Unusual fair games ideas

Bored with tombolas and hook-a-duck? Follow in these schools' footsteps and try something different

Donkey poop bingo

Who would think you could make £1,500 from donkey poop? Our PTA did, and of all the events we’ve run, it was the simplest. We made a page on Ticket Tailor but instead of selling seats, we created a representation of the school field as a square grid and sold the squares. Large squares cost £5 and small ones were £2.50. A parent at our school is an ex-Arsenal groundsman and created a grid on the field with white lines.

Through Facebook, I found a local lady who owns two miniature donkeys and she agreed to bring her animals along for a small charge. Local companies gave us money to pay for the donkeys and sponsored the prizes, which were £150 for the first poop and £100 for the second. On the day, we roped off the area and the donkeys wandered around until one of them pooped. Whoever had chosen the square in which they pooped was the winner. The children came to watch and meet the donkeys, and we live-streamed it on our PTA Facebook page. What really helped was opening it up to the wider community – not just parents – which is how we made so much money.

Andrew Reeves, PTA chair, Market Harborough C of E Academy, Market Harborough

Knob throwing

A knob is the piece of dough left over when you bake biscuits or bread. It gets baked twice, so it’s very hard and people take turns to see who can throw it the furthest. Knob throwing is a Dorset tradition – it originated hundreds of years ago and had developed more recently into a community festival. But that stopped when Covid hit and never started up again. The children love doing it, so the PTA and the school stepped in to keep it going. One of our teaching assistants baked the knobs and we charged £1 for each person to stand behind a line on the ground and throw five knobs as far as possible. We created categories for different age groups, and for males and females, and held a trophy ceremony at the end. The furthest throw was 40m by a former pupil. The event raised £150 and we’ll be doing it again at our summer fair. I’d encourage other schools to find quirky traditions from their locality and celebrate them in school.

Gary Spracken, headteacher, The Prince of Wales School, Dorchester

Teddy zip line

We were looking at opening up events to the local community, and thought about a teddy zip line. A dad at our school who’s a tree surgeon offered to lend us the equipment and help with operating it. We ran the zipline from just under the belfry of our local church down to the grounds of the grammar school next door, with a gazebo underneath that the teddies flew over. The actual ziplining bit is over quite quickly, so you have to make the most of the theatre of the whole thing. We held the event in conjunction with the church, and their volunteers were great at hamming it up. As the kids came in they were asked what their teddy’s name was, asked to weigh and measure it, whether it had any ‘tedical’ conditions and so on, which was all written onto a certificate. We then took the teddy up the stairs, put a harness on it and off it went. An announcer commentated on each teddy, using the information from the certificate. Once it was down, a team of ‘paratedics’ took it to the ‘tedical centre’ for a check over before returning it to the child with its certificate. We made £300 profit after paying £60 to use the grammar school grounds and £60 for barriers to cordon off around the zipline to protect the public from flying teddies. Everyone thought it was hilarious, and we’ll be doing it again later this year.

Andrew Reeves, PTA chair, Market Harborough C of E Academy, Market Harborough

Toilet toss

The aim of the game is to throw a loo roll so that it lands in the ‘toilet’. We bought a toilet seat for a fiver in Homebase and made a cardboard frame that we covered in gold paper, like a fancy gold throne. We also use it at our Christmas fair with a festive-themed loo roll. We draw a line for people to stand behind and charge £1 for three throws. Everyone wins a small prize, like a lolly or chocolate, and if they get the roll in the loo they get a toilet-related prize, such as poo slime, which the kids find hilarious. We’re a small school of 220 but we make £80-100 from the toilet toss. It’s our biggest money earner.

Holly Kearns, PTA chair, Bishop Winnington-Ingram C of E Primary School, Ruislip