Organising a Playday event is lots of fun. With plenty of help and support, you will be able to achieve a day to remember, and one that will make a big difference to local children and young people.
Your Playday event doesn’t have to be a huge public occasion, you may prefer to organise a small residents-only street party or celebrate with a group of friends and family. Whatever your plans, follow our quick guide below to get your plans underway. If you are planning a big event, download our Event planning checklist [67KB PDF] to keep you on track!
1. Start in plenty of time
Securing funding is one of the first things you need to think about. Check out our guidance on funding your event. Set a budget once you know how much you have to spend.
You may need to apply for licences and permits. You should also think about safety, food and insurance for example. Refer to the Getting the details right section of the Get organised! guide for further advice.
If you’re planning a street party some local authorities may want three months’ notice of road closure. Find contact details for your local authority at www.direct.gov.uk.
2. Get a planning group together
Think about who to involve. Don’t forget to invite children and young people onto your planning group! You might also want to invite local play associations, charities and voluntary groups with shared aims, local service providers, and shops and businesses. Define your roles and make an action plan of key tasks, who will do them and agree target dates.
3. Set goals
Do you want to make your event bigger and better than last year? What do you want the people who attend to get out of it? Is publicity important to you?
As well as having fun, Playday provides an opportunity to address issues affecting play in your local area. If you are coordinating a wider campaign as part of your celebration, think about how you can use your event to highlight the issues.
4. Decide on a date
Each year, Playday takes place on the first Wednesday in August. If it’s difficult to hold your event on a weekday, think about the weekend.
If you’re already planning an event for children and young people this summer, why not make it a Playday event and celebrate children’s right to play in your community!
5. Decide on a venue
Playday events can be held anywhere, from your back garden to a main city centre! You could use open spaces in your community like a park, village green, grassed area of your neighbourhood, or even close off the car park of a local venue. Lots of local authorities hold events in pedestrianised town and city centre locations.
Think about whether you want to hold one large event or a number of smaller events to reach different parts of your community.
6. Spread the word
If it’s a public event, tell everyone you know! Official Playday promotional materials are available.
Invite people who can help you achieve publicity, or who could be influential in helping you achieve your campaign objectives. These could be local celebrities, the mayor or councillors.
Read our guidance on getting publicity for more ideas about spreading the word about your Playday plans.
8. Plan play provision for the day
Read our organisers’ top tips for inspiration for creating a playful event.
9. Plan publicity
Refer to our advice and guidance here.
Take lots of pictures to document your day, use in future publicity and share with the Playday team! Read our guidance on photography at your event.
Get advice from the experts by checking out organisers’ tips for getting publicity.
10. Celebrate children’s right to play!
On the day, make sure you have lots of fun celebrating children’s right to play and the benefits it brings! Once everything has been cleared up, take a break, thank everyone and congratulate yourselves on a successful event.
When you’ve had a chance to catch your breath, tell us how it went. Send us your photos (making sure you have required permissions) for the Playday facebook page. If you’ve held an evaluation of your event, you may want to share it with us or give us any feedback on how we can support your future Playday events.