14 Awesome Summer Fair Fund Raising Ideas

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How to raise the most amount of money for your PTA with the minimum outlay? Schools need increasing amounts of money these days to pay for equipment and outings so it is very important to come up with ever more imaginative ways of engaging children and parents to raise funds.

I have just joined a PTA at my son’s school and working in the toy industry should come in handy as I already have tons of great ideas. Hopefully, this means that our PTA will be able to have a record-breaking year!

Firstly here are some of the well known, traditional methods of fundraising at summer fairs –

Face Painting

Children of all ages (and some adults too!) Love to have their faces painted. There are lots of different designs to choose from depending on your skill level but the basic tiger and butterfly will normally suffice. Wholesale Face paints are so cheap these days that if you charge 50p or £ 1 you are sure to make a good profit. Just make sure you buy a good quality face paint from a reputable importer. The packaging should carry CE mark, full ingredients list and the name and address of the import company. If the pack you find doesn’t carry all three of these then DON’T BUY. The last thing you want is a pack of irate mums after you because their kid’s faces have had allergic reactions!

Temporary Tattoos

Wholesale temporary tattoos are so cheap (around 2-3p) that again this can be a huge money-spinner. Charge 20p per tattoos and you will make 10x your original investment. Again just make sure you buy from a reputable wholesale toy supplier.

Crockery Smashing

I have been a few summer fairs now that have had a booth where you can throw balls at old crockery and without fail they are always the busiest stall at the fair. There is something extremely satisfying about the breaking sound of china! My husband even spent a small fortune there. Again it does not have to be expensive. Scour charity shops for boxes of old plates, cups and bowls and set them up in a booth with shelves and have a smashing time! (Groan!)

Teddy Raffle

Ask parents to donate old cuddly toys which you can raffle off for £ 1 each.

Popcorn & Candy Floss

Machines can be hired relatively cheaply these days and who doesn’t love popcorn and candy floss? The margins for both these snacks can be very healthy so definitely a must for your sweet-toothed guests.


Easy to run and taking up minimal space are ideal reasons to have a tombola, plus it is a traditional must. No summer fair is complete without one! You can print tickets out quite easily from the internet and again ask parents for small donations to give as prizes. Failing that why not fill old jam jars with penny sweets to make fun prizes that children will love.

Count The Candy

Fill a big jar full of smarties or other small sweets and charge people 50p to guess how many are in there. The winner at the end of the fair with the closest guess wins the lot.

Cricket & Football

This is a great one for the Dads as their will to win and competitive spirit will kick in. Buy some good but cheap bottles of wine from the supermarket and either a football goal or cricket set (quite cheap from places like Argos) and charge Dads £ 1 – £ 2 to see if they can get 3 goals in 3 balls or 3 wickets from 3 bowls. Trust me, offer a Dad wine and a cricket ball and you will be onto a winner.

Cake Stall

A summer fair would not be complete with a good array of homemade cakes. Ask parents to bake a small cake for you to sell or why not turn it into a competition and have your mini bake off?

So there are some of the more traditional ideas for summer fundraising but if you want to make your event stand out then it is all about the quirky fun factor. Parents and children alike will be enthralled by some of the weirder events out there and the odder the better. So here are a few ideas.

Worm Charming

Mark the ground into 2-meter squares and participants pay a pound for a pitch, they then have 5 minutes to charm as many worms out of the ground as possible. No digging allowed just singing and jumping up and down.

Snail, Piglet & Ferret Racing

You will probably need to contact specialist companies for this as you will need to hire the animals and equipment. There are also strict rules in place to make sure no harm comes to the animals. They can both be great games to add to your event as we all love a bit of gambling. A quick internet search should provide all the information you need.

Panning For Gold

All you need for this is a large trough of water and half a dozen panning for gold kits which can be purchased for around £ 2 each from wholesale toy suppliers. Charge the kids £ 1 to have 5 minutes sifting and panning through the dirt to see if they can hit the motherload! Have some little paper bags or plastic jars handy for them to put their treasure in when they are finished.

Water Pistols Shooting Gallery

Line up empty plastic bottles and food pots and if the children can knock over 3 bottles or more with a large water pistol then they win a prize. Minimal outlay and can bring in the pennies.

Pirate Treasure hunt

Give each child a pirate eye patch and a treasure map that leads them to various clues hidden around the event. If they find them all and work out the location of the treasure then they win a prize. Great fun that can keep them entertained for 20 minutes or more.

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