A health fair doesn't have to be limited to one or two people sitting behind numerous booths, handing out informational brochures on an illness or medication. You can make a health fair fun, and, by doing so, make information learned at the fair more likely to sink in. Do this by having games and activities that people of all ages and both genders can participate in.
Demonstrations are powerful teaching tools. These can easily be done at health fairs, provided you have the space you need. If the booth's subject is relevant for all ages and genders, then the people running the booth should consider a demonstration. One example would be how to perform CPR. If the booth's subject is specific to a gender or disease, the booth people should let the audience know before the demonstration begins. One example would be a self breast exam, which should be performed on a female dummy.
Not all booths at a health fair participate with the audience. You can help the people at those booths pass on their information with a few games. Try a scavenger hunt or a bingo. List different objects, such as a food guide pyramid, from various booths that people have to find. The list can be in the standard format or on a bingo board. Tell attendees to turn in their completed lists for a chance at a prize.
You can also list trivia questions. For example, ask a question regarding proper dental health care or what range a person's blood sugar should be in. The participants will then have to hunt down the answers by paying attention and asking questions of the people at the booths.
Although people at the health fair are already walking around, encourage them to increase their physical participation by having group classes. These can be difficult classes that introduce new ideas or easier classes for those new to exercising. Make the class a mile-long walk where the leaders increase walking speeds at intervals and get participants to lift their knees higher at different times. Also try a jump rope class.
An overall health-fair contest is another way to get people involved. It has to be simple, however. Participants can guess how many marbles are in a jar or you can have a coloring contest. To make it fair, divide the participants into age groups, such as children 2 and younger, ages 3 to 4 and 5 to 7. The adults, ages 18 and older, can be in one group. Make sure the location where the contest is being held is in an area near the door or some other place where it will not be confused with one of the booths.
Contests can also be specific to each booth. For example, one booth might have a quick trivia game and another might have people spin a wheel.
Lana Bradstream began her journalism career in 2000. She has worked at the "Mobridge Tribune," the "Custer County Chronicle," "Rapid City Weekly News" and the "Box Elder Horizon," with regular beats of government, crime, agriculture, entertainment and feature stories. Bradstream studied journalism at the University of South Dakota.