TODDLERS took to the sky in their music sessions to raise £2,000 for children with autism.

The sponsored flying challenge involved children from Keighley, Skipton, Ilkley, Otley, Burley in Wharfedale, Guiseley, Saltaire and Baildon.

They dressed up in flying-themed costumes during Rhythm Time classes as part of the national Children's Activities Week campaign.

The Caudwell Children charity got an estimated 120,000 children across the UK involved in the challenge to raise awareness and money to provide support for autistic children.

This included the 300 children who attend Rhythm Time’s fun, developmental music classes in Wharfedale, Craven and Keighley.

Caudwell Children said autism directly affected over 2.5 million people in the UK, and early detection and intervention was the most effective way of managing behaviour relating to autism.

The charity said that families regularly waited years to receive an autism assessment for their child and, once diagnosed, often had to fight for any kind of support.

The money raised locally from the sponsored challenge will fund assessments and practical support for autistic children at the new, purpose-built Caudwell International Children’s Centre.

Rhythm Time activity leader Laura Justice said: “We are so proud to be a part of Children’s Activities Week and all of the children have had lots of fun participating in our flying themed challenges this month.

“At Rhythm Time we are passionate about giving children the best start in life through music and by taking part in Children’s Activities Week we are taking that beyond our classes and helping other children as well.”

Children’s Activities Week is a partnership between the Children’s Activities Association, a not-for-profit membership organisation, and national charity Caudwell Children.

Trudi Beswick, the charity’s Chief Executive, said it was an honour to have groups of children coming together to help raise funds for charity.

She said: “We are dedicated to enabling autistic children to reach their full potential and Children’s Activities Week is playing a big part in us achieving our aim. Together, we are changing lives.”

Children’s Activities Week took place from in May 13-17 and culminated in a showcase event at the charity’s headquarters in Staffordshire, where there was a celebration of the many different professional and educational activities being delivered every day across the country.

Supporting the campaign were TV stars Dick and Dom, who appeared at the showcase event.

They said: “We are honoured to be a part of such a wonderful celebration and a worthwhile cause. We encourage as many kids, parents and children’s activities leaders as possible to get involved too.”