts, for example, have broken their kids clubs into three groups and have at least two hours of activities, six days a week. The ‘Tots Club’ (3-5 year olds) has lots of fun and games, including teddy bears picnics. The ‘Team Club’ (6-8 year olds) has group-based activities which keep the children active and promote group interaction. The ‘Tribe Club’ for 9-11 year olds encourages independent thinking and problem-solving.
In general, kids’ clubs tend to offer quiet spaces for babies and very young toddlers, with a selection of toys and trained staff to cater for their needs.
Children might be offered the chance to try arts and crafts, classes such as dancing, cooking, sports and outdoor games dependant on the length and time of the session.
Teenagers are generally less catered for across the hotels and resorts, but the destinations that do offer the service often boast exciting and energetic activities, such as circus skills classes, scavenger hunts and snorkelling. Many also offer facilities, such as games consoles and film screenings.
Checking the details
Holiday clubs vary from resort to resort, so it is worth finding out as much as you can before you decide where to head to.
Many parents prefer to drop their children off for just part of the day, so they can also enjoy some activities as a whole family and catch up on some quality time.
Some clubs run throughout the day, some only offer their services through school holidays, and others only operate for a few hours a week, so be sure you know when your resort’s club is active. Also check to see if you need to make an advanced reservation to avoid any disappointment.
Check the ratio of adults to children. As a guideline you should expect to see:
– 1 adult to 3 babies
– 1 adult to 5 toddlers
– 1 to 8 for children under eight years old
– 1 adult to 10 children for the oldest group
You should also check who they are staffed by and what training they have had.
There are a few questions you could check to ensure that your child will have fun whilst staying safe:
– Do the staff hold UK-accredited or other childcare qualifications?
– How many staff will there be available at all times?
– Have the staff undergone an advanced CRB check?
– Are the staff first-aid trained?
– What activities will your child(ren) be involved in?
– What locations will you child(ren) visit during their time at the club e.g. will they be going to the swimming pool?
Have a read of reviews (for instance, on trip advisor) and ask friends and families for their experiences with kids’ clubs. With social media platforms being readily accessible, users will share their experiences online, so it’s worth having a quick check.
Reassuring yourselves and your little ones
It can be worrying for parents to leave little ones, even if you have been craving some alone time in the sun. One of the best ways of keeping any reservations at bay is to visit the club yourself first. You can usually gauge from children that are already there whether you are comfortable with how they are being entertained and what is offered.
If your children are old enough to give their opinion, check if they’d be interested in joining a holiday club before you go. There would be nothing worse than choosing a resort around its holiday club than to get there and have your children refuse to use it.
When the time does come to drop your little ones off, briefly lead them into the club, check they are safe and leave quickly. This is another benefit that comes with visiting the club yourself first, as children can become attached and more unwilling for you to leave if you look unsure.
One of the nicest aspects of these schemes is that they give parents the chance to catch up on some alone time, making sure every member of the household gets the holiday rest they need, whilst ensuring the children have a holiday to remember.
*All major family-friendly holiday destinations will have kids’ clubs. This article is written on behalf of Thomson.