myNDNA: Early years and childcare activities

View our latest childcare activity guide below, written by early years experts.

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Coronavirus disclaimer - Legislation and policy guidance change regularly. It is the responsibility of the setting to review the latest COVID-19 guidance from the Government when undertaking these top tips.

How to encourage children to celebrate special people

Child talking while paintingLearning aims

  • Identify people who help us in our community
  • Express our own feelings and emotions
  • Build an awareness of and celebrate different events/festivals.


  • Photographs of celebrations children have taken part in at the setting (optional)
  • Paper
  • Selection of paints and brushes
  • Pens/pencils.

Activity outline

  1. Start open conversations about people that help us, such as those who support in emergencies (doctors, police, fire brigade etc.) and people who help us every day (family, postal service worker, shopkeepers etc.)
  2. Discuss how we sometimes have special days for celebration and talk about some of the celebrations you take part in over the year with the children (you may have photos to share of celebrations children have taken part in as a prompt)
  3. Feature a special celebration day coming soon, such as Father’s Day, and explore how children will be celebrating
  4. Encourage children to paint a picture of someone who is special to them. This may be a parent, uncle, cousin, grandparent, sibling, family friend etc.
  5. Once the paintings are dry, ask the children to tell you who the person is and why this person is special to them. Write their responses at the bottom of the painting, for example, this is ________they are special to me because_______
  6. Use strips of coloured paper to provide a frame around the painting and attach some string to the back of the frame so the picture can be hung up.

Extension ideas

Why not explore with children how they can help others? Create a list of their ideas to share.

Special considerations

Remember to be sensitive and empathetic to children who may grieve the loss of certain members of their family/friends and consider children that may have different family set-ups. We encourage you to communicate with parents/carers beforehand so you can be aware of how best to navigate this activity with children who may be emotionally affected.

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Further information


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