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Activities for your Big Lunch

These Big Lunch activities are perfect for groups and schools. They can be created before the Big Lunch or as part of your Big Lunch celebrations – or both! If your group or class makes something in preparation for The Big Lunch, make sure they take it, wear it, or display it on the day to show others.

Big Lunch bunting

Get your group to make a string of bunting featuring each person’s favourite memory, hopes for the future, or a theme of your choice. These could include individual things as well as wishes for their community or the world. Our handy bunting templates are here to help!

Ask them to write, illustrate and decorate ideas on individual paper triangles and combine these with ribbon to make a colourful string of bunting. You could do this on your Big Lunch day or in a session beforehand. Hang this up for your Big Lunch and afterwards, why not swap it with another class or give it to a local community group?

On the day of your Big Lunch – get all your guests to do the same as above, creating mementos of the day. They could be hung in a communal space like the school hall!

Did you know? The Guinness World Record for the longest line of bunting is 17,600 m long and was made in Germany in 2013!


Big Lunch party hats

Get your group to each design a party hat for someone they know, either from their class, school or community. Their design can include five facts about that person, encouraging conversation to get these answers! Ask the group to do a ‘show and tell’ about their design and share one fact about the person they’ve made the hat for. On Big Lunch day, get the children to wear their hats as a way to start a conversation with others.


Tablecloth teasers

Make a group tablecloth to encourage conversation with neighbours. You could include cracker style jokes, fun quiz questions or ice breaker activities to help them get to know one another on Big Lunch day.

Ask your group to find five local facts and five quiz questions about their neighbourhood or local community for their table. Could they bring images, name that place questions or do a spot the difference with some old local photos? Get the whole group to plan and design their tablecloths so that each place setting has some fun quiz questions or jokes.

Use plain paper or a writable tablecloth – remember to make it eye-catching and legible! You can buy plain paper table clothes from most supermarkets, or look in your local charity shop. You could also use fabric pens on an old fabric tablecloth, or even a bedsheet.


A global Big Lunch

Get each member of your group to think of their favourite food. Use a map of the world to pinpoint the origin of that dish or its key ingredients. Then start a conversation about how food is grown, sustainability or what different people around the world might eat. You could use our plant profile as a starting point.  For Big Lunch day you could encourage everyone to bring in their favourite foods or dishes – and make them a conversation point.


Big Lunch poster competition

Did you know that the first ever mass-produced posters started in the 1870s? Poster art was pioneered by French artists Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jules Chéret.

Ask the group to explore their favourite poster adverts, why they like them, what makes them effective, what language they use. Get them to write or design a poster campaign or even make a story board for an advert or poster celebrating what’s great about their street or neighbourhood. Run a design competition for your community Big Lunch and get someone from the local community to choose the most effective designs.


‘Sense of place’ mats and maps

Get the group to make a series of place mats. They have to draw a map of where they live and their favourite shops, places and where people they know live. Could they fill in the gaps and find out 3 things about the people on their street and make their map even bigger?


Games from the past

Get younger people to take inspiration from their elders by asking them what group games they used to play. Focus on getting your school or group outside on Big Lunch day and introducing simple, fun games for all. Have your group write the instructions and rules for these games and teach others on the day how to play the new games they’ve learnt about.


Food growing

If you start soon, there may be time to grow food to eat at your own Big Lunch. Here are some links to a few websites where you can find out how to grow food and when to plant in time for your Big Lunch.

  • RHS Campaign for School Gardening – The RHS School gardening campaign supports schools to develop a garden for pupils’ learning, wellbeing and health.
  • Countryside Classroom (formerly Growing Schools) – This website has resources and ideas for outdoor learning including; food, farming and the natural environment.
  • Soil Association Food for Life – The membership package from the Soil Association features handy resources to get you started, including a term-time growing calendar, recipes and resources by Jamie Oliver.


Teaching resources for The Big Lunch

Everything you need to inspire a new generation of community champions! We’ve got a range of teaching resources and lesson plans, ahead of this historic national occasion.

Free teaching resourcesBig Lunch pack

See all Big Lunch resources