Get an idea for youth groups
World Animal Day - a special opportunity for everyone who cares about animals
Get an idea - youth groups
Here are just a few ideas for World Animal Day to get you started. Many of these suggestions can, of course, be modified to suit other age groups.
You might also be able to adapt activity suggestions from the schools’ pages of the website.
4-7 year olds
- Invite children to an animal fancy-dress party with prizes for the best costume. At the end of the event, quieten the children down before home-time by asking them to sit still, close their eyes, take a few slow breaths and imagine what it would be like to be a puppy who has spent all day playing and chasing with his brothers and sisters. Talk about what the puppy might have done – running after balls and sticks, exploring the garden, etc. Suggest that it is now time to sleep, so the children should imagine the puppy curling up snug and warm in their basket…
- Organise a Pets’ Party where children bring a favourite soft toy animal along and make or draw a bowl of food for it. Make sure the ‘food’ is appropriate for the animal guests, so no jelly and ice cream, please! Stock up in advance with Plasticine/Play Doh, drawing materials, fabric scraps, etc. Get the children to think carefully about their guests’ seating arrangements – would it be fair to seat a cat next to a mouse, for example, or a tiger next to a rabbit? How might they entertain their guests?
- Invite parents and friends to an Animal Extravaganza, with children performing favourite animal poems, dances to animal-themed music, etc. Try to get a VIP visitor, such as the local mayor or president of a local animal shelter, to introduce the show.
- Create fantasy pets out of Plasticine or junk modelling materials. Allow the children to be as fanciful as they wish, for example, an animal with ears like a rabbit, a face like a fish and the body of a horse. Get them to think of a name for their animal. What would it eat? Where would it live? How would they care for it?
- Give your usual games an animal slant. For example, tag games could become ‘cat and mouse’ or ‘sheepdog and sheep’; ‘My aunt went shopping’ could become ‘My puppy chewed’, etc.
8-11 year olds
- Provide a range of art and modelling media, then give the children the title ‘World Animal Day’ as a theme, and let them get working! For October 4 itself, try to organise exhibition space at a local shopping centre, library, leisure centre, etc.
- If you have an outdoor area, set up a bird table. Alternatively, ask an adult helper if the children could put up a bird table in their garden. Put out a range of foods and watch from indoors to see who eats what. Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds and putting out water over the forthcoming months as the birds will get used to visiting the table. For hygiene reasons, put the table in an area where children can see it, but can’t touch it. An adult should be responsible for cleaning the table and its dishes/feeders.
- Arrange a visit to a wildlife sanctuary, or similar. Liaise with the venue’s education officer well in advance to put together an interesting programme.
- Organise an ‘Animal General Knowledge’ quiz, with a prize for the winner. As an alternative, invite children to prepare a specialist subject in advance, then have an ‘Animal Mastermind’ quiz.
- Have a session of animal-related games. For example, label each child’s back with an animal name, then challenge them to work out what kind of animal they are by asking the others yes/no questions. (Do I eat grass? Can I fly? Do I have four legs? etc.)
- Why not do some animal-themed baking with your parents? There are some great recipes for snacks and party food online.
12-18 year olds
- Research an animal-related issue, such as an endangered species or a political issue. Make posters, write letters and get campaigning!
- Organise a fundraising event for a local animal shelter or favourite animal charity. Examples could be a sponsored dog walk, an animal fancy dress fun run or an animal-themed concert.
- Arrange for a ranger or other member of staff at a wildlife park to demonstrate basic animal tracking skills, looking at footprints, droppings, nibbled bark, etc.
- Invite a visiting speaker, such as a police dog handler or an animal welfare inspector, to talk about their work.
- Organise a session of silly animal-related games. For example, you could play ‘Just a Minute’ on an animal-related theme, whereby individuals have to speak on a given subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Choose slightly bizarre topics, such as ‘Why I like wombats’ or ‘How dogs view the world’.
- Ask the other staff and older children to sign the World Animal Day pledge board and make a personal promise for the animals!
- Also see: ‘Other ways to participate in World Animal Day’ – if you’re online, there are several quick ideas for spreading awareness via social media.
If you have any other ideas, please let us know and we’ll consider including them on this page! Just email [email protected] with your suggestions!
Decided on your event already? Before you can add it to the website, you’ll need to sign up – it only takes a few minutes!