Organising children’s events is surprisingly hard work, and take a lot of planning to make sure everyone is happy, safe and entertained.
If it’s just a couple of friends getting together with their tots, that’s one thing, but if you’re organising a bigger event, maybe even a public one, things can get a bit stressful without a lot of planning and forethought.
When small children are around, you can’t let safety slip for a moment. Event safety is a huge topic, but here are some basics to consider:
Plan to have at least one supervisory adult for every eight children.
- Consider consent forms from parents that include contact details as well as permission for you to take responsibility for their children.
- Have a qualified first aider present, and record any/all accidents.
- Set ground rules for safety, and make sure all adults present are aware.
- Don’t allow anyone under 18 to supervise activities alone.
- Don’t let children wander off on their own. They should always be accompanied if they need the toilet, for instance.
- Arrange age appropriate activities so older children don’t get bored and young ones have plenty to occupy them.
- Smaller private children’s events can be more casual, although still take care of basic needs such as locking sheds, covering pools and making sure entrances/exits are secure.
Create Fun Zones
You can create a fete-style atmosphere by cordoning off areas for different activities. Metal barriers are used in all types of events to help with crowd control, demarcate queueing areas or to direct people around a venue.
By creating zones with barriers, supervision becomes an easier task as there are clear boundaries for responsibility, and they also help to prevent little ones wandering off by themselves. Another benefit is that tools and/or equipment are more easily controlled so things don’t get lost.
Competitive games for older children can sometimes get a bit energetic, so safety barriers also prevent spectators straying into the game areas.
Catering, Staging and Seating
Both kids and adults will want to eat and drink. At larger venues, refreshment zones are easily spotted if they’re located in a catering tent, which is a small marquee-type structure. These tend to attract lots of people, so make sure you’ve got plenty of seating and tables where everyone can catch their breath in between activities.
If mobile caterers are coming in, make sure you book early as they can be busy during summer months.
Consider hiring a stage if you’re having a children’s entertainer, band or DJ providing music. Professional stagers can advise what type and size you need, as there are health and safety considerations that make sure the stage is suitable for the intended purpose. Consider having professionals erect it too, so you know it’s secure.
Where there’s a stage, there is probably amplification, which leads to the question of where the power will come from. Maybe you need a generator? Also, what route will the cabling take to ensure there are no trip hazards or electrical dangers? Again, professional staging companies are experienced in all aspects of event organisation.
There are many different threads that need pulling together to organise a successful children’s event, so leave plenty of time and delegate as many tasks as possible. When all is done properly, it’ll be an event everyone will remember – for all the right reasons.