The much-anticipated, extensively-planned, long-time awaited Little Red Hen Children’s Carnival was a huge success! For over two years, I have wanted more events that invite the community into the Little Red Hen world to see what we are all about. The Children’s Carnival not only accomplished that, it also celebrated the children in our programs (past & present). We had a great turnout of children and teens who have been a part of our family for years (and some brand new). The Carnival was also a celebration for Shannon, our Children’s Program Supervisor and the Autism LifeSpan Supervisor, for her 10 years of employment with Little Red Hen.
Thanks to the parents and volunteer Little Red Hen staff, as well as a Girl Scouts troop, the carnival went smoothly (somewhat surprising because it was our 1st event like this). I was amazed at how laid back the atmosphere was, and noticed that in spite of all the noise, decorations, and people, even the children with autism were truly enjoying themselves and not getting overwhelmed. We had a very talented face-painter, cake walk, fishing game, ring toss, bounce house, duck pond game, bean bag toss, bowling, a photo booth, and we even had gunny sack races! Each game had prizes for the kids to win (although very cheap, the kids would get so excited when they would get to reach into the bucket and pick!).
One thing I love about Chico is the supportive community. The network of parents, teachers, friends and family who love someone with a developmental disability are truly amazing and supportive of each other. And I love how events like this are a great way to bring in people outside of that family and interact with each other. This carnival was a great mix of parents and families with developmentally disabled children, as well as others. When you looked around the room, all you saw was a bunch of kids having a great time, and parents, friends and family members who were having fun with them. No one stuck out as not belonging, and kids were mingling. Every child has a place in this world and deserves to play and have fun! The Children’s Carnival was a perfect example of different people coming together and having a great time.
The Carnival was held at our LifeSpan center. It is the location that we hold our children’s programs, teen group, theater program, awesome events like the carnival, and it is the home to the Autism LifeSpan office. The 9,000 square foot space is catered to kids with autism, typical kids, and big kids at heart! It provides many sensory toys, bounce house, a stage, a chalkboard art wall, and a great library .
Thank you to everyone who came to our 1st Children’s Carnival…many more to come!
Please let us know if you have any feedback on the event or if you would like to help out at the next one!