Lots of early year’s settings celebrate national awareness days and events throughout the calendar year. These can provide children with fantastic learning opportunities and build on their understanding of health and nutrition!
To help your early years settings plan ahead, we’ve dedicated this months blog to 2018/19 awareness days and events! We’ll also provide lots of practical tips to help you communicate health messages, support children’s learning and meet other elements of our Health Award criteria.
Why take part in more national awareness days and events?
Celebrating national days and events can support your setting to provide more learning experiences for children (in- line with EYFS 1.5). Examples include:
- Understanding the world – Providing children with the opportunity to make sense of the world around them and learn about other cultures and customs such as understanding and celebrating Diwali through drawings or stories
- Expressive arts and design – Allowing children to express themselves by participating in Children’s National Art week and creating colourful finger paintings
- Mathematics – Supporting children to use their skills in counting e.g. adding up the number of star jumps while taking part in National Fitness Day.
Additionally, celebrating national awareness days and events is another great way to promote important health promotion messages to the families in your setting. If you’re working towards our Health Award, it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how you meet elements of the criteria. This may include:
- Celebrating Pancake Day or Halloween with children and families- highlighting the importance of healthy eating, demonstrating healthy pancake toppings and Halloween recipes
- Celebrating National Breastfeeding Week and highlighting how your setting works towards Unicef’s Baby Friendly Initiative. E.g. highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding through posters, display boards, newsletters etc
- Taking part in Walk to School Week- highlighting the benefits of walking to and from the nursery and the UK Physical Activity recommendations for children and families.
Top tips to for planning National Awareness Days and Events
There are a number of things to consider when planning your awareness days and events. For example:
- Plan ahead! – Early years settings are very fast paced environments, so having the dates mapped into your settings calendar will be a helpful reminded of when to plan and prepare (Please refer to our National Awareness events Calendar below)
- Promote the event – Use the regular tools of communication with families, from emails to newsletters, to let them know when, why and how you plan to celebrate the awareness day or event. This will give families time to prepare in advance and increase the likelihood of them getting involved on the day
- Consider the cost – Try to take part in events which are free or don’t require additional cost for families. If your setting has a number of low income families they may be less likely to buy items or clothing just for an event
- Highlight incentives – For a lot of families’ awareness days or events can mean information overload! Therefore it’s important to include and highlight the fun aspects, for both adults and children, by taking part in the event or day. Provide simple, bite-sized messages!
Linking future awareness days or events to learning/ improving health outcomes
Here you can access our National Awareness Days and Events example calendar. This will help your setting to plan ahead and take part in a number of events throughout the year, helping to support learning and the health outcomes of children and families you work with.