Host An Event

Children’s Day is the perfect time to remind everyone why we care about children, and what it means to treat them like the treasure they are. We’ve prepared a statement and a few simple messages we’d love you to share through your channels. Download our Children’s Day key messages and media statement.

It's never too early to start

It’s never too early to start planning for your event. Around about now is a great time! Set objectives for what you want to achieve from your event, how you will go about achieving them and how you will measure the results.

Share the load

Establish an organising committee, with one person taking a lead role with other individuals responsible for specific areas such as media liaison, sponsorship and so on.

Be prepared for all weather

Ah, the autumn splendour as March arrives. Well, as we’ve discovered, it can also bucket down with rain – so be prepared for all weather. Plan your event with indoor and outdoor activities so at least something can go ahead if (when) it rains. Alternatively, have a contingency plan with an indoor location. On the other hand, it could also be a glorious day of sunshine, so it's also a time to make plans for being SunSmart.

Promote to the wider community

The more people you get involved in your event, the better. Promote it to the wider community and encourage local businesses to get involved.

Work together with other events

If there are other events on the same day, try to work together, particularly if you’re from a small town.

Publicise through schools and early education providers

Local schools and early education providers are some of the best places to publicise your event. Ask them to display posters or put your event in their newsletter.

Offer a variety of activities

Offer a variety of activities for different age groups – and encourage parents and caregivers to take part too. Who says dad can’t get his beard painted? Children’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for families to spend time together, so look out for older children too. Activities which normally cost money, such as a rock climbing wall for example, when available for free can be a huge draw for your event.

Plan short activities

Kids have a limited attention span, so short activities with lots of variety tend to work better than a single concert or performance for example.

Show your appreciation

Show your appreciation after the event to sponsors (and anyone else who donated time, money etc) with a thank-you letter. Include photos of the event, particularly if any of your supporters couldn’t make it on the day.

It gets easier every year

It gets easier every year, so the quicker you get started on this year’s Children’s Day, the easier organising next year’s will be.

Use the free resources

Finally… please do use the free resources sent to you. Also, the Communications Toolkit is packed with practical advice to help you with fundraising, generating publicity for your event and event planning. You also have access to posters and Children’s Day images if you want to create your own marketing material, plus Children’s Day goodies such as activity booklets, flyers and balloons. And remember, you can contact us at info@childrensday.org.nz for further information and expert advice; we want your event to be a success!

For event organisers

Organising an event for Children's Day? Here are some handy tips to help you get the most out of the day. All or some ideas may be relevant to you, depending on the size of your event.

Small event ideas

  • Traditional food cooking classes
  • Create a Children’s Day mural and display for your community
  • Tell stories, read from a book, play charades
  • Build a Poetry Tree
  • Family music making day
  • Badge making and design
  • Family picnic lunch, barbeque, hangi oumu
  • Afternoon tea with extended family 
  • Adult and child role reversal
  • booklet activities
  • Swimming activities

Medium event ideas

  • Storytelling
  • Favourite toy day
  • Clean up the beach day
  • Kite flying
  • Kids on radio
  • Hug day
  • Speeches from children on children’s rights and issues
  • Celebration of diversity/cultural activities
  • Art displays
  • Museums, zoos, amusement parks, movie theatres
  • have an arrangement for free admission for children/caregivers
  • Community picnic lunch, barbeque, hangi or umu; Health/fitness activities
  • Adventure trails
  • Observation walks; Traditional no cost games
  • Sports activities and demonstrations
  • Children’s Olympics
  • Schools hold day
  • long programmes to celebrate children
  • Debating Children’s Parliament
  • Guest speakers
  • Toddler ‘waddle’

Large event ideas

  • Beach activities
  • Performances
  • Choral concert
  • Talent show
  • Parade or hikoi with children, bright colours and flags
  • Quiz day
  • Gala day

Publicising your event

Newspaper community notices

Most newspapers include a free events calendar where you can promote your community event. Contact your local paper to list your event. Make sure you contact the paper two weeks before Children’s Day as they work in advance.

Radio community notices

Many radio stations include a free on air community notice board. Contact your local station to list your event. Make sure you contact them in advance. Often stations prefer at least 10 days notice.

Getting your Children’s Day event into the newspaper Ideally you want to get two articles into the paper, one before your event, then another one covering the day.

Here’s how

Send a press release (see advice on ‘how to write a press release’) to your local newspaper two weeks before Children’s Day. Include an interesting or quirky angle to spark their interest. Phone them to ask whether they prefer to receive press releases by email or fax.

Follow up your press release with a phone call to make sure it has been received. Ask to speak to the chief reporter. Suggest an angle for the first article as well as coverage of the day.

Offer to write the story for them and take photos if a reporter is unavailable. Often there is a shortage of reporters available on Sundays.

If a reporter says they will cover your event, don’t trust them to remember. Call them on the Friday before Children’s Day to remind them to attend your event. But don’t call more than once!

