The Little Book of Special Days

Activity Type:



3-5 years

Type of Content:


Related Activities

Charity Day

An idea for a special day

by Elaine Massey and Sam Goodman

General guidelines for organising a charity day in your setting:

Many schools and nurseries take on board a charity for a year, and then raise money specifically to give to that cause. This is a good way to unite a school to work towards one main aim. However, at times, personal matters occur such as a child having a serious illness/disability and then as a community it is great if school and nursery can show support for the parent and their needs. Alternatively a nursery may want to fundraise for a national or international campaign such as Red Nose Day or Children in Need.

Prior to any event it is a good idea to talk with the children about the charity or the area you want to support and why. Ask them what they could do to help and why we need to help others.

Decide if your setting is going to run one big event or whether there will be various fundraisers going on during that day.

Prior to the event send out sponsor forms that indicate what you are trying to raise money for. For some parents with little money themselves and no work colleagues or family to ask for sponsorship this can be financially difficult. On the letter make sure that parents are aware that any amount, however small will help, and a small donation can be given rather than sponsorship if necessary.

Make sure that at the end of the session or day, each child takes home a certificate (photocopiable) that congratulates them and says they completed the charity event!

Once the money comes in, don’t forget to thank parents and let them know the running total. Keep it at the forefront of conversation so those who are slower at getting the money in will be prompted to do so!

The following ideas will suit a nursery setting but can be modified to suit the age group you are working with. Think about organising an event that your children will succeed at and enjoy! Where children are involved lots of praise and encouragement is needed and an emphasis on the taking part being the important part of a charity day or event.

What you need

  • a day set aside specifically for the event(s) you choose

  • a camera/camcorder to capture the event

What you do

Bad hair day: A quick and easy way to raise money! Charge everyone 50p/£l to come to the setting with ‘bad’ hair! Staff too!

Own dothes/Fancy dress day: Once again charge a set price to come to the setting in fancy dress (or own clothes if a uniform is usually worn).

Sponsored bike ride This event does not take long so maybe use the older children’s playground to add some excitement! Mark out a simple circular or rectangular shape that the children have to ride around. Please see the activity ‘Bike Day’ for more details on how to set up an obstacle course and safety issues. The sponsored amount of times around the ‘course’ should be very doable, e.g. three laps. Encourage parents to come and watch and cheer for the children. You need to make sure EVERYONE can succeed! If the weather is kind and the support from parents good, why not have drinks outside after the event?

Cake bake sale: Ask each child to bring from home some sort of baked goods, e.g. cakes, scones, flapjacks, and then sell them at the end of the session or at the end of the day.

Book sale: Ask for donations of books from children, their families and staff and hold a book sale.

Face painting: Invite a talented parent/staff member to paint faces but charge 50p a time!

Raffles: Start collecting prizes/donations well before you want to hold the raffle so that you have lots of prizes on offer. Sell tickets, and do the prize giving as an event on its own or at the end of a big day of fundraising.

Welly throwing competion: As it says in the title. Challenge the children to have a go. Measure the distance and at the end of the event, offer a prize for the furthest throw.

Jelly welly walking: Fill two oversized wellies (adult sized) with set jelly. Get sponsorship for children to walk a certain distance in the filled wellies!

Funny photo competiton: Pay £1 to enter a photograph and then let the rest of the group decide which is the funniest. Offer a small prize for the owner of the funniest photograph!

Where to go next: Snowy Day
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