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Christmas secrets room

(22 Posts)
WarmHugs Sun 23-Oct-16 08:27:39

I debated posting this in primary education, but thought it would be more suitable here.

We are holding a "Christmas Secrets Room" at school. The plan is that each child brings £2 and can buy a present for Mum or Dad (or both).

Has anyone done this at their school before and can offer and advice? What kind of presents would work best? We want to make profit on them. I am happy to make things if it works out cheap/easy. We will be asking for donations for the Tombola stall so don't want to ask for more donations to stock this too.

Floggingmolly Sun 23-Oct-16 08:49:31

Our school has things like - one pair of festive socks (from a multipack), Ikea spice jars filled with bath salts, glass votives (Ikea have some clear glass ones for 39p!) with a tea light enclosed, Christmas mugs from Poundland, woolly scarves from Primark; all encased in cellophane tied with a ribbon.
Ours is partially a fundraiser though, so a large portion of the £2 is actually profit...

SitsOnFence Sun 23-Oct-16 09:34:25

How lovely! I might have to steal that one for our PTA.

No helpful advice, I'm afraid, but if we were doing it then I'd make sure it was run in such a way that children whose parents can't spare an extra £2 per child at what is already a very expensive time of year, don't feel left out in any way.

SittingDrinkingTea Sun 23-Oct-16 09:41:20

Our school do this, they ask for donations of unused gifts. I know you don't want to ask for donations but books, CDs and DVDs have been popular on our stall in the past, especially as gifts for dads and they don't "clash" with tombola type stuff.

Heirhelp Sun 23-Oct-16 09:44:05

Please don't use the word secret. Can't imagine the school would allow you to any way.

AbiBranning Sun 23-Oct-16 09:54:44

Our PTA does a father's day one a mother's day one and Christmas one. Last year we got a mug, some sweets and a cuddly toy. But ours is max £5. Mother's day I got a necklace, a butterfly magnet and a cuddly owl. It's lovely to get something they've chosen for you themselves, although the cuddly toys keep vanishing into DS's roomgrin

AbiBranning Sun 23-Oct-16 09:55:39

Oh and ours are called gift rooms no mention of secrets.

dancemom Sun 23-Oct-16 09:58:29

We do this - we call it the no adults allowed Room!

We don't do it for profit so we buy from the pound shops and sell for £1, more affordable for the pupils.

We buy cufflink and tie sets, mugs that we fill with chocs, hand cream, box of maltesers etc

One tip is that we leave one of each item unwrapped and on a display table and wrap everything else in advance. Pupils choose their gift and we give them a ready wrapped one and help them write the label, much easier and quicker that way!

WarmHugs Sun 23-Oct-16 09:59:06

Thanks everyone, some great ideas!

It's not actually being called secret, that's just what I have heard other people call it so thought it would be easier than explaining!

SlatternIsTrying Sun 23-Oct-16 11:34:04

We do this too. The kids LOVE it.

We ask parents to donate gifts, PTA repackages/combines them/ tidies them up, then they are put on display like a shop. The kids each pay £1 to pick a present and then it is wrapped and labelled for them.

The stuff is rubbish but the kids don't know that and it makes their day.

I am still using the hideous key ring my DS picked for me a few years ago.

SpringerS Sun 23-Oct-16 13:59:52

I have to say that I'd be a bit hmm if my son's school did this. Buying in a load of stuff for 50p-£1 and then charging the kids £2 is making money by ripping the kids off. I work very hard with my son to make him value conscious. He saves up for things he wants, I show him how to search for the best prices. How a £50 toy can be gotten secondhand for £15, etc. To have his teachers encourage him pay 2-4 times the value of something would undermine an important lesson I make an ongoing part of his life.

Why not ask for donations of all sorts of things. Big things go in the tombola, small things in the kids shopping room. Or at least put things together in such a way that there is an element of 'service' that the kids are paying for. Like a huge tray of fudge, sold in small amounts, in a nice box/bag. Or sell things for cost and ask for a donation too. We're happy to give to charity but ripping kids off for it is questionable.

pinkunicornsarefluffy Sun 23-Oct-16 15:06:08

Our school does this at the Christmas Fair and they do call it the secrets room. No grownups are allowed in apart from the helpers. They ask for unwanted gifts and toiletries and wrapping paper, and then sell everything for £1, so it is 100% profit for the PTA. They usually struggle more for male presents than female ones.

