Living Streets Association | 2022 October
As part of the Objectives of Living Streets Youth, we have continued to encourage young citizen engagement through youth meetings and youth-led events. This spring, we were so excited to see children of all different ages interact positively with others and undertake leadership and collaborative roles.
To prepare for our Spring Street Play Day, university students worked with the Committee to prepare the youth meeting and planning process for college and high school students. At this meeting, led by the uni students, the college students helped younger high school peers to consider the whole picture of leading activities for primary school and younger-aged children. The young high schoolers were incredibly enthusiastic about designing their own activities and brainstormed a whole whiteboard full of fun things they wanted to do with the neighbours. The older kids then helped to narrow down the activities, and give important reminders such as the suitable age range, the feasibility and the costs of the activities.
Youth Meeting Activity Planning Questions
- What activity are you doing, what equipment do you need?
- How will you explain your activity to the participants?
- What methods will you use to look after and engage younger children?
- How can you make sure no one is left out?
After planning all the activities for the event, the next important step was to invite the neighbourhood kids to attend. Some kids had proposed designing leaflets to hand out, but we came to the conclusion that for such small-scale events on the street, doorknocking to invite the neighbours would be even better for creating connections. Despite being a little nervous about this personal interaction, the young people were passionate and inviting, and the neighbours responded with warmth and gratitude. These small exchanges were a delight to see!
Check out the mini Lego version of our street that we built together! This unique activity that our youth team designed had a few different goals;
- Work collaboratively with different aged kids to develop their creativity through lego
- Allow each person an opportunity to share their creation with others and be heard
- Demonstrate how we can create something wonderful such as building a lego community village, by contributing your own skills
Many parents felt touched as they watched the older big brothers and sisters play, interact, and learn with their children with patience and kindness. Interestingly, each of the older children had their own challenges to overcome, such as awkwardness, not knowing how to talk to young kids or a little social anxiety. One older girl had been very hesitant to interact with the little children, but after spending some time together, she expressed joy at engaging with them and told us she hoped to do this more in the future. This is one small example of how encouraging our young people to interact with the community can yield wonderful benefits.
The sports and street capture the flag segment was complete madness! At schools where this game is often played, you only get to play with your peers the same age as you. On the street, however, is where children as young as 3, college and uni students, and parents can join in on the fun. Rules were basically non-existent, but we were all laughing, panting mess by the end of it, so we’d proclaim the activity a success!
Arts and Crafts consisted of a variety of activities, such as terracotta pot painting, fruit printing, jewellery making, and melting beads.
Go check out our Instagram page to watch more videos from this fun day!