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Children in Need: Do something different

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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

This year, why not Do Something Different to raise funds for BBC Children in Need? The following are suggestions for establishing group and individual records specific to your setting. You might even get yourselves into the book of Guinness World Records!

BBC Children in Need

This year, why not Do Something Different to raise funds for BBC Children in Need? The following are suggestions for establishing group and individual records specific to your setting. You might even get yourselves into the book of Guinness World Records!

Champion story listeners

Help the children to raise funds by becoming ‘Champion story listeners’. Make a list of the children’s favourite stories from available books in your setting. Explain to parents, regular visitors, students and older children about the ‘Sponsored story read’ that will take place over a designated week. Ask for volunteers to read a story and set up a rota, making sure that the list is long enough. Add extra book titles if necessary. When the stories are read, put a tick beside them on the list. At the end of the week, count up the ticks and collect sponsor money, for example, sponsoring 5p a story would raise £1 for every 20 stories read.

Bring-and-buy sale for children

Hold ‘The biggest ever bring-and-buy sale for children’ to try and set a record at your setting. Talk to the children about BBC Children in Need and how the charity helps to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. Suggest that the children raise money to help these children by selling items that they have outgrown. Invite families to donate toys, clothes and baby equipment that they no longer need that other families might make use of. Encourage parents to help organise the sale and provide refreshments.

Most magnificent collection of odd items

Raise money by asking parents to sponsor their children for every odd item they can find to bring in for the setting’s record attempt to make ‘The most magnificent collection of odd items’. Suggest that they bring in odd gloves, mittens, socks, shoes, boots – in fact anything that was once a pair and has lost its partner. Count up the final collection and display a sign reading, for example, ‘Our most magnificent odd collection has 51 items’. The collection will be a useful resource afterwards. Make puppets with socks, gloves and mittens; print with shoes; use hair bobbles and ribbon for collage; and plant seeds in boots.

Recycled rubbish

Think green and create a setting record for ‘The most rubbish recycled in a week’. Set up a recycling station consisting of large bins for paper, carrier bags, cardboard and plastic. Invite family members to sponsor the children to fill a carrier bag with recyclable items, paying 10p per bag. Explain clearly to the children where to put the items that they bring in and why they are doing this. When they put an empty bag into the bag bin, they can put a tick beside their name on a list. The tick tally will show how many bags they have recycled. Display a notice reading, for example, ‘This week our record is 42 bags of rubbish recycled’.

Teddies in a bed

Have fun setting a record for ‘The most teddies in a bed’. Invite parents to sponsor a small amount per teddy, for example, 5p would raise £1.30 if 26 teddies were in bed. Invite the children to bring in their teddies and sing the rhyme Ten in the Bed together. Spread a blanket on the floor and explain that this is the bed and you are going to see how many teddies will fit on to it. Ask the children to put their teddies on to the blanket one by one. Count the final number of teddies and make a sign, for example, ‘There are 26 teddies in the bed’.

Catch the ducks

Create individual records for ‘The most ducks caught in a minute’. Raise funds by asking for a small donation from each person that plays the game. Fill a child’s paddling pool with water and float plastic ducks on the surface. Provide large fishing nets and see how many ducks can be caught in one minute using a large sand timer. Write down the results on a chart and give a small prize to the adult and child who catch the most. If one minute is too short for the children, use a five-minute timer. Supervise this activity constantly.

Big band

Have fun creating a setting record for ‘The largest, loudest band ever’. Collect together all the instruments available and make shakers, drums and cymbals with recyclable materials to supplement these. Plan the event outdoors and invite parents to join in for a small fee. Provide the children and adults with an instrument and play some marching band music. Invite everyone to march and make as much noise as they can with their instruments while the music is playing, then stop when it is turned off. Display a sign reading, ‘Thank you for joining in. Our record is 56 musicians making the loudest noise ever’.

Further information

  • Visit BBC Children in Need where you will find lots of fantastic resources for schools and early years settings. There are more fundraising ideas at Pudsey Remember, every penny that you raise for BBC Children in Need is appreciated and goes to a worthwhile cause.
  • Visit Guinness World Records to find out how you can apply for a record.

Different cake toppings

Enjoy setting a record for ‘The largest number of different cake toppings’. Raise funds by selling the cakes to parents afterwards. Ask the children to help you to make several batches of simple fairy cakes in paper cases. Provide them with different coloured icings and a range of toppings such as chocolate vermicelli, tiny sweets, jelly lemons, chocolate chips and cherries. Explain that each cake has to look different, and work with pairs of children to top the cakes. Invite parents to organise a cake stall for the end of the session and raise as much money as they can.