Listed below are a range of ideas which you may find useful when organising your school fair. Some are only suited to outdoor fairs but could be adjusted for indoor use.
An easy sideshow for the kids to make. All you need is some very large water pistols and some empty soft drink bottles – 3 litre ones are good. The object of the game is to have a ball balancing on the top of the bottle and it has to be hit by a blast of water form the water pistol. If you dislodge the ball, you win a prize. Spray paint your bottles with whacky colours and make your balls look like little planets. Experiment with different balls – table tennis, golf etc. to find what suits the force from your water pistols. You don’t want everybody to win, but you also don’t want it to be too hard. You can vary the degree of difficulty – every ball has to be dislodged or only one.
Either ask a sponsor to provide printed balloons and helium to give away or ask your local balloon shop to set up a stall.
second hand books and magazines are always popular – add DVD’s and videos to your stall to increase your range
Great fun and easy to run, simply have balloons attached to a board with a number behind each board. As the punter busts the balloon they win the prize corresponding to the number behind. You can buy cheap toys as prizes and have a couple of major prizes for interest
Send home empty cake boxes the last week of the Fair with requests for cakes to be delivered to school on the day before the Fair.
Coffee & Tea Stall
A must and with the popularity of special coffees, approach your local coffee shop with a view to setting up a cappuccino machine
Set up a craft group months before the event to make craft items. If you can’t establish a craft group you can always scour yur local markets for a suitable stall and ask them to pay a percentage of takings. Craft stalls are particularly good if your Fair is on Mother's Day weekend. Think about dividing your craft items up - jams and pickles into a gourmet food stall, skin care and bathroom luxuries in a pamper stall, toys and baby clothes in a baby stall. You can also create themes around colours - a blue stall, a red stall, a pink stall.
Without a doubt one of the most popular activities with the kids! If you can't source a dunk tank, consider making your own stand for a wet sponge throw - just as effective!
Fishing plastic ducks out of a pond is an age old favourite. Insert a little metal hoop into the mouth the duck and a small hook into the end of a bamboo rod. Number the base of each duck and make even numbers winners. You only need a small prize like a mini chocolate bar.
Always popular with the little kids. Select your designs in advance and make sure everyone can reproduce them. Photograph the designs and laminate the images – this makes it easy for the little ones to make their choice. Look at temporary tattoos for older children. You can also book in professional face painters who will pay you a percentage of their takings.
Take a trip to the flower market the day before – you can make up bunches yourself or buy them ready made. If you don't live in a capital city with a flower market, source a local flower farm. Make sure you place your order well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Think of having a farmers market at your Fair to attract extra visitors.
Gourmet Foods Stall
Pickles, jams and preservatives, gourmet biscuits and cakes, all very popular. This stall can compliment the craft stall.
Hair Colour Stall
Really popular with the kids – spray on wild colours for great fun. A good alternative to face painting for older kids. You will need to buy several cartons of spray colour as it is very, very popular.
Ice creams are always a popular treat, especially on those hot days. It can be difficult for a school to set up its own ice cream stall because of the need for refrigeration. Booking an ice cream vendor/van is the ideal solution
Another easy sideshow using a paddling pool. Fill the paddling pool with water and float a small china plate in the water. Put a €2 coin in the plate. Draw a line about 2 metres from the pool. If you can throw a 20cent piece onto the plate, you win the prize. Practice as you set up the stall to decide the best distance for the line. The 20c coins will usually bounce off the plate.
Name the ...
Have an item like a baby born doll and sell tickets to name her. At the end of the day the winning name is pulled from a box and the person who selected that name wins the doll. Alternatively you can have 100 names already selected and you sell the names
Sell pre-printed school merchandise such as T-Shirts, Caps, Mugs, Keyrings and tea towels. This is especially good if you have a school anniversary to commemorate
White elephant, pre-loved, trash and treasure – there is always a ready market for second had goods. If you can provide a collection service for donations you will always get a great selection of items. You might need to offer delivery on larger items as well.
Have you suggestions for great stalls - please add them to the comments section below