Welsh isn’t just for school. Even if you don't speak the language at home, there are all sorts of Welsh-medium activities for children to enjoy outside the classroom - from football and festivals to drama, swimming and white water rafting.

One handy way of searching for Welsh-language events and activities in your area is to download a free app called 'Fy Ardal'. It's been developed by the Urdd (Wales's largest youth movement) and you can get it from the App Store or Google Play.

Wales' network of Mentrau Iaith language initiatives also organise all sorts of social activities, clubs and classes. There's one in almost every county and their events are all listed online.

Making a Song and Dance

Forget 'Britain's Got Talent' and 'X Factor', here in Wales we've been competing against each other for centuries. More than 15,000 people under 25 take part every year in the Urdd National Eisteddfod.  It's the largest festival of its kind in Europe and you can compete either through your school or one of the local youth clubs run by the Urdd across Wales.

As well as acting, singing, dancing and reciting on stage, the Urdd Eisteddfod has other competitions such as playing a musical instrument, photography and art.  So even if you don't go to a Welsh medium school or if you’re learning Welsh, you can still compete in lots of categories and there are specific competitions for Welsh learners too.

Budding actors can tread the boards with youth theatre groups such as Cwmni'r Frân Wen, Theatr Ieuenctid yr Urdd, Theatr Ieuenctid Cymru, Theatr Ieuenctid Môn on Anglesey and Theatr Ieuenctid Sherman Cymru in Cardiff. If you don't enjoy the limelight, there are also opportunities to work backstage on Welsh language productions.

Hostels and Holidays

The Urdd has four residential centres which are used by schools and youth clubs as well as families. Try your hand at canoeing in Glanllyn near Bala; learn to ski or ride a horse in Llangrannog in Ceredigion; go mountain biking at Pentre Ifan in Pembrokeshire or take in the city sights of Cardiff Bay at the Urdd hostel in the Wales Millennium Centre.

Get Sporty

If sport is your thing, then both the Urdd and Mentrau Iaith organise a range of sports clubs through the medium of Welsh.  One of the highlights of the sporting calendar is Gemau Cymru - a mini Olympics organised by the Urdd every summer. The tournament is a showcase for all sorts of sport, from athletics, netball and rugby to wheelchair basketball and canoeing. And just like the Olympics, the tournament has its very own athletes’ village.

Media

Watching television or listening to the radio is another good way of improving your Welsh, as well as enjoying what's on offer. Younger children will particularly enjoy the Cyw and Stwnsh programmes on S4C.

Comics like Wcw and Cip are aimed at children under 11 but for coverage of the contemporary Welsh music scene, try Y Selar magazine and website.

There’s more information on Welsh language media on this page, and for the low down on Wales’ festivals, from the Royal Welsh to Cardiff’s Tafwyl, go to this page.

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