I did think it was only new items, but last year a lot of good quality second hand things were in the sale.

Our school ask for bottles for the tombola, items for hamper draw prizes and gifts for the secrets room, and sweets. and of course you have to then buy draw tickets and spend money at the fair. It's not cheap but it is fun for the DC.

I have donated soap, jewellery, ties, shower gel, books, all sorts of things. DC have given me manicure kits, doorstops, books, perfume. They love going in there to buy presents for people. I usually donate 6-8 things as DC like to buy around 5 presents.

Whenasuitcasejustwontdo Sun 23-Oct-16 15:23:11

We do this for Christmas and mothers day. To help the day run smoothly, the labels (avery with a preprinted bit of clip art on) is given in advance to class teachers and the children write their messages on. That way, once they've purchased their pre wrapped gift, they can immediately stick their label on. We have one unwrapped gift on show too.

Titsalinabumsquash Sun 23-Oct-16 15:39:53

We do this at school every year, it's our most popular pta event.
We ask for each child to bring small gifts in exchange for a sticker to decorate each class' Christmas tree the class that earns the most stickers gets a treat of mince pies and hot chocolate or similar and the gifts go to the present room.

We have,

Small nail varnishes/nail files
Small compact mirrors
Stationary
Note books
Gloves
Scarves
Candles
Boxes of sweets/chocolates
Small toys
Mugs

I usually go into £ land and buy £10 worth of things for my children to take in and then they use pocket money to buy their siblings and me and Dp a gift for Christmas.

At the end of the present room sale what's left is opened up for parents to buy and there's a big raffle and refreshments, it's lovely.

gladisgood Mon 24-Oct-16 09:10:45

I wouldn't bother with the expense/time of wrapping the gifts.

Our school gives each child a paper bag to scribble on and use lots of glitter decorate for each gift.

They take it with them on the shopping day and the helpers staple it shut afterwards so there is no peeking!

ChristmasZombie Mon 24-Oct-16 11:05:10

We've done it, but not for a few years now. It didn't make enough profit to make it an annual thing, when compared to the setting up time. It was held in my classroom, and covering all the windows with black sugar paper was a right pita!

nancy75 Mon 24-Oct-16 11:09:29

Dds primary did this, it was done with donations, anything from books to nail varnish. The kids chose and wrapped the gift ( wrapping paper also donated) kids lived it and it was called the secrets room

Pengweng Mon 24-Oct-16 14:00:48

We do this and call it Elfridges and the kids can buy Elf money and use it to buy a present which they then wrap up and label in the room with the help of an Elf.

It's a big earner for us as we get the presents donated. We ask parents for any unwanted gifts they might have. We just do 1 or two donation days where parents can bring in either chocs or bottles for tombola or a gift for elfridges. We end up with loads of stuff. Some of the nicer/bigger things we keep and raffle off at the summer fair.

We do it as part of the christmas fair though so none of the other kids knows if anyone is left out etc.

Aquasport Mon 24-Oct-16 14:44:56

I think this is a lovely idea

d270r0 Mon 24-Oct-16 18:31:02

I think this is a nice idea. I wouldn't worry about wrapping the gifts either, the kids should be doing that themselves! A paper bag to hide them should be enough.
If the school is in an affluent area I would keep it to £2. Just raid poundland for gifts, you are usually able to find some nice things there eg. Currently there are some nice bath bombs etc.
If it is in a less affluent area I would reduce the amount to £1. Finding things for less than that will be a bit trickier. You might still get some bits from poundland that you could split up, for example I saw a set of 2 christmassy nail files for £1, you could split them. Choccies should be easy.

d270r0 Mon 24-Oct-16 18:36:47

Set of 2 adult colouring books for £2 from amazon (So £1 each)

set of 2 adult colouring books

d270r0 Mon 24-Oct-16 18:44:39

And try dotcomgiftshop- go on clearance and order them in price from low to high- loads of cheap but nice bits and bobs there up to £1

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