Stall ideas for all ages
Keep all your visitors happy - from toddlers to adults -
with this selection of stall ideas, as recommended by
FACE PAINTING is popular, but always has long
queues, so keep designs simple. A pink cat, pirate or tiger will
work well, especially as they are suitable for both boys and girls.
Once you have mastered these to speed, you can try a few more!
Recruit a few volunteers and draw up a rota that allows people a
break. Charge between £1-3.
HOOK-A-DUCK Fill a paddling pool with water and
float ducks with eyelets on their backs and numbers on their
bottoms (purpose-made ducks are balanced so as not to tip over).
Participants hook the duck out of the water - the number on the
bottom corresponds to a prize. Alternatively, have two lightweight
ducks in a tray of water. Draw a 'finish' line across the bottom
and get two players to blow their duck using a drinking straw - the
winner is the first across the line.
CUPCAKE DECORATING Purchase packs of plain
sponge cupcakes, or appeal to your local supermarket or parents for
donations. Separate toppings such as sprinkles, mini Smarties, and
dolly mixtures into bowls. Have different coloured icing, in
squeezy bottles to make life easier. It might not be a huge
profit-maker, but it's always a hit!
TEDDY TOMBOLA Lisa Schofield: 'Teddy tombola is
one of our best stalls! We ask families for donations of soft toys,
ideally in good condition. We then charge £1 for five tickets. If
we have enough stock, we give a prize every time. If not, we offer
consolation prizes for those that draw blank tickets. The children
keep coming back for more!'
BOUNCY CASTLE Claire Cayless: 'We hire a bouncy
slide and two bouncy castles for £250. We charge £3 per wristband
for unlimited use and still make a profit. Have a five-minute
bounce time per group.'
5 to 9 years
TIN CAN ALLEY Rachel Pearce: 'This was the most
popular game at our fair! We displayed six tin cans in a pyramid
and had three beanbags. People were asked to stand behind a chalk
line and see if they could knock them all down! The children loved
it and kept coming back to see if they could win! We had two
pyramids going at once and would recommend having two helpers to
pick up all the cans off the floor each time.'
YUCKY DIP Paul Compton: 'We use green jelly in
big bowls and fill it with bugs from a pound shop. Children have to
dive in and dig one out - they love it and get really excited! We
charged 30p a go. Have a clean bowl of water and some towels at the
ready for cleaning up afterwards.'
LOLLY LOTTERY Zoe Bullock: 'Cover a cardboard
box in wrapping paper and push lollies into it. Mark some of the
lolly ends with a coloured pen. We charge 30p a go. Children get to
keep the lolly but those with coloured sticks win an extra prize.
Our last "Lolly Lottery" made a fantastic £140!'
BALLOON POP Blow up balloons (allow one per
pupil) and place a raffle ticket inside, with numbers that relate
to a prize. Place notes in others saying, 'Have another go!' or,
'You've won a treat from the cake stall'. Tie your balloons to a
gazebo and cut each one down as it's selected. Provide a sharpened
stick or let the children stamp on their balloon until it pops!
Charge 50p per go.
JAZZY JARS Tina Canning: 'Get the children to
fill a clean jam jar with sweets, pens, stencils, stickers, or
small toys. Affix cloakroom-style raffle tickets to the lids. Have
people randomly select a ticket and charge £1 per go. We have
around 400 jars. Distribute plastic cups instead of glass
10 to 16 years
SOAK THE TEACHER Julie Caines: 'Only a couple
of teachers volunteer but it's worth it! Put a plastic tablecloth
on the floor to catch the sponges - this stops small stones from
getting picked up by the sponges. We give the teachers chairs to
sit on and safety goggles to wear. We charge £1 for two sponges and
offer a whole bucket of water for a much higher price! Set the
distance at about eight to 10 feet.'
PIG RACING Purchase battery-operated pigs from
a toyshop - the ones that walk, stop, oink and snuffle! Mark four
lanes with tape on a table and tag each lane with a number. Charge
50p a go and ask people to select the pig they'd like to race.
Award a prize to the owner of the winning pig. The pigs can be
reused for other events and the only expense is batteries.
CROCKERY SMASH Ask for donations of old
crockery or scour charity shops. Stick faces of love-to-hate
celebrities onto the plates and stand them on a bookshelf. Place
heavy-duty dustsheets under the crockery and mark a clear line,
behind which children must stand. Your stall should be manned by
adults wearing gardening gloves and safety goggles. Give
participants hard balls to throw and charge 50p for three balls.
Consider broken or flying crockery when risk assessing this
PHOTO BOOTH Lucy Gammer: 'We charge 50p per
printed photo and have these developed at a supermarket for 4p per
print. You need at least two cameras, with one person taking the
photo and one keeping track of the image numbers. The teachers can
then distribute the photos a few days later, once they're
developed. Download free printable props to attach to sticks. It's
always very popular!'
