Approximately 35 children aged 2-10 years old were involved in the morning children’s workshops. The girls and boys were from Denmark, France, India, Japan, Nigeria, Sweden, UK and Ukraine.
Each day began with a brief relaxation / meditation activity and some fun games. “Murphy” a large orange cat also helped introduce the colour and theme of the day. Murphy helped share some information about the day and encouraged girls and boys to share their views and ideas about the theme of the day.
At the outset of the workshop the children also developed their own rules to work together during CATS. Examples of Murphy the cats rules for everyone included:
- Listen to each other
- Be well behaved – do not argue, fight, kick, tease each other
- Respect, love and care for each other
- Smiling face and be nice to one another
To read about the facilitators of the Children’s workshops, click here.
Day One: Exploring the theme ‘children as advocates’
Children played a fishing game to learn more about their rights and to express their views and experiences concerning their rights to education, play, participation, protection, health, and family love and care.
Children were also consulted about what they would like to organise and share in the HUB. An eight year old girl shared her petition to “save the old lift” in Caux and gathered more signatures to her cause.
The younger children aged 2- 5 years also coloured their “CATS bags”, and they started learning the song “I can sing a rainbow”.
Day two: Exploring the theme ‘children as educators’
The younger children aged 2-5 years shared things that they were good at, that they could teach others. Examples of their skills included: drawing, colouring, scribbling, playing, playing with balloons, cooking, reading, and drumming.
The 6-10 years olds had the choice of: drama, dance, painting/ collage or journalism to explore the theme of “children as educators”. As illustrated by the photos below each group shared their ideas and expressed themselves and educated others in creative ways:
Day three: Exploring the theme ‘children and justice’ with puppetry
Children shared their views about things that were not fair, and they made their own puppets which they used to explore things that were fair or not fair. Things that younger children aged 6-10 years thought were not fair included:
- Wars as children’s homes get destroyed and some children lose their parents
- When some children do not have mums or dads to look after them
- When children are living under bridges and do not have anything to eat or drink
- The second world war when some people were killed because they were Jewish
- When children have to get married at a young age
- When some people eat too much food and waste food, when others are hungry
- When babies die one minute after they were born
The younger children also collectively developed and presented a Haka to illustrate their views and ideas concerning children and justice.
Day four: Exploring ‘children as health activists’ with collage
For that children went outside to listen, see, touch, taste, and smell to use all their senses to explore nature.
Children also shared their ideas with Murphy about what is needed to be healthy. These ideas included:
- Eating vegetables, fruit and less sugar
- Having a good environment – trees, clean air, not polluted
- Playing and doing sport
- Having a happy heart – as if we are sad or worried it is not good for our health
- Not having mean or bad thoughts in our minds
- Washing hands
- One 4 year old boy said “we only like to sleep sometimes”, to which a 10 year old boy responded “If we don’t sleep our body would not be healthy as our body would be too tired.”
Collage and 3D constructions were used to explore “children as health activists”. The 6-10 year olds worked individually, in pairs or small groups to build and develop boxes and a collage to explore their views on children as health activists.
Some of children’s messages included:
- “A park is important to us because for children’s health we want to play”
- “We shouldn’t eat too much sugar or we will get too many fillings”
- “Horse riding is a lot of sport and I help to take care of horses”
- “I love nature – welcome to the nature house”
Day five: Exploring ‘children as media makers’ through more creations
On day five which focused on “children as media makers” children continued their collage and creations to explore media, and how children and adults can work together to build a better world. The 6-10 year olds shared their views about what “media” is. They thought media included use of: TV, cartoons, films, internet, emails, facebook, youtube, photography, journalism – interviews, radio, drama, collage.
The younger children aged 2-5 years worked together to create an amazing castle which was beautifully decorated. The castle had a draw bridge. When the draw bridge was open it represented “open hearts” and children being happy. When the draw bridge was closed it represented “closed hearts” and children being sad.
|Happy – open hearts||Sad – closed hearts|
|I am happy to play (boy age 5)||I am sad when I fall down (boy age 5)|
|I am happy to see animals (boy age 4)||I am sad when I can’t speak (boy age 4)|
|I am happy when I see my grandma (girl age 4)||I am sad when I leave my grandma (girl age 4)|
|I am happy when I see butterflies (girl age 5)||I am sad when I must say goodbye to my mum (girl age 5)|
|I am happy when my mother says “your painting is nice” (boy age 4 years)||I am sad when my dad is not with me (boy age 4 years)|
The under 10s were also giving a rainbow coloured kite which they wrote a positive word on and flew in the sky.
Day six: Singing and parachute games
On day six during the wrap up the younger children aged 2-10 years sang “I can sing a rainbow” together. Individual children also shared some of their creations and what it meant to them – what they were trying to express through their creation.
On the final afternoon parachute games and a group H assessment activity was also used with the younger children to enable them to share their views and ideas about: what they liked, didn’t like about the CATS conference, and any suggestions to improve. Their findings are incorporated in the main evaluation report.