House of Fun Activity Camp

Qualified teacher-led, fun-filled children's activity courses. Sports, Arts & Crafts, Cookery, Bouncy Castle and lots more exciting activities.
Thomas Reade Primary School, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3RR, running regularly during the school holidays

This family-run holiday course at Thomas Reade Primary School in Abingdon is managed by a Qualified Teacher and Forest School Leader, and has been providing an exciting and safe activity-based ‘holiday camp’ for children aged 5-12 since 2012. Cookery courses are also available for chidren aged 7-14, and Art courses for children aged 5-14).

The activities programme includes sports, arts & crafts, cookery and bouncy castle activities. All sessions are supervised and in the past have included bake offs, sports competitions, dressing up days with a fashion catwalk, and child/parent afternoon tea picnics.


November 2, 2018
Silliness, sustainability, and lots of fun

This was my daughter's first taste of a children's activity camp, so neither she nor I knew quite what to expect. At pick-up time I found her chatting to a new friend, occupied and cheerful, after a visibly full day. Under a hand-crafted bejewelled paper crown, her face showed the smudged remains of a once-beautiful swirly pink face-paint design, and her hands clutched a bag full of rapidly disintegrating biscuits she'd proudly created earlier. She was absolutely delighted. 'Can we come here again?' were the first words out of her mouth as we left the building.

House of Fun is a children's activity 'camp' which runs in the school holidays at Thomas Reade Primary School in Abingdon. Beginning in East Oxford in 2012 and moving to Abingdon in 2014, the programme is headed by Jake Motion, a year 6 teacher at the school, and is a family venture, with Jake's sister, a professional artist, leading the art activities, and his mother, a former chef, organising the cookery classes. The atmosphere is warm and friendly; the staff are cheerful and the children busily at ease, and the school is a lovely space with very good facilities. House of Fun’s approach is to offer children a selection of activities which can be energetic, artistic, educational and practical, with a focus on individual choice. A lot of the fun things our children do regularly are chosen for them, so the chance to make their own decisions in this way is for many a valuable one. It’s no surprise that there’s also a clear emphasis on silliness and entertainment – kids are supposed above all to be enjoying themselves. Less obviously, this half-term’s activities also explored issues of sustainability, with materials from Oxford’s Orinoco Scrapstore being used in some really impressive junk modelling, on show in the form of detailed rockets and robots made by some of the older children earlier in the week.

Our girl may have been new to the activity camp scene, but at 5 and a half years old she was more than ready, and by all accounts (hers and the kindly House of Fun staff) she threw herself into the experience. She's not a particularly shy child, but it's testament to warmth of the staff and the atmosphere of the camp that she was able to relax and enjoy herself in an unfamiliar environment where she knew no one. I'd expected her to be exhausted after such a full day, but if anything she was energised by the experience. Parents of five-year-olds will know they can be frustratingly unforthcoming about what they've been doing all day, so I was thrilled to get an unusually detailed account of her doings at House of Fun, which included, in no specific order: craft activities, bouncy castle, adventure playground, face-painting, football, and cookery. Quite likely there was more she didn't tell me about, and certainly there were other activities and games which the whole group took part in together. Screens are used sparingly, but to particularly good effect as the children wait for collection at the end of the day, when watching a film in a darkened hall is good way for everyone to wind down.

House of Fun takes place at Thomas Reade Primary School, a 15-minute journey for us from East Oxford. The day runs from 9.30am-5.00pm, with an extended option available from 8.30am-6.00pm. At £35 for a standard day, It’s pretty good value for holiday childcare even before you factor in the range of activities. We’ll definitely be going again.

Future course dates at House of Fun:

Christmas Cookery: Friday 21st December, 2018

Spring Half-Term Activities: Tuesday 19th - Thursday 21st February 2019

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