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When you hear the words, “school carnival”, you think of exciting games, awesome rides, outlandish activities, and a whole lot of great food. In fact, you can almost smell the popcorn floating in the air and hear the sound of children’s screams and laughter.

The school carnival is the time of the year when everyone at school lets loose and celebrates just being a community.

But not all carnivals are created equal. It takes time, planning, and experience to be successful. Read on to learn how to take your festival to the next level this year. 

Set a Budget for Your School Carnival

Setting a budget for your carnival is the only way you will be able to allocate funds fairly. If you just spend money as you book things, you can end up with little money to spend on decorations or food.

You should also look at ways to save money on expenses by allowing parents to donate or let you borrow supplies to make the carnival awesome.

If you don’t have enough money for tents, let parents bring in the ones they use for tailgating, and if you run out of money for food, set up a pot luck.

Find Ways to Make Money

While a carnival is a time for kids to celebrate their hard work, it’s also a really good fund raising opportunity for your school.

There are so many ways to make money. You can charge for meals, set up raffles, sell tickets, and charge for themed t-shirts. Parents will love supporting their child’s school while allowing them to have a good time with their friends.

Use Tickets Instead of Money

Exchanging dollars at a school carnival can get a little cumbersome and parents rarely want their children to run off with money to play games.

So instead of accepting cash at your carnival, consider using tickets. Each attraction would be assigned a ticket amount based on how expensive the activity is. For example, carnival rides would be more tickets than a hair dye booth.

Set Up a Temporary Hair Dye Booth

If there is one thing kids like, it’s temporary hair color. Boys and girls both relish the opportunity to make their hair unique having their heads sprayed different colors.

A temporary hair dye booth is a great easy and inexpensive way to take your carnival to the next level. Plus, since it isn’t skilled work, any volunteer can do it.

Have Each Class Organize a Game

The best way to ensure everyone has a great time at your school carnival is to allow each class to organize a booth or game for the festival. One class might set up a ring toss, while others set up darts or bowling.

Have students bring in small party favors to use as prizes for winners and let your kids run the booth. It will give them an opportunity to see what it’s like to have a job. Make sure you schedule kids in shifts, you don’t want everyone crowding the booth at once.

Forget the Live Goldfish

Tradition dictates that carnivals are a place to win prizes and many of us have memories of winning a goldfish at the fair in grade school. But school festivals are no place for a goldfish.

One problem is that kids may not talk to their parents and try to sneak the goldfish home and if the kid doesn’t know how to treat a fish, they can die before you even make it to the house.

Don’t put kids through the tragedy of losing their first pet because of your carnival. Stick to prizes that aren’t alive.

Host a Talent Show

A talent show is a great way for the kids in your school to show each other the skills that they work on outside of school. Seeing the rewards of their efforts will inspire other students to get involved in more activities in the future.

Have a Cake Walk

A cake walk is another great way to raise money for your school. Parents will love trying out new recipes or bring in their old family favorites for the lucky winners.

Don’t know how a cake walk works? Numbers are laid out on the ground like a circular version of hop scotch.

Participants stand on the numbers and walk around the circle as music plays. When the music stops, a raffle number is called and the person on the winning square claims their favorite cake from the bunch.

As the day goes on, you’ll have less and less cakes. But you’ll also be able to sell a ton of tickets.

Bumper Cars are Always a Smash Hit

Bumper cars take up a lot of space, so if you are hosting a small carnival you may have to pass on this one.

But if you have the area, then you should go for it. Everyone loves bumper cars because it allows them to get out their aggression in a healthy way. Kids will love chasing after their friends in retaliation for a hard hit.

Hire a Great Face Painter

No carnival can be complete without an epic face painter. Sure, you could save the money of hiring an artist and let someone’s mother come in to paint flowers on kid’s hands. But putting a member of your local community with lots of talent to work is a reward all on its own.

Give an artist a job and let them work their magic for your carnival. You’ll start to see all sorts of cool animals running around as they transform the children into creatures from the deepest depths of their imagination.

Where to Get Carnival Rides

You may have thought having actual rides at your school carnival would be too difficult and expensive to manage. But at Fantasy World Entertainment, we set up and operate rides at carnivals of all sizes.

Our trained professionals know how to set up the equipment safely, so you can focus your efforts on more fun aspects of the planning process.

To request a quote, make your selection of attractions here.