Forums > Social Discussion > play workshops for 7000 kids

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Just thought I would get some more input on one of the projects I am working on in Thailand... circus workshops and play days for refugee kids...



I want to get ideas that I may not have thought of, so I am asking your suggestions on the following challenge:



We have four days in , and twelve teacher/performers. We have 7000 kids. yes, that is 7000... yikes. they dont speak english, or even thai( mostly) We speak five different languages, none of us speak burmese or hill tribe dialects though.



So, four days, twelve people,some toys--- what can you do?



We have face painting, balloons, balls, bubbles for the masses, and intend to offer play workshops, mostly just fun ones, in things like poi, juggling, hula hoop, acro balance and break dance...



We will have toys to donate,some art supply kits( these get left with the schools to divvy up) hula hoops, and silly things like hair clips, sparkles,and stickers... The small things will be given out one for each kids, so everyone gets something... even if it is just a hair bobble. Keep in mind they dont have these things at all!



What is realistic in such a short time frame with so many? Intention just to bring joy and entertainment, keep in mind some of these kids literally have nothing. Nothing. Never seen white folk, no toys to use, never heard of a circus. So they will be quite overwhelmed, as will we.



So how would you handle this to bring the most pleasure and most brilliant expereince to the most kids? How to keep seven thousand excited kids under some sort of control?





Practical tips needed. Like for example, we may need to do a draw or a lottery to determine who gets into some workshops, while others are open activities... Some get divided by age group. others by interest...How to arrange this? how to structure face painting, so you dont get trampled? What paints best for that kind of massive amount?



We have done some of this before, but I am just process how extremely challenging this bit of the activities will be...All the other locations are organized, when I deal with a few hundred kids at a time. It is just the number 7000- 10000 of so extremely disadvantaged kids that I find a tad overwhelming!



Any help would be great!

ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove

Andrea



You can find out more specifics under the events thread... thai circus


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:OMG hug kiss ubblove hug



[edit]sorry but I am left speechless and am lacking ideas of "how to keep 7 - 10.000 kids organized"... scary thought.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1197824562)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Richee
HOP librarian
Location: Prague
Member Since: 15th Jan 2002
Total posts: 1841
Posted:I meen 7000/12 is equal to 583 for one
+ 4 kidz.

they will eat you,

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I have no idea what to tell you.

I would imagine they will be very well-behaved, though.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Make different colour sashes to take with you. The best behaved kids get a sash to wear and become team leaders. Split the mass into teams. Divide and conquer. Also make it so that the best behaved teams get to do things first so they will all be vying to be the most well behaved.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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LazyAngel
LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:ditto what she said! Get the kids teaching each other: there's no way you're going to have enough time to see each kid individually.

i would also suggest maybe taking groups of 20 per performer. Once a kid learns something (like the weave) they then get a badge/ sash and get to go off and teach a group of ten kids. Depends on how quickly they learn, but using 50% as a rough guide, here's a rough idea of the math
12 x 20 /2 = 120 x10 =1200

I don't know what the ideal number would be.

Also suggest teching them a song as a group maybe? foreign kids often love being able to trot out some english phrases, and it might help to focus their attention.

Also, unless you're going to have lots of help when you arrive, you're going to get mobbed: trying to put kids in groups will not work as they'll be too excited and will just follow you around (personal experience talking here) so you need an activity to start with that gets them all to sit down and focus a little bit.

good luck!


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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Looper
Looper

grasshopper in training

Member Since: 4th Feb 2004
Total posts: 124
Posted:Wow! Congratulations on putting this together! Will there be volunteers/teachers/parents/translators??!
Sashes are a great idea... teach the teachers. Learn some simple words... "this way, follow, stay here, go that way, please, thank you, well done, close".
I like the idea of teaching a song too!
Massive good-vibes for taking this on! Love that people are doing this... inspiration! biggrin
hug


There is a world made of air, one of earth and one of water.
And there is one made of fire, and all of them fight for supremacy. They are fighting now, in my head.

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:to me, a play workshop = no organisation.

you give the children toys, they play, YOU join in THEIR games. (at least, that's what my parents used to do when they ran play workshops for 'delinquent' children in this country...) the only role you take is as another child, or if one is being a bit boisterous, you let them know calmly and gently that what they are doing is wrong, and why it is. but yeah, that was the case for kids that were too misbehaved for regular school.

massive respect for doing this. massive.

I'd suggest group playground/team games, like tag, or stuck in the mud, etc. learn a dance routine... get them to build things... teach them life skills in a way that's really fun.

Wish you all the best for this. top respect from me.

If I come up with more ideas, I'll let you know smile I'm seeing my mum on tuesday, I'll ask her advice too.