Call your local radio station

Call the local radio station and ask for the station manager to discuss how you can work together to promote your event, as well as to cover it on the day. If you get them on board with the message they may do it for free. You could even give them action packs or prizes to give away on air.

Staging a publicity stunt

Newspapers are always interested in something different or whacky, particularly if it involves a good photo opportunity. Do something one or two weeks before Children’s Day and make sure the press know about it and are invited! It could be anything from children designing a big mural in preparation for Children’s Da
y to children letting off balloons with ‘Happy Children’s Day’ messages to children in other parts of the world tied to them.

Sponsored ad pages in the newspaper

  • Propose that the newspaper put together an ad page two weeks before Children’s Day
  • Newspaper community notices
  • Send a press release/call editor
  • Letter to the editor

Sunday 6 March Celebrate Children’s Day!

After Children’s Day provide a report to your local newspaper about the fabulous stuff that happened on the day.

Fundraising

Seeking funding in your community In previous years many communities have funded their events by seeking money from pub charity or other philanthropic trusts, or sponsorship from local businesses. Service groups in your local community may also be keen to participate by giving time and resources.

Organising fundraisers

You could organise a number of fundraisers throughout the year such as dinners, sausage sizzles, or raffles. Set a target amount of money to raise and a timeline.

Funding and information resources

Fundview: The Funding Information Service is a not for profit organisation that has information about funding for community groups in New Zealand.

For more information, check the Funding Information Service website

The Community Development Group: Part of the Department of Internal Affairs. CDG helps organisations meet the needs of their communities and provides funding, advice, information and training.

For more information, check the Department of Internal Affairs website.

Community Net Aotearoa: Part of the Department of Internal Affairs. Offers an Internet presence for community organisations, a forum to discuss common issues, and easy links to useful information. It also advocates for community groups to participate equally in the benefits of information technology. The ‘Managing Well’ section includes funding resources and you can also request the booklet from the Ministry of Social Development.

For more information, check the Community Net Aotearoa website.

Community Investment (formerly FACS):

Community Investment regional staff work with communities and other government and local government agencies to identify service needs and capacity in their local community. At the beginning of each calendar year a regional funding plan is developed in line with government priorities, regional needs, and the funding made available by government.

For more information, check the Community Investment website.

SPORT New Zealand invests approximately $60 million a year in organisations and programmes that will help them to achieve their mission. Specifically, this means targeting funding to provide an environment that will result in New Zealand:

  • being the most active nation
  • having athletes and teams winning consistently in events that matter to New Zealanders
  • having the most effective sport and recreation systems.

For more information, check the SPORT New Zealand website.

Free Children’s Day resources

Free resources are available to help with your event. You get a free pack when you register your event.

Event planning tips

Planning an event can be a daunting task. Here are some simple guidelines to help you get started:

  1. Keep the purpose of your event at the centre of your plans, ie to celebrate New Zealand children and promote the concept of ‘giving time’.
  2. Set goals for your event. How many people do you expect? If this is a repeat event are you
    trying to get a larger turnout than last year? Determine what you want participants to gain from the event. Try to make your event as inclusive as possible so that all children are able to attend. For example, you could provide free transport to the event to cater for those families who don’t own a car. Approach a local bus company for sponsorship or a reduced price.
  3. Set your budget. This should be a top priority. How much can you or how much are you willing to spend? The idea of Children’s Day is to hold free or cheap events so that all families can participate regardless of personal income. How are you planning to raise the money for your event? Think about approaching local businesses and service clubs to see whether they can contribute.
  4. Select your location. Make sure it is the right size for your anticipated number of people.
    Does the venue have adequate parking and toilets? is it easy to get there? If not, is there transport provided for people without cars? Do you have an emergency plan (eg first aid, fire safety plan)?
  5. Work out what people and equipment you need. How much help will you need? Do you need to hire equipment? Who will recruit and organise volunteers? Where will you get help from? Do you need celebrities or local dignitaries?
  6. Working backward from Children’s Day, set up a project timeline with specific tasks that must be accomplished by specific dates. Some of the things you may want to include on your timeline are:
    • When to make your first announcement of the event
    • Prepare and print promotional materials
    • Select entertainment
    • Prepare materials for event
    • Prepare any necessary signage
    • Set up on site
  7. Decide if you need any special licenses or permits to host your event. This could be anything from
    arranging fees and permission for using recorded music, to arranging to have sections of a major street blocked off for traffic control.
  8. Public relations: Make a plan for publicising your event and make sure you organise somebody to take good quality photos on the day. Some publicity ideas are included in this toolkit under the heading ‘Publicising your event’.
  9. Evaluate the event. Take time to evaluate right after the event while the details are fresh. You may want to consider having a questionnaire for participants to fill out. Some general points to cover
    include:
  • Did the event fulfill its goals and objectives? Why or why not?
  • Identify what worked and what needs fine-tuning.
  • What items were missing on the checklist?
  • Was the event well attended?
  • Was informal and formal feedback about the event positive?

