The Shielders’ Guide to Making a Fun Palace

Just because you can’t go outside, or prefer not to, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a brilliant Fun Palace!

Only you can decide what is right for you. If you are worried about whether it is safe for you to do something, speak to your doctor. Some GP surgeries in the UK have a designated doctor who will have a phone conversation to help people who are shielding understand what is right for them.

Have a look at our toolkit for making a Tiny Fun Palace, as many of the ideas there may work for you too. Here are a few more ideas we hope might help.

Gathering a team when you can’t meet up in person

If you live with someone, they are an obvious starting point, but here are some more people you can ask who may be interested in making a Fun Palace with you:

  • Friends, relatives and colleagues who you speak to by phone, message or letter.
  • Your local Covid Mutual Aid group (www.covidmutualaid.org)
  • Your immediate neighbours, who you can talk to through a closed window.
  • If you have windows people can see in passing, you could put up a sign saying “Fun Palace Happening here, get in touch to help” with some contact details.
  • If you live in a managed block of flats, you could ask the block manager or ask them to share your invitation with the other residents.
  • If you belong to a support group or online community, you could ask the other members to join in.

What activities can I share in my Fun Palace?

A Fun Palace doesn’t have to be complicated. The key thing is sharing something (a skill, knowledge, something beautiful), that it is open to the public (in a tiny way, two people strolling – or scrolling – past and taking part in passing is brilliant) and that it makes a connection (not just looking at what you have done, but doing too). All of this can happen at a distance or virtually, online or by phone.

Think about the tools you might have available:

  • Are your windows visible from the street? Could you use them as a gallery or stage? 
  • Do you have a front garden or balcony? You don’t even need to let people into the garden, you could be in the garden while your participants are in the street. Or if your participants are in the garden, you could be indoors behind a window.
  • Do you use a phone? Could you set up a phone chain, sharing an activity or asking a question in a conversation and asking the other person to call someone else and do the same? Perhaps the second person could then call you back so you make a new connection.
  • Do you use social media? Your Fun Palace could take place as a streamed event or as a live conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other platform.
  • Do you use video calling? You could host a Fun Palace on Zoom, House Party or on another meeting platform. You can read more about making an online Fun Palace here.
  • Can you get to a post box or could someone help you? You could make a postal Fun Palace. If you have access to the street but not a post box, you could make your own mailbox and invite people to pick something up and then put something back in return e.g. a shared poem or picture, a few lines each.
  • Do you leave the house for exercise? Use that time to write instructions, information, poems and more on the pavement or wall in chalk for the next person to interact with.

Download as a PDF
In this guide you’ll find useful ideas, guidance, and inspiration to help you make a Tiny Fun Palace

But I don’t have any skills to share!

What are you interested in? You don’t have to be an expert to make a Fun Palace. What have people complimented you on? What did you enjoy as a child? Here are some ideas which might get you started or look at the Tiny Revolutions page for more ideas: 

  • Demonstrate a recipe or a chemistry experiment at your window or online – could it be something your participants could cook along to?
  • Write the names of plants on the pavement, with arrows pointing at them. If you don’t know a name, leave an arrow with a question mark and chalk for the next person to fill in. You could take pictures and try an online version on a local message board.
  • Share seeds from your garden with instructions on how to plant them and ask your participants to mark on a local map where they have put them
  • Ring someone to tell them a story from when you were a child and ask them for a story from theirs. Then you both ring someone else and pass on the stories you have heard and collect new ones.
  • Host a keepy-uppy challenge in your garden (you can use loo rolls if you don’t have enough balls and referee from a window). Could you look into the physics behind it?
  • Showcase an interesting object in your front window or Facebook page and invite others to do it too. Maybe make yourself available by phone for a few hours to talk about the object.
  • Put out a collection box for drawings the week before your Fun Palace, then display the drawings in a window. You could leave the collection box under cover for 5 days to be sure that it is definitely virus-free before you open it, or do it by e-mail.
  • Invite your neighbours to decorate their front windows and create a street-wide gallery.
  • Invite your block to come to your windows at a certain time to sing together. You could share ideas for what to sing in the weeks beforehand, and distribute the lyrics.
  • Stargaze by phone with friends around the country or world. What can you all spot?

#TinyRevolutions

Sharing YOUR ideas for staying connected offline as well as online – connecting safely in community.

Download our mini-guide

Download our 1000 Tiny Fun Palaces mini-guide and share it offline with friends and neighbours.

COVID-19 Safety Guidance

See guidance on Safety during Covid-19