Looking for inspiration and ideas on how to engage families at community events in your area?
Ceri, a healthcare practitioner at Manchester Healthy Schools, shares how she and her colleague Cassie brought child safety to life at a local community festival in south Manchester during May half term.
Something for everyone
Keen to attract families with children of all ages, Ceri had plenty of information on hand for families to look through and take away, as well as activities for children and interactive conversation starters.
Ceri said: “Providing a colouring and activity station for the children was also a handy way to keep children occupied enabling invaluable conversation time with the grown-ups!”
Hands on activities
There are lots of things you can do to engage families and create a talking point on your stand. Ceri chose to use props alongside resources and kept activities fun to break the ice and start conversations.
Baby bath display
Why not set up a baby bath and ask parents and carers if they have thought about the main accident risks at bath time.
“For the under-fives age group, we set up a baby bath with advice on how to bathe your baby safely. The addition of some ducks with a ‘hook-a-duck’ game was useful for entertaining children while we were able to chat with parents and carers.”
Bitrex taste test
Bitrex® is added to many potentially harmful products and is so bitter that children spit it out rather than swallowing it – helping to keep them safe. Give parents and carers the chance to see what Bitrex tastes like – with plenty of milk chocolate on hand, to take the taste away!
Order free Bitrex taste test kits here
“The Bitrex taste test also offered a chance for those who were willing to sample the most bitter substance in the world. This was a memorable activity and demonstrated the importance of keeping dangerous household substances in safe and out of reach locations in the home.”
Finger food demonstration
Demonstrate how to prepare foods to make them safer for young children. Having a selection of finger foods on display as an icebreaker.
“Food items that were cut-up in safe ways to avoid choking e.g. quartered grapes, thin sticks of cucumber and brown bread provided a great visual for explaining safe weaning.”
Ceri held a competition to draw families to the stand, giving them the chance to win a free smoothie maker by taking part in a ‘guess the hazard symbol’ quiz.
“This activity was extremely popular and as well as being fun was a great opportunity to highlight the importance of recognising hazard symbols on common household products.”
Free resources for your event
If you’ve been inspired by these ideas, why not think about using a mix of resources and visual conversation starters at your own event.
Visit our resource centre for free, downloadable resources to share with families.
You can also order free printed button battery resources from our online shop.