Our Children's University Challenges provide CU Learners with learning activities and experiences which can be completed at home. 

We have a range of Challenges to suit all ages and interests.

Each activity has an allocated number of Learning Credits.

These Learning Credits will be awarded by either:

the CU Membership School your child attends; or

the Essex Children's University Manager.

You will be asked to submit evidence of the challenge that your child has completed (in our experience photographs of all learning activities works best).  

If your child has a Provisional Passport to Learning and you are looking for additional pages, please click here:

Your child can complete any of the challenges listed below, regardless of when they were published. 

.Challenges for 2023

Autumn Challenge - October Half Term

BBC 500 Words, OotiBOO!, Happy Apple Day, Leafy Lab, Go Sketch, Children's University National Challenges, Hand Grab Pattern with Dr Jo Science, 

Download our Autumn Challenge for October half term on this link.

The Coronation:

Download our Coronation Challenge on this link.

Sheffield Children's University Challenge:  You might decide to: 

Design a Special Stamp

Explore Coronation History

Cook a Coronation Dish

Coronation Craft

The Big Help Out

Download the challenges above on this link.

Pawprint Family Badges - Coronation Mini Challenge

Pawprint Family - Download on this link




Spring Break 2023:  Easter all around the World; Cotton Bud Painting; Take notice of nature; Baking cupcakes; Draw with Rob, Steam Engine Challenge. 

Download the challenge on this link

Spring: February 2023:  Let's Recycle; Basking Shark; Whale of a Wordsearch; Photography Competition; Go Sketch (free workshops); Random Acts of Kindness; Make your own Wind Vane.

Download the challenge on this link


Christmas Challenge 2022:  Merry Christmas, Let's Explore Different Languages; Cardboard Christmas; Christmas Science; 12 Words of Christmas Scramble; Winter Scavenger Hunt; Decorated Biscuits.

All the details on this link

Winter Challenge 2022:  Winter Reading Challenge; Make a Picasso Fortune Teller and Picasso Inspired Art; Explore your Character Traits; Build a Hedgehog Home; Weave a Spider Web and Build a Spider; Pawprint Family - Howard Carter.

All of the details for these challenges on this link.

Autumn Challenge 2022:  Sticky Pinecone Bird Feeder; 3D Paper Pumpkin; Autumn Hapa Zome; Optical Illusion; Essex Libraries (Love your Library Day); Rock Paper Scissors Hirakemi and Diorama; Save the Planet - Plant Power; Leafy Lab

You can find the challenges on this link.




February Half Term:  Challenges include:  Nature Weaving. Be a Space Dust Hunter. Make a Spectacular Paper Plane with Dr Jo Science. Exploring Museums across Essex and other learning destination activties including Chess Club and Family Story Telling Workshop. 

Click here for all the information.

Spring 2022: Challenges include:  

Poo clues and tracking. Circus Library. Walk this Way! Secret Mission. Countryside Savvy.  Skillsbuilder Home Zone.  Every Drop Counts.  Frame It! A Bugs Life! Coal Mine Detectives. 

Poo Clues - Download the activity trail from this link

Tracking - Download the activity trail here

Download our challenge here

May, June and July 2022:  Cultural experiences; Focal Point Gallery (Southend), A Criminally Good Day; Charlotte's Wonderful Stories, Platinum Jubilee Celebrations; Summer Reading Challenge; Build a twig nest; Marble maze; Carve your own wooden stamps; Grid drawing.

Download the challenge here

Summer Holidays 2022

Download the challenge on this link.

Design your own garden - template



New Year New Challenges - January 2022 Song Lyrics, Martin Luther King Day, RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, Road Safety, What's On, Astronomy, Minute Moves, Collage, 3D Art, Archaeology, Design a Plant.

Our seasonal Winter challenge 2021  Winter Reading Challenge, Problem Solving, Speaking, Skills and Talents, Draw with Rob, The Canal and Rivers Trust (seasonal wreath and amazing reindeer), ice wreath, greetings card designer.

October Half Term 2021  Apple Sculptures, Packing, Leafy Lab, Write a Drabble. Get out and about at your local forest/woodland, visit your local library and how about trying a Learning Destination you've not visited before. 

Bumper Summer Challenge 2021 Summer Reading Challenge; Taste tests, value for money; Full time meals with Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge; Mindapples; My future: My design; Become a story hunter; Birds eye view; Sweaty science; Toilet Timeline Challenge; Head in the Clouds; London South Bank University (help them with their research); Build a mud wall, Cereal box challenge;Make a nature raft and sail it; Pin number; Water balloon tennis.

June 2021: Design a Sensory Blanket; The Bank of England; Coins; My Place in the World; Write your own song; Foosball.

12th April 2021:  Radar - How does it work?; Egg flowers (good enough to eat); #DrawwithRob with YouTubeKids; Family photo shoot.

19th April 2021 Listen; How do humans hear; Make a journey stick.