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:you could also get them to act out traditional stories to do with their own culture, taking on characters... expresive moment etc too this way they don't need words to convey across to others what is going on.

best of luck to you all and
hats off too you guys for doing this


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Hoops. If you can get the materials: piping and dowel and tacks, the kids can make them themselves and they are very playable, for group games (passing, making patterns etc) as well as individual.
Rope can become skipping ropes, cats cradles, tug-o-war ( tug-o-funs?) limbo bars and very low level 'tight ropes'.
Do you have a mailing address? I can airmail you a few dozen extremely light weight foldable fabric 'frisbees' that the Mental Health association made last year for play days.

Amazing. Take photos!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Lots of good ideas here, thanks... We do have someone who is going to work on songish things, call and response sort of... and the dance stuff, should work with larger groups... toys limited because of quantity, and last time there was a flash mob as everyone tried to get something, so somehow we have to work on distribution and sharing effectively.



I really like the idea of playing their games, cause really the whole day will be just full of mad energy just cause we are there, and something they have never seen...



I will think about how to teach teachers, and yes, we will have some, but not many, teachers and ngo workers backing us up.



If I want, I can say that we can only handle a limited group. But that hurts me, cause I hate to think some kids get left out, so I am trying to see if there is some insane way to include them all. May not be possible, but may be for some of the time we can. Certainly they all get to see the show, so that is something...



Anybody who wants to donate toys, please do let me know, as man, we need a lot and I just dont know yet how much we will have and how to stretch it that far. Hoops are definately on the make, and thanks New Gabe, I will pm you an address for frisbees! very cool. Kids love any form of projectiles wink



Love the idea of using ropes, and a tug a war would be wild, fun, but maybe too much trampling each other?





Home of Poi, Flowtoys, and Luxotica are all making donations, sooo much appreciated. And Nick from Playpoi has been helping connect me up with all sorts of amazing performers... So thanks guys, you are a big help. It is important that people come to do this together, it is simply impossible to do on ones own!It really is a world community effort.



oh, someone asked about language. No, not so important, cause what circus and dance is about is not verbal for the most part. But some words, like suggested, are good for crowd control, and personal interaction!!!



Any more ideas are welcome, you guys started lots of new directions of thought, thanks!

xoxox

a



ps this four days comes after ten days of smaller workshops with a few hundred at a time. So we will probably have the benefit of more expereince, and the drawback of exhaustion...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Spanner
Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...
Member Since: 27th Feb 2003
Total posts: 2790
Posted:In the course of an average school day, for example, you can guarantee that some kids will:

fall over and graze their knees
fall ill
fall out with each other
bully
be bullied
get tired and irritable
need to overcome their physical/learning/etc. difficulties
just not be having a good day, like anyone else...

This was certainly the case at my school of 1100 pupils so will certainly be so in your group.
I understand your human resources are limited, but I think 1 of those people at the very least will need to organise those who aren't having a good time by:
walking around the site to spot them
(the kid tagging along at the back of a workshop because they don't know what to do, the one crying because they've bopped themselves in the head with a poi etc.):
a "fun officer(?)" who can be identified at the beginning of the day as someone who the children can also feel free to approach if they're unhappy
creating a safe, comfortable and quiet "chill out" area, possibly near your first aid point but not necessarily too far away from the action so that children can still see what's going on and rejoin the fun when they feel better, with alternative activities provided there - arts and crafts are are a less competitive option.

As for general control, children need to know where the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are, especially in that having fun is the name of the game but does not necessarily mean a "free for all".
For example: kids snatch toys from boxes instead of waiting for them to be handed out = all toys go back in box until they can start to behave.
It may sound harsh, especially to those being good, but it certainly makes them put the pressure onto those who aren't and tends to force everyone to co-operate to achieve that common goal so I think you'll find that means it won't be too long before everyone's having fun again smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:posting hoops out to you is not really feasible and probably a waste of money. Can you access tubing and connectors where you are... if so do you have a paypal address I can donate some money towards the costs of buying them. I know it's not the same as shipping out the finished goods to you, but it is a more cost effective way of getting more hoops for the money.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:Wow, hats off to you for undergoing such an event.


Lotta good ideas here, one thing i would like to add to spanner's idea for when kids just dont wanna spin is set aside an area for the kids to just play and do something that isnt realted to the rest of the workshops....Water baloons (how cold is it there?) footballs basket balls etc.

Again, hats off, this is something i would never DREAM of doing.


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Thanks Skully, that would be awesome. Yes, there is a paypal account for donations...

Music, anyone got suggestions of kids songs? I am making a big list to make sure we have lots of engaging tunes...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:There's an awesome group called 7000 kids... wink

have them use anything they can find, and make music?


