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People at a pop-up photo booth

Creative stall ideas for summer fairs

It's always wise to have some creative stalls that are more hands-on and will keep your audience busy and entertained for longer. Interactive stalls pull in a profit and can even give the children something to take away as a souvenir, just bear in mind drying times for anything involving glue, paint or icing!

Photo booth

Source plenty of silly props (inflatables, hats, oversized glasses) for people to choose from - this is especially fun if you have a theme you can tie them into! Alternatively, get creative with a cardboard frame for visitors to hold up. Task a volunteer poised with a Polaroid camera to take photos. Although there are some outgoings, a Polaroid camera will not only fascinate children as they see their picture come to life before their eyes, but it will also avoid any issues around data protection and storing photos of minors. Depending on how much the film costs, charge £1.50-£2 per picture.

T-shirt printing

'Children paid £3.50 to print their own design on a white T-shirt using fabric paint and stencils. Expenses were quite high for the T-shirts and paint, but we lowered costs by making some of the stencils ourselves. Profit-wise, we made 50% of our takings. It required a close eye from adult helpers, but the children made a lovely keepsake.' Joanna Rumm, PTA member, St John's CofE Primary School, Crowborough (210 pupils

Decorate a photo frame

Put this stall beside your photo booth, so children can decorate a frame for their new snap! Buy cheap cardboard frames from a wholesaler, making sure they are the right dimensions for a Polaroid. Supply stick-on jewels, feathers and mini mosaic tiles, along with plenty of glue. Charge £2-£3 per frame.

Biscuit decorating

Ask for biscuit donations from a local supermarket, or encourage volunteers to bake a few batches each. If the fair is themed, use appropriate cutters. For the decorations, use icing sugar and food colouring to make colourful icing. Put the icing into special squeezy bottles to prevent it from drying out. Offer participants a selection of mini-sweets and sprinkles in small bowls to complete their masterpiece. Charge 50p per biscuit.

Artwork spinner

'Our artwork spinner acts like a Lazy Susan (in a gardening bucket to contain the mess!), spinning paper while children can go crazy making amazing designs with acrylic paints. It's low outlay, so we only charge 50p a go.' Joanna Rumm

Water warriors

Who doesn't love a water fight? Section off an area and charge children £1-2 to claim a water pistol and join in for a five-minute slot. The children can play as individuals or with friends. You can even set up obstacles or provide cover. This is easy to organise, as all you need are some water pistols and safety goggles!

Top tips:

  • For crafty stalls, have two to three 'messy' helpers (depending on the size of the fair and stall) and one 'clean' helper to handle the money, especially if there's food involved.
  • When working out what to charge for your stalls, consider your costings per person and how long each child will take, stock required and how long this will keep for.

 


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