Carnival Ideas

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2004, 01:02 PM
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Carnival Ideas

Ok - I need LOTS of ideas please. Somehow I am in charge of the Winter Carnival for our school. (Me and my big mouth, I guess.)

We are not really out to make money, just break even on this. We really want to just make it a good "family event" and profits would be nice. What has worked for you and what has been a complete bust?

Our prelim committee meeting is today and we have to have a complete plan to present at the board meeting on the 7th. HELP!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2004, 01:12 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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sand art, face painting, duck pond
remember to use school tax id # for anything u have to buy
do u have a place for prizes LMK i can call our prize mom and find out the link to where she gets the stuff
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:17 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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All I have are Oriental Trading and US Toy Company. Other places are greatly appreciated.

Help - sand art??? I'm a non-artsy mom so have no clue.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:20 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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OK--this could get long---


most successful is having each classroom pick a theme and making the classroom mom or teacher be in charge of organizing a basket that is raffled off at the carnival. The class that gets the most tickets in their jar wins a pizza party. This gets very competetive and fun. This in itself needs a chair so if you are interested lmk and I will give you more details on how exactly to co-ordinate this. Obviosly the "baskets" get huge! Typical classroom basket--game night--each kid (hopefully) brings in a board game or something similar. Other themes--movie night (have parents hit up Blockbuster or Hollywood video, they always give tons) plus encourage parents to send in pizza cash or whatever. Other themes that have gone well--candle baskets, spa days for mom, outdoor games for kids, kindergarten does well with books, kitchen baskets, pasta days (hit up olive garden or other italian rest.) but most importantly make the classroom parents do the work as you will be too busy doing other carnival stuff.

Booths--get sponsors--$25 a booth, they get a sign that costs less than $10 to make at office depot. But don't have them sell stuff. All they get is there name on a sign. All games are .25. Best ones we do are the soda ring--kids bring in 2 liters to donate. If they ring the pop it is theres. We go through about 150?? We hire out 8 bigger games and have made the rest of ours throughout the years. Can give you ideas for easy ones to make if you want.

Contact madscience.com. If they are in your area they may come and do demonstatrations.


Food--premade sndwiches, pick-up sticks (messy), outback steak-house. Pizza is a nightmare (always cold) Have parents PRE-ORDER!!!!

Try contacting Kettle corn companies to split profit with you. Parents love it, Make sure they make SMALL bags.

Get face painters cheap. Have 3 or four at least.

Crazy hair is awesome if you can afford it. That booth costs us about $400 though.

That is all I can think of right now.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:22 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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We did sand art for the first time this year--it was edible. The kids LOVED it.

Hope this helps--- I just pulled our carnival budget for last year. Our carnival is NOT a fundraiser and we never attempt to make money on it.

Last year our Carnival expenses were roughly $5,500 and our income was $8,250.

We ended the year with a remaining budget of roughly $35,000 so making less than $3 on the carnival is not considered a real gain for us which is good. We have to be very careful at our school about the 3:1 rule. But hopefully that will give you an idea of what you can expect to spend.

Last edited by Barb; 09-20-2004 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:32 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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Guess I left out a very important thing... our budget is $750.

Need a few miracles to pull this one off - last year's carnival was a bust. Even my kid was bored! They only had maybe 7 games, a bounce house, cake walk, silent auction for baskets that MAYBE sold for $30 each, raffle for prizes (raffle tickets were free when buying game tickets 4/$1 tickets + one raffle ticket), hot dog / nachos booth, and picture booth (polaroid of kid in Halloween costume).

Needless to say, there is a lot of room for improvement! Has anyone done a jail at their carnival? Have seen them but not sure of the specifics on how to work one.

Any good tips on "professional begging"? Have a feeling I'll be spending my weekends doing that for a while.
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:36 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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Go to the chat room. You need more help than I can give here!
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:17 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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Originally Posted by skyesmom
All I have are Oriental Trading and US Toy Company. Other places are greatly appreciated.

Help - sand art??? I'm a non-artsy mom so have no clue.



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Old 09-20-2004, 02:55 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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When I had to participate in something like this, each grade level had to have a booth/game. The SpEd dept. did a "dig for candy" thing. We got a bag of feed corn (Warning - dusty!) & mixed in a bunch of individually wrapped candies, then the kids got a minute or so to dig out as much as they could. We wanted something that even the most disabled/youngest kids could do. Worked pretty well, except for the dusty part!
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Old 02-15-2005, 10:42 PM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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I am bumping this because of the recent discussion on carnivals plus ours is coming up and some good new ideas would be great. We do the dino dig too but I have no idea what they put in there since I know we use sand.

One thing if you are getting ready for yours that worked really well for us last year...we pre-sold "tickets" that hung around each kids neck and would get punched at each stand. Was cheaper than the raffle type tickets (still had those for the raffle) and made it harder for the kids to lose. Another bonus was that we seemed to pre-sell alot more than the prior year--not sure why--maybe it was because parents tended to buy each kid a necklace ticket instead of say $10 in tickets for the kids to split. It was so much easier to sell those at the door too because there was no real counting involved.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:53 AM

RE: Carnival Ideas

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We used the bracelets for the kids and had unlimited games for most but a limit of one time at the Toy Walk and two trips to Sand Art. We punched the bracelets for the Toy Walk and Marked them for Sand Art and it worked well. We also gave tickets when we presold the bracelets to be traded for the actual bracelets at the Carnival. This kept "counterfeit bracelets" from happening. The parents and kids all loved them and it made it much easier for the people running the booths. We actually sold out and had to borrow extras from the school! Since we only had about 6 activities (plus the bounce house) which were unlimited with the bracelets, we sold our for $5.

Barb - thanks for the Sand Art idea. The principal gave us the set from the school since they can no longer use it during the school day. Food Police and all that. I wanted to use the sponsor idea, but got voted down on that one. It meant somone else had to help with the work and of course that wasn't going to happen.
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