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Fireblitz
Fireblitz

member
Location: Dublin
Member Since: 17th Apr 2005
Total posts: 186
Posted:Hats off to you clap, you'll need a holiday when it's over. I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes.

You can only be young once but you can always be immature.

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Water balloons, even were they available, create hell pollution and clean up problems. And could be a terrible waste of a precious commodity (water)

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Fire_Moose
Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Member Since: 2nd May 2007
Total posts: 3597
Posted:hmmm good call....see how much i think ahead?

O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:whoa... something just very strange and serindipitous happenned...

It looks like The Grateful Dead, or at least one of them, is offering to fund my whole circus project! Eeep!

The Grateful Dead. Oh, man. How weird is that.

If it actually happens( I am a cynic and will wait to fully rejoice til I have the cash in hand) it means I can actually buy toys from all of the companies that have been donating to support us, and even better yet, pay the people who volunteered their travel expenses! Sort of like an immediate Karma reward... And suddenly, toys for 7000 is feasible...

Life is bizarre. Set yourself an insurrmountable challenge and you never know who may step in to help...
wish me luck..


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:Absolutely unreal!!!!

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Yippeeee! I hope it comes true!

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:This project might be in a bit of trouble. The Kings sister has died and a period of mourning has been set up where no one can perform, sing or dance. This means that the group over there can't do the fund raising performance to fund the trip. I'm not exactly sure what BansheeCats planned are now but I think it would be a shame to have to cancel seeing how many people have put so much work and love into this.



Maybe we as a community can help raise some of the funds that the group over there won't be able to because of the restrictions laid down as a mark of respect to the Kings sister.



Any ideas anyone?

EDITED_BY: Skulduggery (1199698694)


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:does the period of mourning run through the actual workshop dates and is it going to affect the event or just the run up?

We could just have a collection for them or in the spirit of things do a mass busking for them... like the hoop day ethos?


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:the mourning just effects the lead up fundraising, the workshops and shows for the kids will go ahead regardless, we will make sure it happens. Just will be harder without access to that money. Working plans b and c and.... still wiating to hear from the grateful dead guy, that may be the ultimate solution, crss fingers...

But any suggestions for help much appreciated!there is a pay pal set up for donations, and busking day would be wonderful... we auctionned off all sorts of random stuff including my soul and some kisses last night, raised a good bit, and every last baht helps!

Dont worry, I wont cancel anything despite extra challenges. The kids are anticipating, and somehow I will do what we set out. Our team is amazing, working our butts off, but rewarding. Group leadership and motivation is an interesting challenge under these circumstances too, but all is coming along just fine.

i may sleep for many months after this though...
xoxox
a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:i can not find the link to the site, i think its due to lack of coffee lol
if we were to do a busking day how would we work payment, i can not use paypal but am sure i could bug a friend to use their details on my behalf. Also when would you need donations by?
Other things we could do is those of us with a business could donate a percentage of profits to you guys on spcecial products, which could also prove of a way of advertising you guys too, by linking to the site, that way even if people do not want to buy our product could still dontate to the cause


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:The site link is here but it is kind of out of date last time I looked. You need to click on the "Laughing for Life" tab.

It would help if the site was updated with plans for this year and a donation button added.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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GothFrogette
GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton
Member Since: 10th Oct 2004
Total posts: 3999
Posted:Thanks i shall go and look:)

Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:you are right scully, just have not been able to get a hold of the guy that made the site, and have no idea how or what to do about it myself... We will be keeping an on line blog of sorts and a flicker file , so I will post those addresses when I have them.

We raised a good amount at our shows here, very happy with the results.

Very very happy with the team that has gathered around this project. They are AMAZING wonderful performers teachers and friends. I am thankful every day.

But, as a caution to those who do crazy endeavors such as this, one thing I have learned is hav e yourself a support. Someone who is outside the team, who you can share your concerns and vulnerabilities with, someone who can handle you expressing anger or weakness or stupidity--- you really can not do that as leader of a group, must stay positive, care for people, solve their prolems.

But there is no one solving mine, and sometimes I just feel very exhausted, and strangely, lonely. Guess that is cause I am so busy I dont have much time to spend with my friends outside the project, who could be my support.

Anyways, just a note to people planning out there, plan in a support system, a right hand man, a friend who will catch you when you fall and watch your back when you are otherwise engaged...

smiles
love
a


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:If it helps, you can pm me any time you just feel you need to rant or if you need any one just to bounce ideas off. I can't promise I'll come up with anything great in response but at least I'll let you know you are being heard.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:I just noticed the question about games - there's some poi games described at this site:
http://history-nz.org/poi.html

Some should be useful to you as one pair of poi (or even a half a pair!) can be used among a team in relay...

Oh, and if you want to rant at someone, you can use me too!


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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