I run the Daytona Beach Vegetarian Society and every year we have a kid's event. The kid's event is focused on celebrating the kids who are already living a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, as well as introducing other kids to a more compassionate way of eating.
For this year's event we held it at Full Moon Natives Nursery. It was a great location for this event. They have a farm there and have animals on site. I really liked the idea of that becaue it gave the kids an opportunity to meet with animals and make a connection with them. For this event we followed this type of schedule (just in case you are wanting to put together a similar event in your community):
The event was from 11-2 p.m. We started with lunch. The food was free and partly funded by VegFund. What they didn't pay for our group did (from donations we have received from bake sales and such). We served a free lunch of veggie dogs, chips, and chocolate almond milk. I had cut up watermelon for the event and forgot it at home (darn it!!). We also supplied condiments, of course (and plates, cups, napkins). All finger foods so that no forks/spoons were needed.
We also had a cooler filled with Honest Kids organic juice drinks. They were on sale at the grocery store, so they were really affordable. It was a hot day outside and I knew we would need some cool drinks to offer guests.
After everyone was done eating we made our way to visit the animals. The kids loved visiting with the animals. There were sheep, goats, horses, chickens, and a burro. They got to pet them, feed them, and take pictures. Then we washed up our hands and went inside a pole barn for a short butterfly presentation. The kids learned all about butterflies. Then they went outside to look for butterflies in the nursery, as well as see the bees and learn about them (they have bees there at the nursery).
Once they were done with that we went back inside where I held a brief discussion about the "Circle of Compassion." The goal was to further teach kids about having compassion for animals. I first shared with them Albert Einstein's quote on compassion:
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” Albert Einstein
Then we discussed what compassion means, as well as what animals should be in our circle of compassion. Most people include animals like dogs and cats, but not others like pigs and sheep. We discussed widening our circle of compassion to include caring about more animals, including the ones they had just visited and bugs. I asked them if anyone wanted to eat the chickens they just visited (of course they all thought that was just gross). Then we talked about ways we can widen our circle of compassion to include more animals, such as treating all animals how we would want to be treated, respecting all forms of life, and not eating animals.
Then we had a prize giveaway. For the prizes I stopped at a thrift store and used group funds to purchase small stuffed animals and animal-themed books. We had 17 prizes to give away, so I took 17 little pieces of paper and numbered them. I folded each paper and put them in a bag, having kids randomly draw one piece of paper each. Then we went in numerical order, allowing each child come up and choose a prize.
Following that we had vegan cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches, and cookies. We also had a lot of vegan literature there for the families to take home with them. We also aim to be environmentally friendly with our events. I don't want to sacrifice one cause for another (and I'm an environmentalist as well).
All in all a great event! We had a good turnout of families and they seemed to enjoy the time they spent there. We met some new veg kids in the community, as well as some really nice families. Two thumbs up!
Here are some pictures from this vegetarian kid's event: