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A Menu of Ideas for Kids’ Show Activities
By Jim Brace-Thompson, AFMS Juniors Program Chair

As the Junior Activities Chair for the California Federation, I worked for well over a year with my fellow committee members to compile a “Menu of Kids’ Show Activities and Display Ideas.” At long last, I’m happy to report this is done, and CFMS webmaster Don Ogden has posted it to the CFMS web site. To check it out, go to www.cfmsinc.org and click on “Manuals” at the top of the screen. That will take you to a list of various documents, and the Menu is item 14 on that list.

My thanks especially to Terry McMillin and Susan Chaisson-Walblom for suggestions on how to organize the menu and to June Harris, Ismael Sanchez, and youth leaders across the CFMS for providing suggestions by example. The goal is to provide a list of ready-made, club-tested suggestions for displays and activities for any clubs wishing to increase the variety and number of activities for kids at their next annual show.

The menu is divided into six broad categories:

  1. Educational Displays has ideas tied to scout badges and school curricula.
  2. Activities suggests hands-on fun, including simple activities kids can do on their own as well as more involved activities requiring supervision.
  3. Prizes for Selling or Giving Away describes prizes you can use to motivate and award kids and where you can get them or how you can make them, from time-honored grab bags to spinning wheel prizes to badges and ribbons.
  4. Lectures & Special Programs gives ideas on providing extra educational value for kids at your show.
  5. Resource Suggestions tells where to turn to get further ideas, ready-made lesson plans and handouts, rock specimens, posters, etc. The list includes mailing addresses and web sites.
  6. Tips on Running a Kids Booth provides thoughts on what to consider in putting together and running a Kids Booth smoothly and effectively.

The suggestions in this menu came from the experiences of the members on the CFMS Junior Activities Committee and from observing the many great kids’ activities clubs are already pursuing at the local level. We felt it was time to “share the wealth” and collect together the best of what we’ve observed. We see this as just the first step of a growing menu. If you and your club have been doing a terrific kids’ activity at your show, we’d love to add it to the list, so email (jbracethroadrunner.com) or call me (805-659-3577) and let me know how you’re educating kids, while having fun!

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Last Revised on October 17, 2011
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