Children are the experts on play, so asking them if they want to be involved in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of their Playday event is crucial.
These top tips have been devised by Playday event organisers for Playday event organisers.
- Acknowledge involvement and decide if you will provide incentives.
- Ask children and young people how they want to celebrate Playday, and what they want to do at your event.
- Consult children on this year’s theme and gather ideas about incorporating their ideas into your event.
- Ensure parents and carers are kept informed and updated.
- Feed back children and young people’s ideas at planning group meetings, or better still, include children and young people in your planning group.
- Find out where you can talk to local children and young people and ask if they want to get involved – if they do, find out how.
- If you recruit young volunteers, take them out to the event site to involve them in the planning.
- Make sure you are involving children and young people in things they can rally have a say in, and be committed to finding ways to implement their ideas.
- Talk to children and young people about what Playday means to them and find out what issues are important to them.
- Use fun consultation tools such as drawings, clay models and dot voting.
- Ask children and young people to suggest what the adult roles should be on the day.
- Explain what to do, how to do it and what support is available.
- Find out whether adults involved need any training in consulting with children and young people.
- Have regular contact on the day and meet early with volunteers to go over plans (including contingencies).
- Make sure the children and young people involved in planning or helping at your event still have time to join in on the day and have fun!
- Manage expectations – if something can’t go ahead or needs to change, explain why.
- Think about adults taking part alongside children and young people, as opposed to a purely supervisory role.
- Continually develop your consultation tools and evaluate the evaluation methods!
- Include groups that didn’t attend – find out why and use this knowledge to plan for next year.
- Knowing how many attended is important for future funding opportunities and planning – use tickers, stickers or staff.
- Make feedback fun – incorporate it in games or run competitions.
- Plan in advance how you will evaluate the event and gather feedback.
- Use tools such as post boxes, posters, cameras, dot voting and diary rooms – or ask children how it should be done!
- Add your top tips to these pages to support other Playday events across the UK. To add your ideas, contact us directly.