I love the idea of creating the “kid friendly” version of events designed for an adult audience. It provides a challenge while offering a unique experience to the students participating in the event. One of my favorite events was inspired by the Coachella music festival, Kidchella.
Live music, pool parties, “celebrity” meet and greets, crowd surfing, paparazzi, photo ops….alright! Time to start planing!

First things first, we needed live music performers for the kids. Where do you go if there’s no budget and you don’t know professional musicians? The local college’s music department. I went to a faith based private university to find my musicians. Why? Because most faith based schools require that the students attending to complete community service hours. I spoke to a few teachers to spread the word about Kidchella and was able to have 2 music majors perform FOR FREE. I set some guidelines with the musicians and we agreed that they will only play cover songs that the students could sing along with. We discussed how much space they would need, what sound system needed to be in place (we used the schools) and how long their set would be.
Protip: Take a picture of the performers to create flyers, and if they do not have an offical band name, give them one to get the students hyped. I took a picture of our performers and printed 150 post cards with their picture on it. Once they were done performing the students had the option of waiting in line for an autograph from the musicians with their postcard. We also bought a large animal floatie for the students to toss around while the music was being played, it was our version of crowd surfing.
Okay, now that we have music checked off, everyone knows the second most talked about thing at Coachella are the pool parties.

A pool party at a school with no pool? Time to get creative.
We obviously weren’t going to have the students swimming on campus so we decided the next best thing would be to have small blow up pools around the grass for the students to put their feet in. We bought 5 pools at Walmart for $50, provided towels near each pool for the students to leave their shoes, brought chairs from the classrooms and placed them around the pool, and had the kiddos put their stinky feet in the water while the music played in the background.
Protip: an electric pump is a must for the pools and having a volunteer dress as a lifeguard is a great touch.

Some extra activities we included were face-painting, a snack bar, misting area (spray bottles and volunteers), and a photo booth. All pictures of the event weer captured by our volunteer wearing a paparazzi shirt.

We all had a great time at the event! Volunteers enjoyed playing roles for the students, staff got to relax as the music was being played, and the students got to experience their first music festival.

What I would do different:
I would like to have different bands playing either in different areas or having different music genres playing in nearby classrooms, similar to a glow party that can be seen at the event. If my budget allowed I would also like to purchase more floaties for the students to sit on during the performances. Over all great event!

Leave comments and questions below if you are considering hosting a Kidchella.