Practical planning

Here we offer a basic guide on practical things you have to consider when you plan a film and dialogue situation and/or a creative film activity.

Pre-school children are easy to engage in a film, a dialogue or a creative activity – as long as they feel comfortable, their basic needs are taken care of and the content is relevant to them

Practical planning

Physical frame and technical equipment

Your ambitions about what kind of film activities you want to arrange for the children will have to correspond with the possibilities in your physical environment and the technical equipment you have access to.

First, you have to find a location – a place - where children will feel safe and welcome. You have to decide if the activities should take place in the children’s everyday surroundings – for example the kindergarten - or if you want to invite the children into a cultural institution – for example a cinema or culture house. A creative activity could take place almost anywhere, even in a forest or a playground, and you can plan everything from an event to a longer process with more steps and a progression.

Access to technical equipment will also limit your ambitions. A film screening for a larger group requires a projector and sound (speakers) whereas 3-4 children can have a fine film experience using a tablet.

For the creative part, you can focus on analogue activities and use things in your immediate surroundings, or you can make a workshop with drawing, modelling or collage. If you want the children to produce pictures and sound or even a small film, a mobile device is a simple and effective starting point.

Age, group size and time frame

Your planning also has to correspond to the age of the children and their motor skills and attention span. The difference between a 3 year old and a 5 year old can be significant. In addition, the group size has to match the activity. Naturally, a screening with dialogue can engage more children than a creative production activity. In general, creative activities require one facilitator per 4-5 children, whereas a screening session with a bigger group can be handled with 1-2 facilitators. If the group is big, i.e. in a cinema hall, the educators from the institutions – or the parents – should be asked to support and motivate the children during and after the screening.

Also, consider that most children thrive with a spontaneous and playful atmosphere and they will quickly lose interest if they have to wait for help, repeat monotonous actions – or if they have to go to the toilet.


If you want to work long term with film activities aimed at 3-6 year old children your organization has to make it a priority. You need some permanent resources such as staff, knowledge, budget, tools, and access to films and equipment.

Next, you have to communicate with your audience and users. This often requires a great effort in the beginning. According to your ambitions, this could include booking, marketing, digital and analogue communication.

Working with partners can be a great help both for the startup and for ongoing running of a programme. Partners could include festivals, cinemas, other cultural institutions or direct contact with kindergartens and schools.

We have included a checklist of things that you need to think about when developing activities below that you can download here.


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