We all know that Santa’s grotto at the PTA Christmas fair is exciting but it can sometimes take the ‘fun’ out of the fundraising. It can often be a logistical nightmare - particularly for larger schools. The main issue being that there are soooo many kids and only so much time, not to mention volunteers! Space can also be a problem as mostly this Christmas event is run indoors.
Now I agree that due to its popularity, the Grotto is a great money maker - but is it worth the staging involved or the maths required for the time-slots, sibling groups etc?? We put our heads together to think of Grotto alternatives or at least, a few ways to reduce the burden of this money spinner. We hope some of these will work for your school PTA.
Breakfast with Santa. If you have the facilities on site, then this is a real fun one for the kids. Pre-sell tickets at £3 or whatever works for your school. Breakfast is a choice of cereal or toast and jam, and a juice. Santa tells a Christmas story after or while they enjoy their special breakfast. Budget depending, the kids get a Christmas sticker or small gift to take away.
As a quick illustration, say you do 2 breakfasts. Infants one morning and Juniors on another. Set up the day before, PTA volunteers arrive 7.30a.m on the day, kids arrive at 8a.m to enjoy breakfast with Santa, then brought to class at 8.45a.m. Your volunteers can then head off having had an amazing morning fundraising. Not a time-slot argument in sight!!
You could extend this to selling breakfast rolls to parents as they drop off the kids. Sausage or bacon baps work well - kept warm in slow cookers.
Storytime with Santa. - [ During school hours or at the PTA Christmas fair. ]
Try this with about 12 kids at a time with a lucky dip present from Santa’s gift sack. 10 - 15 minutes each session.
Tip: Have two Santas in different rooms to get through more children in less time.
Tip: Charge more and include a small hot chocolate and Christmas cookie.
Songs with Santa - [ During school hours. ]
Santa(s) goes around school visiting each class to give little gifts out and sing a well known Christmas carol or two!
Santa’s chair - [ During school hours ]
This is a great one if you don’t have a Santa but do have a bit of space! Make a lovely Christmassy decorated area where each class comes and gets a photo surrounding Santa’s chair. Santa can’t be ‘present’ as he’s had a bit of trouble with a naughty elf - cue funny story to get the kids to laugh! Have a lucky dip ‘Golden’ ticket or two, to choose who gets to sit in Santa’s chair for the photo. The photo is nicely framed and can be raffled in class, perhaps at 50p a ticket.
Santa selfie - [ During school hours ]
Same as above but with a Santa in the chair and no golden ticket. Lucky dip pressie instead. The photo is framed and raffled in the class.
Surprise gift wrapping room - let 12 or so kids in at a time to choose then wrap a gift with help. Separate the, preferably donated, gifts into bundles for Granddad, Grandma, Make sure you have wrapping paper, an Xmas tag and a sticky gift bow as all the extras give a wow factor and the bows are easy for the kids to stick on! £3 a visit.
Christmas tea with a raffle. Basically an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, slices of Christmas cake, mince pies, mini cupcakes etc, cheese straws, and tea or coffee. Having the children sing a couple of Christmas songs could help your numbers with parents wanting to see their own children perform. Ask a local hotel or pub to offer a raffle prize of a cream tea in return for promoting them at the Christmas tea. This is a fabulous opportunity to sell any PTA Christmas fundraising items to your captive audience too!
So we hope you got some food for thought there. Don’t forget to sign up to helpful newsletter below to get timely fundraising tips throughout the school year. Remember, as part of our newsletter community, you are automatically entered into our monthly draw to win a Go Green and Fundraise PTA event pack!