How to organise a brilliant school fair

Looking to avoid a fete worse than death? Here's what Mumsnetters say you need to make your school fair outstanding

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Get EVERYONE on board

"You need plenty of bodies - for a couple of days beforehand to sort through the donations, and then on the day to set up/man the stalls/clear away."

"Get as many teachers involved as possible! It's good for the atmosphere and kids like to see their teachers at a school event."

"Encourage people to donate for the tombola with a non-uniform day, where every child can come to school in their own clothes if they bring a tombola prize."

"Our school asks mums who do Body Shop, Virgin Vie or similar to offer their services with a mini-facial/pampering stall. The person doing it keeps her commission on anything she sells, and there's a small fee (a couple of quid) for getting the treatment done."

Set up great stalls

"Colour stalls are always good. Pick a couple of colours - red for one stall, blue for another - and ask for donations of things in those colours: stationery, toiletries, sweets etc. You can also wrap any odd donated bits in coloured tissue paper. Stick raffle tickets on the items and make every ticket a winner; kids love it because they always win, even if it's only a packet of crisps."

"We're doing a hamper raffle this year - collecting money from parents and using it to buy stuff for a luxury Mediterranean hamper (olives, sundried tomatoes, marinated peppers etc)."

"Try Soak The Teacher with individual jars with the names of the teachers on. People put money in the jars, and the one with the most money at the end is the teacher who gets soaked."

"Parents appreciate activity stalls such as make-a-bracelet/face-painting/decorate-a-cake. They take up a few minutes so they (a) don't have to chase around so much and (b) aren't spending at such a furious rate."

"Don't bother with a white elephant stall. People will send in tons of crap that won't sell and you'll be stuck getting rid of it."

"You HAVE to have a cake stall. It is the law." 

Crunch the numbers...

"We sold tickets at £2.50 for adults and £1 per non-school child (i.e. cousins and friends). Pupils were free. Tickets included a food voucher (hot dog or burger) and, for children, a strip of five stamps (pupils got theirs free). Rides/stalls were paid for with stamps, and extras could be bought on the day."

"Operate a ticket system. This way, children and parents don't spend all their time queuing, so they can spend more money on other stalls."

...and remember, a little attention to detail makes life a lot easier

"Make sure to have lots and lots of plastic bags for people to take away the things they buy. Also, have a book of raffle tickets so that you can stick those bags to one side, while people go off and browse elsewhere - and you can then identify them later (all the faces became a blur!)"

"Have a few boxes of change - but also organise someone to come around regularly to take the notes away, so that there isn't too much money sitting in the middle of the chaos."

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Last updated: over 1 year ago