From activities to download and tips for your Play Date, to some childhood memories from some of our well-known supporters, this page should give you some inspiration for your Play Date!
Games to play
Our Host's guide to a Play Date, above, has lots of tips to make your GOSH Charity Play Date a success and here are more ideas and tips to ramp up the fun on the day.
Stuck in the mud: One person is 'it' and has to chase to the others. Once you've been 'tagged' you have to stand still until someone taps you to release you.
Cheesy puff challenge: Choose some 'catchers' and some 'throwers'. Put a shower cap on the 'catchers' and ask the 'throwers' to cover the shower caps in shaving foam. The 'throwers' now need to throw the cheesy puff crisps at the 'catchers' heads to see how many they can stick to them! The Play team use this activity in the hospital as it can help a child to be more active after an operation to help them get better. It can also be used for children who just enjoy being active to have some fun!
Sleeping lions: Perhaps a grown-up's favourite! Everyone has to lie as still and quiet as possible. If anyone moves, they're out.
Musical statues: Play some music and everyone dances. When the music stops, everyone has to stop. Last one to stop is out.
Treasure Hunt: Hide some things around the house, outside or wherever you're hosting your Play Date. Let the little ones find the 'treasure', whilst following some clues to help them.
GOSH Charity Play Date Tips
Join our Facebook group: Chat with other GOSH Charity Play Date hosts on our dedicated Facebook group to share ideas and tips and ask questions to each other and the Play Date team.
Don't overthink it: Children know how to play. They do it all the time! So don't worry if you don't want to spend lots of time organising different games, they'll be just fine!
Invite early: Little one's diaries fill up very quickly. Make sure you tell people about your Play Date in plenty of time.
Snacks and drinks: Ask everyone to bring a few bits along to make it easier for you.
Boost your fundraising: Get creative in the kitchen and bake a few treats which guests could make a small donation for on the day - a bit like a bake sale!
Get the grown-ups involved: No-one is ever too old to play and it could make for some nice quality time with your little ones.
Take the chance to catch up: Whilst the little ones are keeping busy, it can be a chance for you to catch up and socialise with the grown-ups.
Ideas for fundraising at school, pre-school, nursery or group: Ask the little ones to bring in a small donation in return for extra play-time and fun throughout the school day. For the older ones, get them involved and ask them to think of fundraising ideas for kids. You could host a non-uniform day or a bake sale to boost your school fundraising even more.
Any questions? Get in touch with us at email@example.com and the team will be happy to help.
Inspiration from our famous friends
We’ve joined forces with our well known supporters to celebrate the importance of play! They’ve shared their memories about their favourite childhood games to help inspire people hosting a Play Date. Here’s what they had to say:
Dame Helen Mirren revealed her most-loved game was 'Sardines' (Photo credit: David Venni)
"This is where a group of people (preferably children) chose one person to go and hide in a house or garden in a reasonably big space. All the others wait for a count of 100 and then they all go off to try and find the hiding place. If they do, they must secretively join the person hiding, so no one else sees them, and this goes on until everyone has found the hiding place and they are all squeezed in there like sardines in a tin!"
Well-known Welsh actor and singer, Luke Evans, opted for a popular two-player guessing game:
“My favourite game was Guess Who?”
Actor and presenter, Angela Griffin, shares her current playtime favourite with her own children:
“My favourite game as a child was Risk, and favourite game with the girls is definitely Monopoly. We LOVE games!”
Matt Lucas shared Monopoly was a favourite in this comedian’s household:
“I always loved Monopoly and was a terrible loser.”
Sir Mo Farah's favourite game as a child comes as no surprise (Photo credit: PACE Sports Management):
“I have always had lots of energy, and everyone knows I love to run so tag was perfect for me. I enjoyed chasing people and then running away from them!!”
His favourite game to play with his own children is also Monopoly. “Some people think it’s luck but I think there are a lot of tactics in Monopoly. As a family we play both the long version and the shorter card version.”
Bridgerton star, Phoebe Dynevor, shares fond memories of playing cricket with her family:
“One of my favourite games was playing cricket with my family. I wasn't ever sporty as a child and didn't much enjoy school sports but playing cricket in the garden always felt joyful. We didn't take it very seriously and sometimes I just sat by and watched but it always marked the beginning of summer when we set up the wooden stumps.”
Fellow Bridgerton cast member and Olivier award-winner, Jonathan Bailey, remembers another childhood classic:
“My favourite game is marble run (I still have it!).”