So, you’ve started your visit, and things have been going great for a good few months now. But you want to spice things up a little and do something different. That’s awesome – here are some ideas of what you can do to keep your kids and volunteers excited about your next visit.
Why not try bowling? Bowling is a great activity for kids of every age, as well as the volunteers. Find out about your nearest bowling alley and start making preparations. Make sure you discuss this with the orphanage well in advance so that they can sort out their own staff and which kids can go. Get your numbers and book that bowling alley. Maybe you can take along some certificates to give to the high scorers, the most improved or the most stylish thrower!
Have a day outside. Japan has some really beautiful weather, so go out and make the most of it. The possibilities of the great outdoors are endless – have a hanami party or a picnic, or maybe a sports afternoon, to play some football or Frisbee.
Show off your culinary skills and take your kids into the kitchen. Just remember to keep it simple, with dishes like chocolate fondue: melt some finely chopped chocolate over some hot water, and start dipping those fruits and marshmallows!
Go to the pool. Take the kids out for a dip in the local pool! It’s a great summer activity for both volunteers and children. Round up the volunteers and assign one child per adult. It is recommended to have a few of the orphanage staff on hand to help out, just to be safe.
Spring/summer barbecue. While you’re outside enjoying sports or hanami, why not borrow some grills and really get the party started? Make sure it is clear who will be providing food for the kids, but usually the home will take care of this. As for the volunteers, it can be potluck-style where everyone brings something to share, or every person for themselves! You can also use this opportunity to introduce food from your home country, too.
Have a holiday party! It’s a good way to end the year. Start by doing some winter crafts, such as making snowflakes and party decorations, or playing games. If desired, Santa can also make a special appearance if there is a willing volunteer. Ask volunteers to donate cookies or other baked goods and put on some holiday music. Remember to check with the staff about dietary restrictions.