Label P LB J20
Children in santa hats in the snow

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 with your suggestions and we'll add them!

Adopt an animal

Ask for donations of good-quality soft toys or source free ones on a classified ad site such as Gumtree. Put them through the washing machine, 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.'

Advent calendar

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.

Balance bike assault course

Great fun for little ones - create a Christmassy obstacle course for them to navigate while riding on a balance bike. Incoporate obstacles such as jingling bells and cotton wool dangling on string as snow. Anyone who completes it wins a sweet.

Bauble bobbing

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 cracker'.

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.

Bottle tombola

Susan Farrell Smith: 'Our best seller is a 'bottle bag grab'. Ask people to donate bags full of bottles containing liquids such as shampoo, sauce, juice, washing up liquid and wine. Seal the bags at the top and charge participants £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.

Bucket ball

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.


New for 2019 - Candy cane fishing

Prop up several candy canes in a tray of sand and give players a fishing rod with a loop at the end (this needs to be made of something that holds its shape such as wire). You may find someone owns a game with an appropriate fishing rod you can borrow for the evening. Players pay 20p and if they can catch a candy cane, they keep it.

Choco card

Lay one pack of cards out on a table, placing a wrapped chocolate on some of the cards, and booby prizes or nothing on the rest. 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 goodies). Stick raffle tickets on top of each prize and use the same numbers - plus more - in the tombola. Spin the tombola and let the player pull out a number. The player wins whichever prize corresponds to their number.

Chocolate throw

Lay out bars of chocolate sparsely in an empty paddling pool and ask players to throw a 20p coin for the chance to win one. Throwers who land their coin on the chocolate win that bar. Use individual bars to make it harder or larger bars for more of an incentive to play. Set a throwing line to restrict players further.

New for 2019 - Christmas jumper stall

A year is a long time, and the jumpers that fitted pupils last year will likely be too small now. Hold an appeal for unwanted Christmas jumpers and accessories and sell them on at your fair.

Decorate a Christmas jar

'We ask pupils to fill a jar with sweets and decorate it in any way they like. It can be any size jar and any sweets they choose. We also ask them to create a Christmassy decoration on the jar, and award prizes for the best-decorated. These are put on a tombola stall, and there is a prize every time. We charge 50p a go. It's all profit for the school and a fun stall for children.' Shirley Smith, PTA member, Rosemellin CP School, Camborne (300 pupils)

Find the £1

Fill an assortment of jam jars with tissue paper, and tape a £1 inside one of the lids. Ask players to choose the jar they think has the £1 in, charging 20p for one go or £1 for five. If they pick the correct jar, they win the £1. Tape the £1 into a dull, small jar rather than one with a distinctive lid or shape as people will be less likely to pick it. Replace the £1 as necessary.

Golden cracker

Buy cheap crackers from a wholesaler such a Booker, and slip a winning ticket into 20-25% of them. Charge 50p for players to pull a cracker and see if they're a winner. If there's a winning ticket in their cracker, they receive a prize.

New for 2019 - Guess the address

If you have any bakers on your committee, ask if they can make a gingerbread house - otherwise assemble one from a kit with plenty of sweets for decoration. Much like 'name the teddy', players must pick from a list of addresses (e.g. 3 Elf Avenue, 12 Snowball Lane) to determine where the house is located. The winner gets the house. 

Guess the teacher

Collect baby photos from staff or take photos of staff members in a Christmassy disguise. Create an answer form and ask players to fill it in with their guesses. Correct entries are entered into a draw to win a prize.

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 trickier!

Hook a cracker

'This idea is so simple! Buy boxes of crackers when they are on sale (or ask for donations). Punch a hole in the crackers and attach a paper clip formed into a loop. Put the crackers into boxes, standing up, and use 'hook a duck' sticks. We charge 50p a go. The participants win a cracker every time' Ann Davies, Ridgeway Primary School PTFA, Burntwood, Staffordshire. See also: 'bauble bobbing'.

Human fruit machine

Set up three child-sized boxes with holes cut out at chest height. Place a bowl of the same ktypes of fruit within each one. You could use bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, kiwis, 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! Make it easier by offering runner-up prizes for two matching fruit.

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 - it's also quicker to reassemble the wall if they knock it all down. 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 pupils)

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 ones 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)

New for 2019 - Knock the elf off the shelf

Instead of a coconut shy, have three mischievous elves sitting on top of a mantelpiece. If the player can knock them down (you can decide whether they need to knock down one or all three) then they win a prize. Charge 50p for three (snow)balls.

Lemon balance

Float a lemon in a jug of water and challenge fairgoers to balance a 20p on the fruit. Obviously, this game costs 20p a go! If it balances, they win £1. If they get their winnings in twenty pence pieces, they may be tempted to have another go. It's harder than it looks! See also: 'penny drop'.

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.

Marble pots

How many marbles can the children spoon into the hole on the bottom of a ceramic plant pot in one minute? Paint the pots with festive decorations to fit the theme!

Money tree

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.

Name the...

