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Fundraising - please give me tips about organising a school Christmas grotto!

(9 Posts)
christmasbauble Sat 24-Oct-09 21:09:22

After some discussion, DCs primary school is keen to set up a grotto with Santa and elves at the Christmas fair...I have volunteered with two other mums to organise this. We need to recruit Santa and some elves, source decorations to transform the scruffy sports equipment shed into a 'magical grotto', issue tickets, choose and wrap presents, and ensure that all the timings work. The fair is for two hours after school, 4.30-5.30 - approximately 160 children in the school. We are thinking of charging £2.00 per child and buying cheap but nice books from Book People/ Red House etc as presents. We would be really grateful for any tips and suggestions - so new to this! For instance should we sell tickets in advance or on the day?

Hassled Sat 24-Oct-09 21:14:15

You seem pretty sussed but I feel the need to point out 4.30 - 5.30 is only one hour - this might affect your timings . Timings are the key - so tickets 1 - 25, be by the Grotto at 4.30, then 25 - 50, be by the Grotto by 5 (or whatever). Make it good and staggered, though. And buy a staple gun and lots of shiny wrapping paper for the shed transformation.

blametheparents Sat 24-Oct-09 21:15:56

We bought cheap white shower curtains for our grotto at school as the basis and then hung them.We also had some shower curtains which were white with silver stars printe on them. Can get these cheaply from Asda or Wilkonsons Then cut big stars from silver card which were hung from the ceiling and around the walls. Silver tinsel too. Looked really pretty.

Last year we bought small cabdury selection boxes for every child, I think they cost about 79p from Makro or Bookers. Then every child can have then same gift, and chocolate is always popular with kids (if not adults!)
Books are lovely, but don't want to get too many for one age group / gender and then not enough for another.
£2.00 sounds fine.
We do not sell tickets in advance, works well to do it on day and grotto was busy for all of the fair.
Could also try doing photos. Charge of 50p and then print them in Asda and get them back to the children via their class teacher during the following week.

christmasbauble Sat 24-Oct-09 22:06:56

Hi Hassled...sorry, the fair will actually be 4.30 to 6.30 (from a hassled Bauble!), so 2 hours in total....thank you for the tips re staggering the entry! Staple gun on order!
BTP...yes, books have a big stamp of approval from head teacher and all of PTA, but not sure of practicalities re doling them out..or how many to order for different age groups? Any tips from old PTA hands welcome...also, advice to give novice elves and Santas on talking to the children...we may have a lovely but not desperately chatty Dad! Wondered about giving children name badges to save "Ah ho, ho, hello Harry!" each child will get just around a minute's chat....thoughts welcome!

Hassled Sat 24-Oct-09 22:30:11

This is very very sad, but we were told that ideally Santa should be CRB'd. So you need to pick soon to have a chance of getting it done in time, if that's the way you think you should go.

AngryPixie Sat 24-Oct-09 22:32:11

Our PTA put a plea out on freecycle and got loads of decorations for free. We also had a mufti day in return for a small wrapped gift (costing approx £1) labeled with boy/girl ks1/ks2. This meant that all the money taken was profit.

The children had a ball and honestly no one mentioned that the gifts had been brought in by the parents. They seemed to blank that out on the day grin

The book people great idea though.

I think they charged less than £2 (can't remember exactly) because many of our families have 3 or 4 children and christmas is sooo expensive!

Clary Sat 24-Oct-09 22:56:08

We charged £2.50 last year shock

Gifts were 50p-£1 from Baker Ross tho (so quite good quality tat).

Liking the books idea.

Also for our price you got to hand in a letter to Santa and he wrote one back to you a week later - ahem! written by PTA members of course - I was shocked by some gift requests! (and went ahh to some - eg Dear Santa I would like a Hannah Montana clock and sum choclat)

twinklytoes Sat 24-Oct-09 23:56:14

I've managed to rope in nursery and reception to help with the decorating. they'll going to make lots of sparkling snowflakes to hang over white sheets that have also been donated. I've also borrowing fairy lights and those window net lights to hang up.

love the hanging stars and will be off to find some sparkly card.

with santa and crb. ours will not be having a full crb (not enough time to process) but will have a check against the POVAfirst list (got a new name now but can't remember it. I've also got to do a risk assessment for the whole event so santa will be in there.

still deciding over pressies but want to hit the 50p mark really as we'll not be able to charge more than £1 entry.

busybutterfly Sun 25-Oct-09 00:11:58

Go round town with a load of letters from the school explaining what you're doing and ask for donations. We got loads of stuff that way.
Good luck!

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