You may have noticed that it is school holidays by the abundance of children floating around your house with constant demands for food and the refrain of “I’m booooored”.
You could try telling them that only boring people get bored. Good luck with that.
Or you could book some awesomely fun adventure school holiday activities and get out of the house before you start whining to your kids “but … I’m boooooored”.
School Holiday Activities | Archery Lessons
Have I got a great school holiday activities adventure for you. Your kids can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow!
Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre has a fabulous holiday program for kids. Located at Sydney Olympic Park, the Archery Centre has a holiday program for kids aged 7 upwards.
Outside of school holidays, kids can only participate in archery lessons if they are aged 10 and over, so this is a fabulous opportunity for kids aged between 7 and 10.
The Holiday Program is split into two age groups :
Kids on Target school holiday program for kids aged from 10+ years of age that includes the basics of archery with all equipment and instruction provided. The session includes fun and challenging games, with no experience necessary.
Little Archers school holiday program provides children aged 7-12 years access to the sport of archery. The sessions include a safety induction, equipment and skilled instructors.
In my head, I referred to them as the Hunger Games and Brave programs. Yup, apparently I’m a sucker for movie marketing.
Each lesson costs $16 per person and runs for an hour. Programs are held Monday to Friday at 9.30 am, 11.00 am, 1.00 pm and 2.30 pm. Both age group lessons are held concurrently so if you don’t want to participate, you’ve got an hour to yourself to sit on the provided benches or perhaps go for a walk in the gorgeous park surroundings. Well away from the archery field, obviously.
The lesson begins with a safety induction, which is repeatedly reinforced until the kids understand. Safety is paramount – thank goodness! Step by step instruction is then provided with the instructor using himself as a demonstration.
Next up, it’s time to start shooting. Any infraction of the rules is firmly but fairly dealt with, until the kids police themselves.
One foot on each side of the line, with body position based on left- or right-handedness. Arrow notched correctly. Front arm straight, holding the bow. Back hand placed correctly on the bow string. Draw the arm back using the body’s powder, guided by the arm, to jaw height. Draw the shoulders forward to concave the chest. Close one eye, focusing with the other to aim, again dependent on handedness. Release the fingers to release the arrow. Thwack! The arrow hits home.
Well, it will after a few more goes perhaps. The lesson ends with some fun, trying to aim correctly to pop a balloon affixed to the targets.
It’s not just fun for the kids – space permitting, parents are welcome to join in too. I was in like Flynn – or should that be Merrida or Katniss?
My first arrow hit the board, but it went downhill whilst I was concentrating too hard. Once I relaxed and followed the steps naturally, I was back to hitting the board and I even popped a couple of balloons. Yes I did!
I had an unfortunate boob thwacking incident. My natural posture is to stand straight with my shoulders back, even 36 years after my first dancing lesson. Boobs and bows aren’t natural BFFs – but I made sure it didn’t happen again!
Boyo had an awesome time and really enjoyed himself. If your kids aren’t particularly sporty nor competitive, this is a great activity for them. The bows don’t require a great deal of physical strength to operate, and the kids are too busy learning to bother too much about what the other kids are doing.
The instructor encouraged camaraderie and the only competing was against themselves. Following the simple process, as coached by the friendly instructor during the lesson, meant that every child (and mother!) hit the target. Some straight away, some took a little time, but their victory was all the sweeter.
If, however, you have particularly competitive kids, then this is also an awesome activity for them. They can compete against themselves or their friends. Or you!
After an hour, our fingers were a little tender – mainly because we’d been hanging onto the bowstring for too long before releasing – and a couple of children had whacked themselves a few times on their forearms. Nothing a celebratory milkshake couldn’t fix!
We had such an amazing time that we have booked again for the following week. Yup, me too.
School Holiday Activities | How to book archery lessons
Click here for details on how to book lessons for the Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre school holiday activities program.
Click here for maps and driving directions.
If you’re not located in Sydney, click here to visit Archery Australia to discover if something similar is held in your area.
They do birthday parties too – now that’s an idea that’s right on target. $22 per child for a 90 minute lesson, incorporated with the public sessions, or for $26 per child, you can book an exclusive session for 8 kids. Feed the little beasts with a self-catered picnic or utilise the free BBQ facilities throughout Sydney Olympic Park. Click here for further details on eat in or takeaway food options.
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- Images by Kim-Marie Williams
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