The always-updated guide to spring and summer fair games
Finding new ideas for your summer fair can be a
challenge. Our ultimate guide to stalls and games is brimming with
tried-and-tested stalls that are easy to run, popular with visitors
and bring in the money! Think we've missed any? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your
Adopt an animal
Ask for donations of good-quality soft toys or source free ones
on a classified ad site such as Gumtree. Put them through the
washing machine, attach a name tag and put all the names in a hat.
Children pull out a name to find out which animal they've won.
New for 2020 - Badge making
A variety of badge making machines can be purchased online, from
smaller versions ideal for use on year stalls to more expensive,
sturdier alternatives. If you don't want to invest, see if your
local Lions or Rotary club has one to lend. Simply cut out images
the correct size, and use your machine make badges for visitors
before their very eyes. Make badges using your school logo or get
visitors to draw their own. Price according to how much the badges
cost to make.
Balance bike assault course
Create an obstacle course for little ones to tackle on a balance
bike. Incorporate obstacles such as stars dangling on string and
cones to ride around. Anyone who completes it wins a sweet.
Lay out a range of differently-sized jars or plant pots. Players
must bounce a ping pong ball into a pot to win a prize. The smaller
the pot in which they can successfully land the ball, the better
Beat the goalie
The player has three chances to get a football past the goalie.
This could be a pupil or a member of staff complete with huge
inflatable goalkeeper gloves. If the player succeeds, they win a
prize. Charge 50p for three goes.
Ask players to hold a partially-filled water bottle by its neck
and flick it into the air. The aim is for the bottle to rotate
fully so it lands upright on its base. If they can do it, they win
Ask for donations of bottles. These could be anything from wine
and juice to shampoo and sauce. Label up the prizes with raffle
tickets and ask players to draw a number to see if they've won.
Depending on how many donations you get, you may want to give a
prize every time or only for numbers ending in zero and five.
Remember that if you have alcoholic prizes, only over 18s can play,
but you could run a child-friendly version too. Charge 50p-£1 per
ticket depending on your prizes.
Set up three plastic buckets of different sizes in a firing
line, with the largest nearest to the player and the smallest
furthest away. Give each contestant three shots at throwing a ball
so it lands (and stays) in a bucket. Give a prize if they get all
three in a bucket, or if they get one in the smallest bucket.
Charge 50p for three goes.
Lay a pack of cards out on a table, placing a sweet or chocolate
on some and booby prizes or nothing on the rest. Players choose a
card from another pack and win whatever is on the identical card on
Chocolate/sweet jar tombola
Ask for donations of chocolates and sweets in the months running
up to the fair - this could be via a mufti day. Label the prizes
with raffle tickets ending in zero and five, and fill the tombola
with all the tickets. The player wins if the number they pull out
of the tombola corresponds to a prize.
Sparsely cover the bottom of an empty paddling pool with bars of
chocolate. The aim is for players to throw and land a 20p coin on
the chocolate to win that bar. Use individual bars to make it
harder or larger bars for more of an incentive to play. Set a
throwing line to restrict players further.
Place three wooden stakes in the ground and balance a coconut on
top of each one. The player has three chances to knock the coconut
off using balls or a beanbag. The player can win a coconut if you
want to keep it traditional, or colour code the coconuts with a dot
underneath representing a prize. Charge 50p for three balls.
New for 2020 - Craze stalls
Schools are full of crazes, whether they're LEGO cards, football
stickers or Pokémon cards - the blind bag nature of these items
means kids get left with lots of duplicates. Set up a stall where
visitors can come to swap their items. Collect spares beforehand so
you can sell them too.
Decorate a jar
Ask pupils to decorate and fill a jam jar. You can give them a
theme based on the fair if you wish. Jars could be filled with
sweets or toys. Award prizes for best decorated. Sell the jars via
a tombola stall, charging 50p a go. Depending on how many jars you
have, every ticket could win.
New for 2020 - Decorate a fairy door
Fairy doors have become really popular in the last few years, so
give your pupils something more unique to decorate at the summer
fair. Make basic arch shapes out of cardboard or wood, and supply
eco-glitter, paint, beads and pompoms so children can make their
Egg and spoon
Players carry a fake egg on a decorated spoon around some
obstacles which fit in with your theme (e.g. a deck chair for a
summer holiday fair) and return to the start without dropping it.
Those who succeed win a prize. Charge 20p a go.
Get together with some other committee members into the run up
to the fair and practice three or four simple designs that you plan
to offer on the day. Snazaroo has lots of simple-to-follow
guides. Charge 50p-£2 depending on the size and complexity of the
Find the £1
Fill assorted jam jars with tissue paper, with £1 taped inside
one of the lids. Ask players to choose the jar they think has the
£1 in, charging 20p for one go or £1 for five. If they pick
correctly, they win the £1. Tape the £1 into a boring little jar
rather than one with a distinctive lid or shape as people will be
less likely to pick it. Replace the £1 as necessary.
