The always up-to-date guide to Christmas fair game and stall ideas
Are you stuck for stall and game inspiration for your
fair? Never fear! We've compiled a list of every stall idea we can
think of to inspire you. Think we've missed any? Email email@example.com with your suggestions and
we'll add them!
Adopt an animal
Ask for donations of good-quality soft toys or source free ones
on Gumtree. Stick them through the washing machine, then attach a
name tag around their necks and put all the names in a hat.
Children pull out a name and win the corresponding animal.
Alternatively, try this 'pull a teddy' idea from Mandy
Harris: 'We tie a string onto lots of teddies and
cuddlies. The participant pulls the string, and they get the teddy
that's on the end of the string.'
Let 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), or secure bigger prizes such
as vouchers for local attractions. How much you charge will depend
on the prizes offered. Keep swapping the cards around.
Similar to a 'hook the duck' game, fill a paddling pool with
styrofoam shapes and Christmas baubles. Participants hook the
baubles out of the pool. Each has a different coloured spot,
representing a prize of varying worth. See also 'hook a
Bats in the bell tower
Create a tower from a cardboard box, with an archway for a
target. Fix little bells that jingle when a successful toss into
the tower is made. Position a ladder leading to your bell tower and
challenge players to throw a bean bag into each space between the
rungs of the ladder. If they manage it, they can try to throw the
last one through the door of the bell tower. Get all the bags in
the right places to win a prize.
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, only over 18s can play
- but you could run a child-friendly version too with different
drinks for 50p a bag.
Have 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.
Burst a balloon
'Blow up lots of balloons, putting folded paper stars in some
before tying. Colour the stars for different prizes. We use mini
chocolate bars and two medium-size selection boxes as prizes.
Attach the balloons to a board and use a pin fastened to the end of
a stick to pop the balloons. The children love bursting the
balloons, and we have had no accidents so far! We charge 50p for
two pops.' Suzanne Jones, PTA Treasurer, Burwell Village
College (440 pupils)
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/sweet jar 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 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.
Decorate a Christmas jar
'We ask pupils to fill a jar with sweets then decorate it in any
way they like. It can be any size jar and any sweets they choose.
We also ask them to do a Christmassy decoration on the jar, and
there are prizes for the best-decorated. These are put on a tombola
stall, and there is a prize every time, at 50p a go. It's all
profit for the school and a fun stall for children.'
Shirley Smith, PTA member, Rosemellin CP School, Camborne
Ho Ho Hole
Prop up a large sheet of hardboard with Santa's face painted on
with a hole where his mouth should be. Participants aim small
(preferably Christmas-themed) dog toys, like mince pies, at his
mouth. Have infants standing closer to the hardboard, juniors
further away, and real experts standing at an angle to make it even
Hook a cracker
'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. See also
Human fruit machine
Set up three child-sized boxes with holes cut out at chest
height. Within each one 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 fruits match, the
player wins! You can make it easier by having runner-up prizes for
two matching fruit. Use plastic fruit/laminated images for less
Knock down wall
'Save large empty boxes and Pringles tubes. Paint the boxes with
a brick pattern to look like sections of a wall. Fill the Pringles
tubes with newspaper to weigh them down slightly, and paint them
white. Set up your wall, complete with Pringles towers. Put festive
cuddly toys in between the towers or on top of the boxes. Give
children three balls with which to knock the toys off the wall.
Award a prize if they knock them all off, or a sweet if they don't.
Use larger boxes to make it easier and quicker to reassemble the
wall if they knock it all down; small boxes would take ages to put
back up. I'd recommend having at least two people to run the stall.
It is very popular with the older children.' Beki Herzberg,
chair of Friends of King Edwards, Tyne and Wear (500
Knock Santa down the chimney
'To make the game, you need a cardboard box painted to look like
a brick chimney stack, a large Santa cuddly toy and soft white
balls - ideally that look like snowballs! We charge children 60p to
play. For this, they are given three 'snowballs' to throw at Santa.
If they knock him down the chimney, they get a small prize!'
Stephanie Scott, PC Member, St. Josephs RC Primary,
Aberdeen (380 pupils)
Float a lemon in a jug of water and challenge fairgoers to
balance a 20p on the lemon. Obviously this game costs 20p a go! If
it balances they win £1 - they may be tempted to spend their
winnings having another go! It's harder than it looks! See also:
Lucky (Lapland) squares
Print out a map of Lapland and divide it into squares. Pick a
winning square (which is the secret location where Santa has hidden
the presents!) and 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 prize.
How many marbles can the children spoon into the hole on the
bottom of ceramic plant pots in one minute? Paint the pots with
festive decorations to fit the theme!
