Ideas For Youth Groups and Children's Clubs
World Animal Day - a special opportunity for everyone who cares about animals
Ideas For Youth Groups and Children’s Clubs
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 ideas from the Suggestions for schools page. Check out the tips page for advice on the practicalities of organizing an event.
4 to 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….
- Organize 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 plenty of Plasticine, 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 to 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 organize 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.
- Arrange a visit to a city farm, wildlife sanctuary, safari park, or similar. Liaise with the venue’s education officer well in advance to put together an interesting programme.
- Organize a ‘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 to 18 year olds
- Research an animal-related issue, such as an endangered species or a political issue. Make posters, write letters and get campaigning!
- Organize 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. A generic sponsorship form is available to download in the Resources section of this website.
- 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.
- Organize 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’.
Add your event to the Online Global Diary. Click on link or click on the green '+Add Event' buttons which are on the 'Home' and 'Events' pages. It’s quick and easy – just follow the simple steps but you need to be a member of the website first. Click here to register as a member
Very important - Don’t forget to take photographs during your event and upload some with a short report about how it went.
Show the world what you have achieved for the animals and inspire others to get involved.