A total of 365 children from different ethnic groups and countries will paint a record-breaking canvas to send a historic message as part of the activities to celebrate International Children's Day in Hanoi on June 1.

The festival day will be held at Quan Ngua Sport Complex, 30 Van Cao Street by the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism with free entrance as a gift for all children, said Nguyen Khac Loi, Director of the organising board.

"The two-day event aims to create a playing area with meaningful and interesting activities for local and international children," he said. "This is also an occasion to strengthen the bond between Vietnamese people and their international friends."

When it's completed, the 180m by 1.2m painting will set a new Vietnamese record for the biggest painting created by international children.

"Besides exciting games, we have organised many educative activities to help children understand the importance of solidarity and cooperation between team members," Loi said. "In many games, they are required to extend their creativity, discipline, mutual understanding and cooperation with each other."

Children can choose to participate in classes designed to help them experience different jobs or learn to make handicrafts and traditional toys.

An area for families to take photos will be set out with colourful balloons, lanterns from the central city of Hoi An and pin wheels made by the children.

While the children are busy with indoor and outdoor activities, parents can attend workshops on education and childcare at the venue.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will also organise an event with similar activities from June 1-2 for children at Indochina Plaza, 239 Xuan Thuy Street, Ha Noi.

At this venue, children will get a chance to understand international cultures through photos, information, art performances and games. The area will be set up with the cooperation of organisations from Norway, Japan, China and Spain.

To celebrate International Children's Day, a national exhibition of 417 children's paintings selected from 90,000 will take place from May 28 to June 1 at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts, 2 Hoa Lu Street, Ha Noi.

The paintings express children's love for their family, late President Ho Chi Minh, the country and the beauty of life.

Exciting events at the fair will include an Aerobic Kids Competition, a comedy presentation and an art performance.

Meanwhile, children who love books should visit the book fair running from May 29 to June 1 at the Vietnamese Women's Museum (36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi), where they can read for free, buy books at a discount and interact with authors and translators.

To prepare for the International Children's Day, supermarkets and shops in HCM City have stocked their shelves with all kinds of toys and are offering several fun activities.

Many toyshops on Thap Muoi, Tran Binh and Le Quang Sung streets around Binh Tan Market in District 6 say sales have increased significantly of late. Many have also received orders to ship toys to other provinces and cities.

In supermarkets, toys and other products are being sold with promotional and entertainment programmes.

Big C has launched three promotions to celebrate the biggest day for children this year, offering discounts of 5-50 per cent on more than 2,500 items, including milk, sweets, toys and clothes until June 3.

In addition, children will have an opportunity to take part in various activities including painting and karaoke contests, as well as sculpting clay statues at Big C outlets.

The Co.opmart supermarket chain has cooperated with large brands to launch four promotions, with more than 4,000 product reductions until June 2.

One of the programmes, called Vuong Quoc Tro Choi (Toy Kingdom), offers discounts of up to 25 percent on 1,200 products for children, including toys, dolls and study tools.

Other supermarkets such as Lotte Mart, Vinatex Mart and Maximark, have also launched similar promotions and entertainment activities.

Themed "Wonderland", the 5th Phu My Hung – Children's Day will involve traditional and modern games as well as a world of fairy tales. The fantasy world will contain colourful streets featuring Jiminy Cricket's umbrellas, Snow White, Harry Potter, a candy house with soap bubbles and a secret room with a miracle mirror.-VNA