WASHING LINE GAME Bev Brackenridge: 'Our
biggest earner is our washing line game. We spend a few days
contacting local businesses for vouchers and gift certificates -
including meals-for-two, beauty treatments, gym memberships,
tickets for amusement parks, and so on. We put each prize in a
white envelope and peg it to the washing line. Some tickets include
a free hot dog or drink. We charged £2 per go and made just over
£400 in 90 minutes!'
PUTTING CHALLENGE Sandra McCann: 'We have a £5
note pinned to a six-foot strip of artificial grass, and whoever
putts the ball onto the note, wins. We charge 50p for three goes.
Last time we had 110 players and two winners. It's always busy and
can be played indoors if wet. On the day, I issue an envelope with
£5 notes to be given out to winners, and we use the tagline "Drive
for show, PUTT for dough!"'
WATER INTO WINE Ask parents to bring in empty,
used wine bottles (complete with screw tops) in the months leading
up to the fair. Ask local hotels or restaurants for empties, too.
Fill these bottles with water. Ask for donations of actual wine
from local supermarkets and/or parents, and wrap all the bottles in
newspaper. Aim for a ratio of one bottle of wine to five bottles of
water. Make sure that anyone who wins is over 18. Aim to have
roughly 200 bottles - at £1 a go, profits will be limited by the
number of bottles you have.
WELLY WANGING Peter Foreman: 'We charge 50p for
one throw and £1 for three. Don't bother measuring as it takes more
time, but you do need lots of space away from other stalls. Just
use a marker, like a flag, chair or tent peg, for the furthest
throw. Each time the marker is reached, take down the details of
that thrower so an ultimate prize can be given.'
BARROW O' BOOZE Maurice Snell: 'Our "barrow o'
booze" does well, with donated bottles of alcohol assembled in a
wheelbarrow. Cloakroom tickets are sold for £1 each and one lucky
winner takes the entire barrow home! We use a standard garden
wheelbarrow, with straw under the bottles. We wheel the barrow
around the fair to drum up interest. Last year we made over £200
CAKE STALLS are always popular, and if you have
all your sweet treats donated, there won't be any costs, either!
Position your tea and coffee stall near your cake stall, and scour
local charity shops for old-fashion cups and saucers. Have a
seating area where parents can mingle.
BBQ Louise Clive: 'Our BBQ is always very
popular and receives great feedback. We cater it ourselves using
two gas BBQs - one for sausages and the other for burgers. It's
important to ensure there is no cross- contamination, surfaces are
wiped down, and aprons and gloves are worn. We have four helpers
cooking and serving food. Go for thinner sausages, as the fatter
ones take longer to cook!'
CANDYFLOSS Helen Wagner: 'Candyfloss always
sells well. Find a selection of colours and flavours, and buy bags
and sticks in bulk. We bought 1,000 bags for £50 (less than 5p a
bag) and 500 sticks for £20 (4p per stick). Buy a couple of large
sacks of sugar - we buy two 5kg bags for a school of 650 pupils -
from a wholesaler. Place any remaining sugar in sealed containers
and keep them for your next event. Provide gloves and aprons as
PIZZA Lynda McCallum: 'We asked our local
Domino's Pizza if they had a mobile pizza stall. They were happy to
help and it cost us absolutely nothing! They sold slices of pizza
for £1 each, of which we earned 50p. They sent two members of
staff, a mobile stall, and a supply of pizzas. When they were
running low, they contacted the local store and had extra pizzas
delivered. We ended up earning £60 for no effort!'
ICE CREAM If you decide to invite an ice- cream
van to take a pitch at your event, charge a flat fee of around £100
rather than asking for a percentage of profits.
Tips and tricks
- Encourage children to go on the bouncy castle BEFORE having
their face painted - otherwise they can end up quite messy! Read face painting tips and advice.
- Syreeta Oakes told us, 'Hire the equipment for an extra hour
after the fete ends, and while the PTA clean up, their children can
use it. A little thank you that goes down a treat at our
- When booking big headline attractions, bear in mind that you
may need to book at least 12 months in advance. Find PTA
event suppliers in our directory.
- Nicky Wooster says, 'We have runners to pick up floats and
cover loo breaks, but we also give each external stall holder two
complimentary drinks vouchers as
a thank you.'
- You will need a TEN to sell alcohol. If running a stall with
alcoholic prizes, a TEN is not required - read
our quick guide to event licensing.
- If you have access to a freezer and enough volunteers, make
bigger profits at your event by selling ice creams yourself.
- Serving food that doesn't require cutlery or plates is a great
way to keep down costs! Read our top 10 summer fair refreshment
- Clare Powell says, 'Have an arena with performances, including
dancing or music. This works as a great focal point and guarantees
attendance by performers and their families.'
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