Children in jungle safari outfits on designed jungle background.

Top tips for your Big Toddle

Published on
30 May 2024

Let's toddle together on this paw-some journey to create safer, happier, healthier, and more hopeful childhoods for little lions across the UK. Below are our top tips for getting ready for your roar-some adventure! 

The Big Toddle is a short, sponsored walk for children under five, although all ages and abilities can take part. You can organise a Big Toddle as a group from a nursery, school or playgroup, or do a turtle-y amazing Home Safari with family or friends.  

This is a fun-filled event that is free to sign up to! All we ask is that you get your friends and family excited for your little one’s Big Toddle by asking them to sponsor the walk. 

Every donation will go towards supporting children and young people have safer, happier, healthier, and more hopeful childhoods.   

1. Gather your herd 

Now you are registered for your Big Toddle, it’s time to get planning your event and inviting your herd! 

First choose a date for your Big Toddle and a distance you’ll walk, then starting inviting people to your event.  

  1. Choose your date - The best time to take part is during The Big Toddle week which is between 10 – 16 June 2024. Please join us during the week if you can, although we appreciate this might not be possible for everyone.   
  2. Plan your walk - Distance wise, we think around a half a mile walk is perfect for little paws. 
  3. Invite your herd – Gather your herd by sending out Big Toddle invitations, and share on your social media to spread the word about your Big Toddle event. 

We spoke to Kelly, from Bright Little Stars Nursery, who has been hosting Big Toddle’s for over 10-years for her advice. 

A top tip from us is to start inviting people to your Big Toddle as early as you can and send reminders! Make sure they know all the details so they can get excited about the event, and even start getting sponsorships from their friends and families.

Kelly Dunn

 Area manager, Bright Little Stars Nursery

For more help with organising your Big Toddle, you can read our fundraising guide here! 

2. Get support from friends and family 

The Big Toddle is a sponsored walk, however there is no minimum amount you need to fundraise. All we ask is you raise as much as you can and have fun while you do it! 

One easy way to get yourself ready for fundraising is to set up your own JustGiving page. You can set that up by visiting our JustGiving page here. 

There are lots of ways to put the ‘fun’ in fundraising. We’ve got some inspiration and ideas below, but be as imaginative as you like in coming up with your own. 

Easy fundraising ideas you could try: 

  • Host a bake sale – everybody loves a tasty treat. 

  • Offer face painting – if you’re a nursery or playgroup, why not offer face painting at your Big Toddle. 

  • Plan a furry feast - add a delicious extra touch to your Toddle with a Safari-themed picnic for parents, friends and family members to enjoy. 

  • Download our colourful animal mask activity - Print copies of our animal masks so little ones can have fun colouring in and can take home their creations, with a suggested donation from parents, carers or guardians. 

For more fundraising tips, and information on how to make sure your event is safe and legal, read our Big Toddle fundraising guide here

3. Start thinking about costumes! 

Fancy dressing up? Let your imagination run wild! 

This year, The Big Toddle is safari-themed! Whether you are keen to get face painting, or want to go for a costume, there are lots of ways to dress up for your sponsored walk that don’t cost the earth. 

Easy costume ideas for your little ones: 

  • Safari explorer - Think brown clothes and a sun hat! This could work nicely with a pair of binoculars or a small net if you have one. 

  • Animals – pick your little one's favourite animal and choose clothes they already own in their colours! Think stripy zebras, spotty giraffes and pink fluffy flamingos. 

  • Face paint – your little one can be anything they dream of with face paint. If you’re feeling artistic why not pick some up face paint from a local dressing up shop or supermarket and try your hand at face painting! 

The most important thing is that you and your little ones feel comfortable, so wear what feels right for you on the day. Make sure to check the forecast ahead of your event and have sun cream and extra layers on hand so you’re prepared whatever the weather. 

4. Build up the excitement before your event  

We’ve got loads of resources, activities and workbooks to get your little ones involved in their Big Toddle before the event. 

From colouring in, safari scenes and animal adventure story books, to fundraising target posters and Big Toddle event invitations, we’ve got everything you need. 

Head to our Big Toddle resources page to check out all of the free resources available to you! 

Designed image of two children dressed up as forest creatures, with imposed text on a sign reading "Barnardo's. The Big Toddle. Ready, steady, toddle!"

Got a question? Get in touch!  

If you’ve got any questions about The Big Toddle we are here to help! Get in touch by emailing The Big Toddle Team at [email protected].  

You can also get in touch with our Supporter Care Team by emailing [email protected] or over the phone by calling 0800 008 7005. 

Two young children from Hong Kong smiling playing

The impact of your fundraising

We know how important it is to be open about how we spend the money you raise. That’s why we share information about the different ways we use your donations and how they help to change childhoods and change lives.

Children in jungle safari outfits on designed jungle background.

More info about The Big Toddle

For more information about The Big Toddle event, pictures from previous years and frequently asked questions, head to The Big Toddle event page below.