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Last-minute Christmas fair ideas

Is your fair a matter of days away? You can still easily add these simple stalls to proceedings. Each idea only requires one volunteer and easy-to-source equipment, so if you're wondering how to make some extra money at your fair, look no further! 

Collect change

Equipment required: A collection bucket

Are you charging an admission fee? If not, have buckets on the door to collect donations from people as they walk in and out. 

Advent calendar

Equipment required: Envelopes and cards

Let the children choose a numbered envelope with a card inside which tells them what prize they have won, or that they've been unlucky. Keep it simple by having small prizes or tokens for other stalls (i.e. free cake from the cake stall). How much you charge will depend on the prizes offered. Keep swapping the cards around.

Bucket ball

Equipment required: Three plastic buckets of different sizes, a ball

Use three plastic buckets of differing sizes, with the largest nearest to the player and the smallest furthest away. Set up a firing line and allow each contestant three shots at throwing a ball, so it stays in a bucket. Give a prize if they get all three in a bucket, or if they get one in the smallest bucket. 

Choco card

Equipment required: A pack of cards and a selection box of chocolates

Lay one pack of cards out on a table, placing a wrapped chocolate on some of the cards, with booby prizes or nothing on the others. The children choose a card from another pack and win whatever is on the corresponding card. 

Chocolate throw

Equipment required: Some bars of chocolate and a sheet

Sparsely lay out bars of chocolate on a sheet (to catch the coins) and ask players to throw a 20p coin for the chance to win one. Throwers who land their coin on the chocolate win the bar. Use individual bars to make it harder or larger bars for more of an incentive to play. You could also set a throwing line to restrict players further.

Find the £1

Equipment required: Empty jam jars, tissue paper and a £1 coin

Fill an assortment of jam jars with tissue paper, and tape a £1 coin 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 the correct jar, they win the £1. Tape the £1 into a dull, small jar rather than one with a distinctive lid or shape as people will be less likely to pick it! Replace the £1 as necessary.

Hook a cracker

Equipment required: A box of crackers, hole punch, paper clips and a hook-a-duck stick

'This idea is so simple! Get a load of crackers when on offer (or ask for donations). Hole punch the crackers and attach a paper clip, formed into a loop. Put the crackers into boxes, standing up, and use 'hook a duck' sticks and charge 50p a go. The participants win every time - a cracker!' Ann Davies, Ridgeway Primary School PTFA, Burntwood, Staffordshire. 

Penny drop

Equipment required: A fish tank and a laminated picture of Rudolph

'Put a laminated (in case it gets wet) colour picture of Rudolph under a fish tank full of water. Rudolph's nose must be red and just big enough for the largest size of a coin to lie on it with a little room to spare. Players drop the coin in, and if it lands entirely on Rudolph's red nose, the player doubles their money. No prizes are needed, as winners simply win money back. Provide your stall volunteer with a towel for when they have to fish the money out. It's a surprisingly difficult game that has adults and kids coming back to play again and again!' Carrie Cooper, Great Easton Primary School PTA, Essex.  See also: lemon balance.

Pick your nose!

Equipment required: A tray, sand, carrots and gold paint

Fill a deep tray with sand. Get around 30 carrots (snowman noses), paint five of them gold on the tips. Those who pick out a golden carrot win a prize.

Roll a £1

Equipment required: Masking tape and a bottle of wine

Mark a start line on the floor with masking tape and place the bottle of wine about five metres away from it. Players must roll a £1 coin towards the bottle, landing it within a certain range of the bottle to win. Mark the winning area with masking tape to make it clear, and practice in advance to determine how big this area should be. If players land their coin in the area, they win the bottle of wine. 

100-square grid

Equipment required: A large piece of card, a ruler and pen 

Draw a 100-square grid or download our template, ensuring the squares are big enough for people to write their name in a square of their choice. Walk around the fair selling each square for £1. The winner gets £25, which means good odds for participants and a £75 profit providing you sell all the squares.


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