What's the name of the snowman or reindeer? Find a plush cuddly toy and a clipboard with a selection of names - you could 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! Use a website, such as to generate a number which will determine the winning name. Announce the winner at the end of your event.

Penny drop

'Put a laminated (in case it gets wet) colour picture of Rudolph under a fish tank full of water. Rudolph'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 into the tank. If it lands completely covering Rudolph's red nose, 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 balance'.

Pie face

'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 shoved a plate in anyone's face!' Sarah Everson, Secretary, Friends of Halsford Park Primary, East Grinstead, West Sussex (415 pupils)

Pick a lolly

'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!' Zoe Bullock, PTA Chair, The Firs Primary School

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 Rudolph

'It's the same concept as 'pin the tail on the donkey', except we have a big Rudolph face with a big red nose on which the children can pin! We are fortunate that one of the dads made us a big wooden Rudolph face one year, and we use it time and time again. The children win if they get anywhere near the nose area or get a penny sweet for having a go. They love it!' Natalie Corcoran, Telford Infant School PTA, Leamington Spa

Piggy racing

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. We make 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 year. 

Pot luck

Fill pots with fake snow, putting a sweet or small prize in the bottom of a few before they are filled. Players choose a pot and pour it through a colander to reveal whether or not they've won a prize.

New for 2019 - Present toss

Decorate a large box to look like a chimney, complete with a brick pattern and cotton wool 'snow' around the top. Wrap up some smaller boxes as presents and ask players to successfully throw the presents into the chimney. You may want to put some weight inside the boxes (such as some socks or something else soft!) to make the box easier to control. Each player has three goes for 50p and wins a prize if they succeed.

Punch pot

Vanessa Harris: 'We use 20 plastic flower pots and put a 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.'

New for 2019 - Roll a £1

Place a bottle of something alcoholic in the centre of a table. Ask adults to try rolling £1 as close to it as possible. Measure their attempt, take their details and announce whoever was closest as the winner at the end of the fair. If more than one person won, put them in a hat and draw out the overall winner.

Rudolph hoopla

Paint a Rudolph head (with antlers) onto a large sheet of hardboard and attach tinsel-covered hooks to the antlers. Make hoops out of bent tinsel-covered coat hangers for participants to throw. The higher the hook, the better the prize.

New for 2019 - Salt dough decorations

Bake some salt dough decorations before your event and charge children 50p-£1 to decorate them. Remember to put a hole in the decorations before baking. To keep things tidier, thread the ribbon through after they've been decorated and have dried. Provide materials such as glitter, sequins and gems with PVA glue, or paint if you're happy to get a bit messier.

New for 2019 - Santa flip

Decorate some partially-filled water bottles to look like Santa. Challenge players to hold the bottle by its neck and flick it into the air. The aim is for the bottle to rotate fully so it lands upright on its base. If they can do it, they win a prize.

Snowball and spoon

A festive edition of egg and spoon: players carry a fake snowball on a decorated spoon, walk around a wrapped present, and return to the start without dropping it! Those who succeed win a prize.

Snowball bounce

Lay out a range of diffently-sized jars or plant pots, decorated to look festive. Players must bounce a ping pong (snow)ball into a pot to win a prize. The size of the prize depends on the pot in which the snowball lands. The smaller the pot, the better the prize!

Snowball scavenge

'Fill a paddling pool full with 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

'We saved empty 400ml 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 the hats in different colours 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.' Paola Armstrong, PTA committee member, St Patrick's RC School, Shropshire (200 pupils)

Sock game

'Hang a variety of socks on a line or clothes horse and put small items into each sock (i.e. a marble, comb, penny). Players have to guess what's in each sock and write down their guesses (create 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

Splat the Christmas pudding

Create a festive 'splat the rat' board by painting the pipe to look like a chimney and the board to look like a winter sky. Use a Christmas-themed dog toy and attach bells to the splatting stick to make it even more festive!

Surprise sock

Peg socks on a line and put a toy or sweet in each. Kids can feel (but not look in!) the socks. They choose one and get to keep whatever's inside. To make it harder, they're not allowed to feel the socks, and can only choose by looking!

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 display them. Pile the cans in pyramids of three, six, etc. and give players beanbags or balls to try to 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.

Tinsel pull

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 in newspaper - use a ratio of roughly one bottle of wine to five bottles of water. Make sure anyone who plays is over 18. Aim to get a minimum of 200 bottles in total - at £1 a turn, profits will be limited by the number of bottles you have.

New for 2019 - Wheel of fortune

Ikea sells a wheel of fortune game, (or find a creative parent to make one) which you can decorate however you like. The different triangles can have things like 'win a lolly', 'free spin', or 'not a winner'. Charge 20p-50p per spin.

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. Award prizes to those who get five or more correct answers.

Top tips for maximising profits

  • By offering a variety of games at your fair, you're guaranteed to keep your audience milling around (and spending their money) for longer.
  • Encourage visitors to play games by having offers for multiple turns, i.e. 50p a go or three for £1.

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