Send envelopes home, asking parents to donate between 20p and
£1. Punch a hole in each one and hang them on a Christmas tree with
ribbon. Charge 50p to choose an envelope (pointing at them with a
wand to avoid cheating). Top prize is £5, but fill some with
chocolate coins too.
What's the name of the snowman or reindeer? Have a plush cuddly
toy, and a clipboard with a range of options - ask the school to
provide a list of pupils' first names on a numbered spreadsheet -
children will often choose their own name or that of a friend!
Using random.org, generate three numbers to determine
the winning name (and two alternatives). Announce the winner at the
end of the event.
'Put a laminated (in case it gets wet) colour picture of Rudolf
under a fish tank full of water. Rudolf'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 Rudolf's red nose, then 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 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
'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 went up and shoved a plate in anyone's
face!' Sarah Everson, Secretary, Friends of Halsford Park
Primary, East Grinstead, West Sussex (415 pupils)
Pick a lolly
Zoe Bullock, PTA chair, The Firs Primary
School: 'Cover a cardboard box in wrapping paper and push
lollies into it. Colour some of the lolly sticks with pen. We
charge 30p a go. Children get to keep the lolly, but coloured
sticks win an extra prize. Our last "Lolly Lottery" made £140!'
Pick your nose!
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.
Pin the nose on Rudolf
'It's the same concept as pin the tail on the donkey except we
have a big Rudolf face with a big red nose for the children to pin
on! We are fortunate that one of the dads made us a big wooden
Rudolf face one year, so we use it time and time again. The
children win if they get anywhere near the nose area, and get a
penny sweet for having a go if they don't win. They love it!'
Natalie Corcoran, Telford Infant School PTA, Leamington
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, around £50 each time."
Play your cards right
Jacqueline Jordon: 'Play your cards right is a
variation on the 'shove ha'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.'
Pluck a turkey
Just like 'pick a straw', but with an added Christmas twist!
Make a giant papier-mache turkey, and, instead of straws, use
feathers with coloured spots on the bottom. Each colour represents
a different prize. Once you've made it, you can reuse it each
Vanessa Harris: 'We use 20 plastic flower pots
and put one prize in every 10th pot. Cover all the pots in
Christmas tissue paper secured with an elastic band. Charge 30p a
go for children to punch through the paper. Replace the tissue
paper/prize as necessary.'
Hang a large sheet of hardboard with Rudolf's head painted on
with tinsel-covered hooks on the antlers. Make hoops out of bent
tinsel-covered coat hangers for participants to throw. The higher
the hook, the better the prize.
Fill a paddling pool full of shredded paper, hide ping pong
balls (snowballs) amongst the paper. We offer a lolly every time
and bigger prizes if children choose a ball featuring the words 'ho
ho ho'. The younger children love it.' Louise Skitt, Willow
Tree Primary School PTFA, Harrogate (509 pupils)
Snowman snap and snowman smash
Paola Armstrong, PTA committee member, St Patrick's RC
school, Shropshire (200 pupils): We had a load of
empty Yazoo milkshake bottles from pupils' packed lunches. We
stripped off the covers and decorated them to look like snowmen
using paint for the lids (hats) and Sharpie pens to do the rest.
The snowmen were used for two games:
Snowman snap: paint different colours for the
hats, with matching pairs. Hide the snowmen in the 'snow' (beanbag
filler balls). Charge 50p for three goes. If you pull out a pair,
you get a prize.
Snowman smash: set up your snowmen in a ten-pin
bowling format. Paint a tennis ball white and roll it down a big
tube to see if you can knock down all the snowmen.'
'Hang a variety of socks on a line or clothes horse and put
small items into each sock (i.e. a marble, comb, penny etc.)
Players have to guess what's in each sock and write down their
guesses (have a pre-printed sheet with name, telephone and
description of each sock). The winner is the person who guesses all
the items. Pull names out of a hat if there is more than one person
who guesses all correctly.' Sarah Ellis, Friends of
Garvestone Community Primary School, Norwich
Tin can alley
Ask for baked beans cans in advance of your fair and make sure
they have no sharp edges. Use a bookcase with the back removed to
hold them. Pile the cans in pyramids of three, six, etc. and give
players beanbags or balls to try and knock them off - even better
if you can find some white 'snowballs'. Give rewards for the number
of cans shot down - the more cans, the better the prize.
Wrap a large cardboard box in festive paper and put several
holes in the side. Poke tinsel of different lengths through the
holes. Short ones win nothing, while long ones win a prize.
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 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
approximately 200 bottles as a minimum - at £1 a turn, profits will
be limited by the number of bottles you have.
Where in the world is Santa?
Display photos of landmarks from across the globe, zoomed in
close, and run a quiz challenging people to identify the locations.
Give prizes to those who get five or more correct answers.
Top tips for maximising profits
- By having 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 games by having offers for multiple
turns, i.e. 50p a go or three for £1.
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