26th April 2021: Local heroes; Mindfulness word search with vocabulary extension. 


Bumper Spring Challenge  Exercise snacking, jigsaw puzzles, family pebble portraits, let's be mindful, postive or negative, chocolate truffles, voice over, self portrait, secret mission, The Countryside Code, be prepared, your own town design.  Everything you need to know and a bit more if you click through to the challenge on this link.

Weekly Challenge March 11th 2021 

Are you a Maths Magician?  Could you be a future contestant on Countdown? If numbers isn't your thing, could you be the next Junior Baker?  Science investigations with Dr Jo Science, Hand Grab - Pattern Seeking, Optical Illusion, Thaumatrope.  Get outside and take the RSPB Wild Challenge, Rub, Rub.

You'll find all the details here.

February Half Term Challenges

We are going as screen free as possible for our half term challenges.  It's time to: explore the post boxes in your local community; make a mechanical hand; celebrate Pancake Day with a range of challenges which we hope will appeal to all.

Click here for the challenge sheet

We have set two challenges for this half term and with a little more online engagement with this second activity sheet we are challenging our learners to: Enter a Photo Competition from the University of Essex; Explore The Medical Mavericks Academy; Make a note to take part in Science Farm LIVE from 5th to 14th March; Explore the Iron Age; Take part in a beginners guide to 3D modelling with TinkerCad, and learn how to code visuals with Hydra.  Finally, there's an opportunity for your children to be a part of the Essex Babylab research study exploring how children learn.

You'll find all the details here

February 2021: Challenge Sheet 1: Week 3 February 2021

This week we take our inspiration from the Artist Henry Fraser and learn more about his story.  We explore the Chinese New Year and the Zodiac,  Exploring how we use our Left and Right sides we explore brain training and brainy breaths.

Click here for this week's challenge

January 2021 - Challenge Sheet 3: Week 18th January 2021

I’ve looked a little farther afield for this week’s challenges and have taken inspiration from some of our learning destinations and CU Managers across the UK.

So this week's ideas are: set me a braille challenge; complete a Children's University challenge; Dr Jo Science investigating frost, freezing snow and ice; discover the Moire effect and explore the world of the Flea Circus with Sir David Attenborough. 

Click here for the challenge


Dr Jo Science:  Frost Freezing Snow and Ice - click here

Let's Craft - Crafty Challenges and Activities 

January 2021 - Challenge Sheet 2:  Week 11th January 2021

This week we are challenging our learners to complete: string printing; learn more about Braille and read it too; celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day; Complete investigations on sound, vibrations and pitch with Dr Jo Science; With a theme of community safety and wellbing we set a What3Words challenge too.  Click here for the challenge activities


Braille Challenge - click here

Winnie the Pooh - click here

Dr Jo Science - click here

January 2021 - Challenge Sheet 1: Week 4th January 2021

As we start 2021 with a new lockdown, here are some ideas to keep your Children's University Learners busy, learning and having fun at the same time.  I will be creating a challenge sheet every week.  I hope your learner enjoys the ideas shared this week.   Click here for the Challenge Activities. 


Winter Challenge 2020 With a Winter Scavenger Hunt, Science with Dr Jo, Craft Challenge, Tiny Treasure Hunt, RSPB Big Garden Watch 2021, Winter Biscuits, Winter Mini Challenge or Stargazer, there's plenty to keep our Children's University learners busy this Winter.  Click here for the Winter Challenge.

Discover Arts Award - May 2020

Taking part in Discover Arts Award will earn 4 Learning Stamps for the Passport to Learning and CU Learners will also be presented with an Arts Award Certificate.

With thanks to Emma Jenkins at Kent Children's University and Julie Neville at Arts Award for all their support in developing this.

You will find all the details here.

Arts Award Discover Part A

Arts Award Discover Part B

Arts Award Discover Part C




14th April 2020

More Learning Challenges, this time from our Learning Destinations.

Our Learning Destinations have been busy creating home learning challenges which are eligible for Children's University Learning Stamps.

With challenges from Woodbridge Tide Mill, Invisible Cities, Essex Police Museum and Firstsite we think there's something for everybody.  

Winter Challenge 2019

Ideas to Inspire

Spring Challenge 2020

Perfect for February half term

Bumper Challenge March and April 2020

We are living in slightly unusual times and CU Learners will be spending more time at home.

We have created this Bumper Children's University Challenge which we hope will give you ideas for activities.

More Challenges will be created and posted here over the coming weeks.


Keeping Safe Online

As a CEOP Ambassador I am able to share with you resources and home learning sheets which, in times when children are likely to be spending more time online, I thought these would be a great way for them to learn more about ways to keep themselves and all of their personal information safe.

For parents there are also helpful guides. 

We often don't know as much as we think.

As with all the information with you, none of this is compulsory, but all activities completed will receive Learning Stamps in the usual way.

For each of these completed challenges CU Learners will receive 1.5 hours of Learning Stamp credit.