Top 10 summer fair games and stalls

Roll up, roll up for our big winners

One of the most exciting aspects of organising a PTA summer fair is selecting the games and stalls that will work best for your school. Whether you have a team of resourceful parents who can construct custom-made games, class reps who run class stalls or a fair subcommittee to manage everything, getting the right mix of activities is key to a smooth planning process.

Beat the goalie

Ask the school if you can use their football goals, or put out a request to parents to see if they can lend some to you. Find volunteers who are willing to don goalkeeping gloves and take a turn in goal. Remember to give your helpers breaks as it can be tiring.

Allow each player three attempts to get the ball past the goalie – those who succeed win a prize. Check with the PE teacher or the school football team to see if they can help with organisation or fetching the ball. At the end of the day, award an extra prize to the overall top scorer. Reach out to local football teams to ask for grand prize donations, such as free tickets to a match or a signed shirt. In case of a draw, suggest a play-off or pull a name out of a hat.

Coconut shy

To set up the game, mark a line where players must stand – you may want to allow children to stand closer than adults. Make, buy or borrow wooden posts. Knock them into the ground in a row and balance the coconuts on top. Hang a brightly painted backdrop, such as an old sheet or tarpaulin, behind the stall to catch any stray balls. Players get three chances to throw a ball at the coconuts, aiming to dislodge them from their posts. If they succeed, they win either a coconut or an alternative prize. To make it easier, place the coconuts on their sides, bring the throwing line closer or increase the number of balls allowed.

Teddy bear tombola

Often, the simplest way to collect teddy bears and other stuffed animals is to ask parents to donate them, possibly as part of a non-uniform day. You could also ask on local Facebook groups and community WhatsApp groups or visit local car boot sales. Request clean bears that are in good condition, and sort thoroughly. Wash each bear again.

To run a traditional teddy bear tombola, attach a raffle ticket to each animal and ask children to pull a folded ticket out of a bag. You can specify only tickets ending in a zero or five as winners, or award a prize every time. Arrange the teddy bears in ticket number order on your stall so you avoid lengthy searches.

To give the children more choice, use coloured tickets. For example, a red ticket wins a big bear, green indicates a medium-sized teddy, and yellow gets them a small animal. Alternatively, use a giant dice, where each number represents a particular category of prize.

Doughnut eating challenge

Tie a length of string between two posts or trees and hang a row of ring doughnuts at slightly above mouth height, adjusting, where possible, for shorter and taller players. Challenge children to eat them without using their hands or allowing the doughnut to fall on the floor. The prize is the doughnut itself. Make it more difficult by setting a time limit or awarding a bigger prize to the fastest eater of the day.

Guess the teacher

Find out how well the children know their teachers by holding a photo competition. Ask staff to send in their baby photos or take pictures of themselves wearing fashionable summery disguises, such as sunglasses, straw hats and Hawaiian shirts. Create an answer form and charge participants a small fee to guess which teacher is in each photo. Towards the end of the day, put the correct entries into a prize draw.


In a traditional game of hoopla, players throw rings over prizes placed on a table. For a school summer fair version, ask pupils to throw hula hoops around plastic cones or toss beanbags into hoops or between the rungs of a stepladder placed flat on the ground. Use traffic light colours to indicate the type of prize won. Move the throwing line further away to make the game more challenging for adults.

Paddling pool golf

Set up a paddling pool (or several) and invite visitors to play a game of golf. Charge players for three or five attempts to hit the ball from a tee into the pool and award a prize each time they succeed.

Slime stall

Making slime is a fun way to bring a smile to visitors’ faces. Ask volunteers to create brightly coloured slimes before the fair and sell each tub at a sensible price. You can find many easy slime recipes online. If you prefer to avoid setting up a whole stall, slime also makes an excellent prize for other stalls.

Soak the teacher

If you think the school staff will be game, ask extra politely if any teachers are willing to stand in the stocks and allow pupils to throw a wet sponge at them. Create a rota and publicise it widely so everyone knows which teachers they can soak and when. For maximum excitement, save the headteacher for a grand finale.

Treasure hunt

Choose a small creature that will hide throughout your summer fair, such as a seagull, a bumblebee or any animal with a connection to your school. Before the fair, attach pictures of the creature to various stalls and prepare forms for children to record where they find it.

Encourage older children to explore the fair independently. Everyone who completes the form wins a small prize. Alternatively, create an online treasure hunt using a tool such as Twine ( where participants access clues through their mobile devices. Older pupils will love the interactive element, not to mention the freedom.


  • We update our list of favourite stalls every year. To share your suggestions, email