Remember to celebrate your successes and to thank all those who contributed. Last important tip: Once you make it to the big day relax and enjoy yourself! Deciding on an event Maybe you’d like to create an event in your community, but don’t know what to do. In fact it doesn’t matter if it’s public or private, large or small, the point is you are celebrating children! These activities may stimulate your own ideas:

Examples of events

Here are a few events that have occurred on a Children’s Day. They may spark some inspiration for your own event. Grandparents and children sharing activities together for example one kindy got grandparents and children to spend time together on the Friday before Children’s Day using the Action Pack to create items to take home to share with the rest of their family. Making murals - a small school took the Hector Children’s Day poster and recreated the art on to large panels which each class room painted.

Then all the pieces were put together to create a large mural on one of the walls in the playground. Event with action pack activities - a station was set up at an event where parents and children could make the activities from the Action Pack. Open days of local attractions many kid - friendly attractions offered free or discounted entry. For instance, some zoos had reduced price entry for children accompanied by parents, cinemas offered free or discounted movies for kids, there was free or reduced entry to some local pools, fairs had a focus on free fun things for children such as displays by local fire fighters, police and even a petting llama display.

Library activities

many libraries had storytelling days or art competitions.

Street events

in some areas all the kids from the same street got together with parents to do fun activities and spend time together.

Education and entertainment – one event had a day where children could learn about the Hector Dolphin by having the WWF Hector Dolphin educator present. This was an interactive presentation in which the children could see the world from a Hector Dolphin perspective.

Big local event

one town had a large fun day for the children with free activities such as face painting, story telling, magic shows etc. Local social service and parenting groups offered booths of information and advice for parents. There was also a stage show with some local talent and prizes, a sausage sizzle and plenty of games for children and adults. How to write a press release The aim of a press release is to grab a journalist’s attention and make them want to cover your story. This means you need a snappy heading and introduction, with an interesting angle that will hook them, ie something unusual or a human interest story (for example, you could focus the article on one of the organisers, or a child who is going to be attending the event). If you have a good photo opportunity, mention it. Journalists love photos!

Whatever focus you choose for your story, you must remember to cover the basics. Your press release must always tell who, what, where, when, and why. The most important information should be written first, with quotes from you or a relevant spokesperson for your event included.

Often people make the mistake of developing the press release like an advertisement. The primary purpose of your press release is to deliver a newsworthy story about your event to the reader – make sure there is news in it! Here are some general rules:

  • Keep it brief and to the point, no more than one A4 page, formatted with type that is at least 12 point and spaced, so that it is easy to read
  • Head up your page with "Media release for immediate use" and the date
  • Write a headline that says what your release is about, and makes it sound interesting. Your headline should never be more than a single line
  • A good press release is a series of paragraphs, each of which is only one or two sentences long.
  • Paragraph one expands on the headline. It should make it immediately clear why the press release is being written
  • Paragraph two gives the date, time and venue

The next few paragraphs give background and explain why the event is worth covering

They often include direct quotes  quote yourself if there is no one else or if you quote or if you quote make sure you have their permission.

  • Depending on the nature of your event you may wish to provide more background information
  • Remember, all vital information should be in the first page. Most journalists will never get to page two, or even paragraph two
  • Your press release should end with a phone number and name to contact for more information. Make sure it is a number where someone can be reached – if they call and you’re not there – end of story
  • Check and recheck all the details including date, time, venue and the spelling of names, and ensure your spelling and grammar is correct

Wherever possible, follow up your press release with a phone call. Sample press release Put in Date Media release for immediate use
Kids Paint the town Year 5 students of Mansfield Primary School have been coming home with paint on their fingers lately. They have nearly finished a vibrantly - coloured mural on the playground wall which they plan to have ready for Children’s Day on 6 March.
The mural shows a scene featuring the four Children’s Day children characters with cartoon images of each child from the school. The mural was designed with the help of internationally renowned artist Jill Smith. It will be officially unveiled at a special Children’s Day gala starting at 10am, X March at the school.

The gala will include bouncy castles, storytelling, and numerous games and activities including cooking and craft contests, all free of charge. Spot prizes will be handed out to families seen spending time together.

“We hope that whole families will come out to the gala to celebrate Children’s Day,” said Mansfield Primary School principal Sue Martin. “It’s important to have this day to celebrate the valuable contribution children make to our lives. This is not a commercial day for spending
lots of money on children, but an opportunity and a reminder to spend quality time together.”

You are invited to come to the school to take a photo of the students who are painting the mural and talk about to them about the meaning of Children’s Day.

About Children’s Day Children’s Day is a non commercial annual day, founded in the year 2000, with the vision of celebrating and nurturing our greatest treasure, our children. Core values of the day are:

giving time, praise and encouragement, listening and talking, love and affection, and new experiences. ‘New Experiences’ is the central theme of this year’s Children’s Day. 

Visit childrensday.org.nz for more information.
Contact Freda Briggs 23 Smith Street Newtown Wellington
Ph: 04 568 9413
Email: frida.briggs@cdc.co.nz