The always-updated guide to spring and summer fair games
By having a variety of games at your fair, you're
guaranteed to keep your audience milling around (and spending their
money) for longer.
We loved Sandra McCann's game idea that would
appeal to dads at your summer fair: 'We have a £5 note pinned to a
strip of artificial grass (about 6" long). Whoever putts the ball
onto the note wins. We charge 50p for 3 goes. Last time we had 110
attempts and 2 winners - £55 raised and we spent less than £10 in
prizes. It can be played indoor too if wet. On the day with the
float I issue an envelope with £5 notes to be given out to winners.
We are a first school with approx. 240 children and we use the
tagline with 'Drive for show, PUTT for dough!'.
Dare to be different and try out a 'yucky dip' at your fair.
Paul Compton, chair at Kings Norton Primary PTA
gave some advice: 'We use green jelly in big bowls and fill it with
bugs from a pound shop. Children dive in and dig out - they love
it! We charge 30p a go. Have a clean bowl of water and a towel at
the ready for cleaning up.'
A gardening-based game idea - how many marbles can the chidlren
spoon into the hole on the bottom of ceramic plant pots in one
minute? Claire Chambers did this: 'The kids loved
it and so did the adults. We ran it alongside our plant stall which
worked really well.'
A great one for the adults to get involved with but beware, they
tend to get competitive! Ask a local gym if you can borrow a rowing
machine in exchange for them promoting their gym. Have prizes for
the fastest 500m in different age groups.
Water into wine
A few months in advance of your fair ask parents to bring in
their used wine bottles (complete with screw tops). Fill the wine
bottles with water. Ask for donations of wine from local
supermarkets and/or parents and wrap all bottles with newspaper.
Have a ratio of roughly one bottle of wine for every five bottles
of water. Make sure anyone who plays is over 18. Aim to have
roughly 200 bottles as a minimum - at £1 a go profits will be
limited by the number of bottles you have.
Human fruit machine
Have three child-sized boxes set up with holes cut out at chest
height. Within each box there should be a bowl of fruit with
matching items - banana, orange, grapes, apple, kiwi, etc. Three
children (the fruit machines) stand in the three boxes, and at the
same time, show one piece of fruit - if all three fruit match, the
player wins! You can make it simpler by having runner-up prizes for
two matching fruit.
Julie Caines told us the success of her piggy
races: 'We bought four battery-operated pig toys from Hawkins
Bazaar. We marked lanes with tape on a table and held races! We
charged 50p a go. The piggies were a bit expensive at £15 each but
we made our money back the first time we did it which isn't bad,
around £50 each time.'
This takes a bit of preparation - have a team of helpers tying
the balloons as this can really hurt your fingers after a while!
Blow up enough balloons to allow one per pupil at the school. Place
a raffle ticket inside each balloon, which correlate to different
prizes. Alternatively, place notes in each one saying, 'Have
another go!' or, 'Sorry, you haven't won', but mostly, 'You've won
some sweets!'. Tie your balloons to a gazebo and cut each one down
as it's chosen. Either provide a sharpened stick or let the
children stamp on their balloon until it pops! Recommended charge -
30p per go or £1 for four.
Tin can alley
Ask for baked beans cans in advance of your fair and make sure
they have no sharp edges. Have a book case with the back taken out
to hold the cans. Have the cans in pyramids of three, six, etc. and
give players super soakers to try and shoot the cans off! A very
simple game that, because of the water element, will have children
come back time and again. Give prizes out for number of cans shot
down - the more cans, the better the prize.
Ask for donations of old crockery or scour charity shops. Stick
faces of people you love to hate (Simon Cowell, Cruella de Vil,
Ashley Cole) onto the plates and stand them facing forwards on a
book shelf. Place heavy-duty dust sheets under the plates and have
a clear line for where the children should stand. Your stall should
be manned by adult volunteers, wearing gardening gloves and safety
goggles! Give participants hard balls to throw at the plates.
Children, and parents, will love seeing their favourite villain
toppled! Nicola McCarthy recommends charging
50p for three balls.
Hook a duck
An old favourite - especially with little ones. Simply fill a
paddling pool with water, float ducks with eyelets on their backs
and numbers on their bottoms. Ask participants to hook the duck out
of the water - the number on the bottom corresponds to the prize
they have won.
Sweet jar/chocolate tombola
Ask parents to donate boxes of chocolates or jars of sweets in
the months running up to the fair (you could hold a mufti day and
ask children to bring in chocolate or bags of sweets). Stick raffle
tickets on top of each prize and have the same numbers - and more -
in the tombola. Spin the tombola and the player pulls out a number.
The player wins whichever prize corresponds with their number.
Charge £1 for three spins.
And these great ideas come from our PTA+
Michelle Whitlock: 'Last year we had a
'beautiful surprise' game. A box with 4 seperate compartments and
doors held lip gloss, hair bows, nail polish etc.. the forth slot
is left open. If the student picks that door they get sprayed with
silly string. The kids kept playing this one so they could get
sprayed. We ran out of prizes.'
Mandy Harris: 'We have a 'pull a
teddy' stall. We tie string on lots of teddies and cuddlies
and the participant pulls a string and they get the teddy that's on
the end of the string.'
Susan Farrell Smith: 'Our best seller is a
'bottle bag grab'. Ask for people to donate bottle bags with
bottles of anything inside - shampoo, sauce, juice, washing up
liquid, wine, etc. Seal the bags at the top and participants pay £1
for a bag - they may get a Fruit Shoot or a bottle of wine!'
Remember that if you have alcoholic prizes though, only over 18s
Jacqueline Jordon: 'Play your cards right
is a variation on the 'Shove a Penny Game'. Using oversized
playing cards, players roll a penny and if it lands on an even/odd
number or a card of a certain colour, they win a prize.'
Sharon Blain: 'We do a washing line game
at the summer fair and a Christmas tree game at Christmas. It's
£1.50 a go. We do 100 envelopes (but usually have to restock!). 75
prizes and 25 no wins. Prizes include a free drink, free burger,
fancy rubber gloves and washing up liquid, donated spa sessions,
donated lamps (new) and gift sets, etc. Prizes vary depending on
donations. It is a great game and very popular. We don't write the
prize in the envelope just WINNER and a number which corresponds to
a list, that way if someone has taken the wrong prize, the stall
holder can sort it with no disappointment and numbered 'winner'
cards can be reused at the next event.'
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