I have just come back from a lovely day at the Harvest Moon Festival where I (and the fabulous Claire and Alex) ran the Family Zone.
It was a simple affair, a marquee in the courtyard with a rug on the floor and a picnic table to put our bits on. However, it transformed into many places over the day; a fairytale castle and a flour mill when Alex told us stories, a banqueting hall, an artist’s studio, a chill out zone and a base of operations for a grand conker hunt.
Although I am part of the organising committee for the festival the organising for this little bit was easy.
- Find a space in your venue to put it (making sure it is child safe)
- Arrange some crafting activities (see the rest of the web site for ideas)
- Gather some suitably Pagan kid’s books (Meg and Mog, Winnie the Witch again see the web site for ideas)
- Prepare for a couple of more adult Q&A sessions to talk to people about working with children and young people within the Pagan faith.
On the day we welcomed lots of lovely young people and their parents and carers to our tent, we coloured in pictures, made conker shields / webs, ate lots of cake and read a lot of stories.
We were lucky enough to have a fab storyteller (Alex) who gave us 2 brilliant stories including one with a potion made of smelly socks, eyeballs, eggs and even dragon wee wee!
At the end of the day we had a child friendly ritual to close the day. It was a piece of ritual theatre, including props, that included all the children during the singing, dancing and general jumping around. (script also on the web site)
Comments about the day were very positive about the inclusivity of the event, the warm atmosphere and the children all enjoyed having a space they could let off steam. My daughter and goddess-son also enjoyed one of the talks. Without the family zone boredom and mischief would have got to them well before the talk and they wouldn’t have been in the mood to sit still for an hour. While we weren’t a crèche (an adult needed to be with the children too) we allowed children the space to be children while the adults were adults.
If you have been inspired by our family zone and would like to run your own, please do. If you would like any more information or support, please get in touch.