Ticket Taylor

15 fabulous game stalls!

1 Bucket Ball

Have three plastic buckets of differing sizes with the largest nearest and the smallest further 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.

2 Balance a 20p on a lemon!

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! Its harder than it looks!

3 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 throw the last bag through the door of the bell tower. Get all bags in the right places to win a prize.

4 Putt challenge

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 6ft 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 doh!'. 

5 Duckin' for doughnuts

Lisa Pope, chair, Lent Rise School Association, Slough: 'We tied ring doughnuts along a strong clothes rail, using different lengths of string. The children loved it, but watching the teachers try to get hold of the doughnut with their hands behind their back was hilarious, let alone seeing them covered with sugar afterwards! This didn't make much money but everyone agreed it was great fun and one to do again!'

6 Rowing challenge

Jennifer Littleford, via Facebook: 'We had a rowing machine challenge and had prizes for the fastest 500m in different age groups, including mums and dads - it became very competitive!'

7 Crockery smash

Nicola McCarthy, PTA chair, East Peckham Primary: 'We made a stand from an old wardrobe and bookshelf, and placed it on a tarpaulin surrounded by netting. We used wooden balls and charged 50p for five balls. Old crockery was donated by parents, charity shops and a local pottery shop. Last year we made £350.' NOTE: consider broken or flying crockery when risk assessing this activity.

8 Tin can alley

Stack empty aluminium cans in pyramids on a bookshelf (minus back). Children have to knock as many off as they can in one minute from a set distance, using water guns. Have one volunteer taking money and timing each go, and another to restack the tins!

Peeks LB

9 Human fruit machine

Three large cardboard boxes, three volunteers, three identical bowls of fruit (plastic or real). If three matching fruits are chosen, the player wins a prize!

10 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!'

11 Hook-a-duck

Fill a paddling pool with water or polystyrene packing chips (useful if your fair needs to come indoors at the last minute!). Hook-a-duck is a lovely game for younger pupils and siblings.

12 Coconut shy

Susan Wilding, PA chair, St Winefrides Primary School: 'Our coconut shy is always a success, making over £100 profit! We invested in our own shy and give coconuts as prizes, spending about £20 each time.'

13 Yukky dip!

Paul Compton, PTA chair, Kings Norton Primary:  'We use green jelly in big bowls and fill it with bugs from a pound shop. Children dive in and dig one out - they love it! We charge 30p a go. Have a clean bowl of water and a towel at the ready for cleaning up!'

14 Piggy racing

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."

15 Balloon pop

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.

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