Guess the teacher
Collect baby photos from staff or take photos of staff members
in a summery disguise (think sunglasses, straw hats and Hawaiian
shirts). Create an answer form and ask players to fill it in with
their guesses. Correct entries are entered into a draw to win a
prize. Charge 20p-50p to take part.
Hook a duck
Fill a paddling pool with water and ducks - these need to be the
kind with eyelets on their backs and numbers on their bottoms.
Players must hook the duck out of the water with a hook on a stick
- the number on the bottom dictates their prize.
Human fruit machine
Get three people (children or adults) to don a grocer's apron,
complete with a big pocket at the front. Get together three types
of fruit - bananas, oranges, apples, kiwis etc. - and give your
grocers one of each type to put in their pockets. Standing in a
row, at the same time the grocers all pull a piece of fruit out of
their pocket at random. If all three fruits match, the player wins!
Make it easier by offering runner-up prizes for two matching
Float a lemon in a bowl of water and challenge players to
balance a 20p on the fruit. If the coin balances, they win £1, but
if it falls off they lose their money. Give out their winnings in
20p pieces to tempt them to have another go.
Push lollies into a cardboard box, with some of the lolly sticks
coloured with pen, and charge 20p-30p for children to pick one. All
players get to keep their lolly, but coloured sticks win another
Print out a map of a desert island and divide it into squares.
Pick a winning square where the treasure is hidden. Charge a fee to
guess which square it is, taking down a name and class or contact
number. At the end of the fair, reveal the winner and award a
Challenge players to spoon as many marbles as they can into the
hole on the bottom of a ceramic plant pot in one minute. Award a
prize for anyone who achieves over a certain number, or keep a
record and award a grand prize at the end. Paint the pot to fit
Send envelopes home, asking parents to donate between 20p and
£1. Punch a hole in each one and pin them to a paper palm tree on
the wall. Charge 50p to choose an envelope (pointing at them with a
wand to avoid cheating). Top prize is £5, but fill some with sweets
and vouchers for other stalls too.
Name the teddy
Source a big cuddly plush toy and display it next to a clipboard
with a selection of names. You could ask the school to provide a
list of pupils' first names on a numbered spreadsheet - children
will often choose a familiar name. Use a website, such as random.org to generate a number to
decide the winning name. Announce the winner at the end of your
Palm tree hoopla
Paint a palm tree onto a large sheet of hardboard, complete with
leaves and coconuts, and attach coat hooks to the coconuts. Make
the hoops out of bent fabric-covered coat hangers for participants
to throw. The higher the hook, the better the prize.
Put a laminated (in case it gets wet) colour picture of
something that fits your theme under a fish tank full of water.
This could be anything that has a circle the size of a £2
incorporated (with a little room to spare), e.g. a dog with a
circular nose. Players drop the coin into the tank. If it lands
completely covering the circle, the player doubles their money. No
prizes are needed, as winners simply win money back. Provide the
stall minder with a towel for when they have to fish the money
'Inspired by the popular board game Pie Face, we persuaded
teachers to sign up to 15-minute time slots and sold paper plates
of squirty cream for 50p each. Children had to stand behind a
throwing line so that no one shoved a plate in anyone's
face!' Sarah Everson, Secretary, Friends of Halsford
Park Primary, East Grinstead, West Sussex (415 pupils)
Pin the tail on the donkey
Paint a tail-less donkey on a sturdy piece of board which will
stand up to being outside. Create a fabric tail with a sticky end.
Blindfold players and invite them to pin the tail on the right
place. Winners are anyone who gets the tail close to the donkey's
backside. Charge 20p a go.
Julie Caines: '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. We make around £50 each time.'
New for 2020 - Plant sale
Invite green-fingered parents and pupils to grow plants to sell
in the months running up to the fair, or appeal to your local
garden centre. You could also offer buyers the opportunity to paint
their own pot, or repot their plant in a pot of their choice.
Source wildlife-friendly paint if doing this.
Play your cards right
Lay out a pack of playing cards on a table. Players roll a
penny, and if it lands on an even/odd number or a card of a certain
colour, they win a prize.
Fill pots with sand, putting a (well wrapped) sweet or small
prize in the bottom of a few before they are filled. Players choose
a pot and pour it through a colander to reveal whether or not
they've won a prize.
