What A Party Is Planned!
Have fun and party seems to be the theme of more than 100 events and activities planned throughout New Zealand for its first ever Children’s Day this Sunday, 29th October.
‘Spending time with children’ is the mantra of Children’s Day, which is fronted by Child, Youth and Family, Barnardos and the office of the Commissioner for Children. A Children’s Day Kit distributed in September has resulted in an unprecedented number of groups registering their events for the day on a web site. The events range from old-fashioned family fun days, sandcastle building contests, church services, kite flying, scavenger hunts, library story-times and even a vegetable sculpture competition.
Many schools throughout the country have embraced the day, with ‘Social Workers in Schools’ organising a joint initiative between seven schools in West Auckland, and Waianiwa Kindergarten of Invercargill being the first organisation to register their open day event. In Porirua, eight schools have joined together and will hold a walk on Children’s Day, culminating at a park for their celebrations. At Pioneer Park in Alexandra, children from fourteen schools in the area will take to the stage in a massed chorus of “We Are The World.” This event is expecting about 3000 participants.
Imagination seems to be in good supply for the day, as many organisers have come up with unique ways to spend time with children. Hamilton is holding a Family Picnic at Hamilton Lake, featuring a “Hairable Art Parade.” Te Rerenga School in the Coromandel is holding a “Tree Planting Day” on the 27th. Children in Waharoa will be putting their hand prints on a banner at their Sunday celebrations. Children at the Totara Flats Garden Extravaganza on the Wet Coast are invited to enter a Vegetable Sculpture Competition.
In a tender gesture to recognise the children who have been killed or harmed by child abuse, Auckland will hold a church service ‘Honouring Young Lives’ at St Matthew’s in the City on Sunday.
“It takes a village to raise a child, says Ian Calder, Barnardos Chief Executive. “If we could all take on board the idea that raising happy, healthy, safe children is the responsibility of the whole community, New Zealand would be a much better place for children.”
Children thrive on new experiences, but that does not mean that parents and care-givers need to plan something expensive or complicated for Children’s Day. Something as simple as taking the time to teach children a new game or a song can make the day memorable.
“Children need to be stimulated and to have new experiences to learn”, says Children’s Commissioner Roger McClay. “But more than anything, they need to know that the adults in their lives care about them enough to want to share experiences with them, spend time and have fun.”
As well as the many events listed for Children’s Day, Child, Youth and Family have offered a number of suggestions for new experiences with Children:
Going on an
expedition or adventure, to the bush, the beach or somewhere
Cooking a meal together
Looking through old family photographs
Telling stories of when parents or other family members were children
Organising a family or community sports day
Letting the children set the programme for the day.
“It is vitally important that we do things with our children, and show them that they are important to us”, says Mr McClay. “This gives them the self-esteem and confidence they need to become well balanced and happy adults.”
To find out more about Children’s Day and for details on the events going on around the country, visit the website at www.childrensday.org.nz.
Sue Lytollis, Project Manager Children’s Day
Child, Youth and Family
Mobile: 029-513454 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org