Attach around 20 plastic flower pots to a board - you may wish
to paint the pots or put them in a certain shape to make it more
fun. Put a prize in every 10th pot, then cover all the pots in
tissue paper secured with an elastic band. Charge 30p a go for
children to punch through the paper. Replace the tissue paper/prize
'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 three goes. Last time we had 110 attempts and two winners - £55
raised and we spent less than £10 in prizes. It can be played
indoors too if it's wet. On the day, I issue an envelope with £5
notes to be given out to winners. We use the tagline with
'Drive for show, PUTT for dough!' Sandra McCann
New for 2020 - Quoits
Set up a quoit set and invite pupils to have a go at getting the
hoops on the pegs. Who wins a prize is up to you - it could be if
they score above a certain number, or if they get a certain amount
of hoops onto the pegs successfully. You could even have each peg
representing a different prize.
Roll a £1
Place a bottle of something alcoholic in the centre of a table.
Challenge adults to roll a £1 coin as close to it as possible.
Measure their attempt, take their details and announce the closest
player as the winner at the end of the fair.
New for 2020 - Sand art
Children can layer up coloured sand in a vessel of their choice
to create a summery souvenir. To keep costs down, collect pretty
jars in the months before the fair. This is particularly good done
straight after Christmas when lots of gifts come in attractive
Soak the teacher
(Nicely!) ask teachers to either stand behind a cardboard
cut-out or be put in the stocks so they can be sponged by the
pupils. In the run up to your fair, find out who's willing to do it
and create a rota, with your most prominent volunteer (the head,
perhaps) as the culmination of day. Charge 50p-£1 for three
New for 2020 - Shell scavenge
Fill a paddling pool with sand. Hide shells in your mini-beach
(not too small so they don't get lost). Children need to find a
shell to win a prize. Paint some of the shells gold and offer a
bigger prize if they're found.
New for 2020 - Slime stall
Make lots of slime (in different colours and types, if you can)
for kids to buy. If you want to take it further, turn it into an
activity - kids can come for a slime workshop and make their own to
Hang some socks on a washing line and put small items in each,
e.g. a bouncy ball, a coin, a shell. Players guess what's in each
sock and the winner is the person who guesses all the items. Pull
names out of a hat if there is more than one winner.
Splat the rat
Attach some pipe to a board, drop a toy rat in the top and
invite children to 'splat' it with a stick when it comes out the
other end! Charge 20p a go, with successful splatters winning a
Source a cabinet with four separate compartments and attach
doors to the front of each one. Put prizes in three of the
compartments and leave the fourth one empty. If the player picks
this door, they get sprayed with silly string or water.
Peg socks on a line and put a toy or sweet in each. Kids can
feel (but not look in!) the sock, before choosing one. They get to
keep whatever's inside. If you want to make it harder, don't let
them feel the socks first.
Tin can alley
Ask for cans in advance of your fair and make sure they have no
sharp edges. Pile the cans in pyramids of three, six, etc. and give
players beanbags, balls or even a nerf gun to try to knock them
off. The more cans knocked down, the better the prize. Paint the
cans to fit your theme.
Peg numbered envelopes to a washing line, some filled with
prizes, some filled with tokens for other stalls, and some filled
with 'try again' slips. Let children choose an envelope, and refill
Water into wine
A few months in advance of your fair, ask parents to bring in
used screw-top wine bottles. Fill them with water, and ask for
donations of full wine bottles from local supermarkets or parents.
Aim for a ratio of one bottle of wine to five bottles of water.
Wrap all the bottles in newspaper, and charge £1 for over 18s to
pick a prize.
Bring some tradition to your school field with a welly wang.
Corner off an area of grass so you can make sure no visitors fall
foul of a flying welly, and invite participants to throw their
wellies as far as they can down the course. Record the throws and
give a prize at the end to the winner. Alternatively, set a winning
length where anyone who reaches it automatically wins a prize.
Wheel of fortune
Ikea sells a wheel of fortune
game, (or find a creative parent to make one) which you can
decorate however you like. The different triangles can have things
like 'win a lolly', 'free spin', or 'not a winner'. Charge 20p-50p
'We put green jelly in big bowls and fill it with bugs from a
pound shop. Children dive in and dig out the bugs - they love it!
We charge 30p a go. Make sure you have a clean bowl of water and a
towel at the ready for cleaning up.' Paul Compton
Top tips for maximising profits
- By offering a variety of games at your fair, you're guaranteed
to keep your audience milling around (and spending their money) for
- Encourage visitors to play more games by having offers for
multiple turns, i.e. 50p a go or three for £1.
- Get visitors to stay longer by having a prize stall. Rather
than getting a little item after each game, they win tokens which
they can then put towards a big item of their choosing. They'll
stay around until they have enough tokens for their dream
Do you have any fantastic ideas for summer fair
games? Email us now.
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