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Lockdown blow to summer fundraising? Ten quick alternatives you can stage now

Tragically, school fundraiser camp outs, summer fairs and barbecues all over the UK are being cancelled following the extension to lockdown rules.

It’s such a shame that children are going to miss out on yet another memory-making experience. Parent associations are struggling with huge shortfalls in fundraising since the start of the pandemic. These highly-anticipated events had been relied on to start to regain the losses.

But it’s not all over! We have come up with ten easy to organise events that you can quickly stage to replace these much needed summer community building and fundraising activities.

Summer fundraising alternatives

  1. Stage the camp out, but in your separate gardens. Set up camping parties using Classlist and put up the tents for a night of fun and games. Invite all the families who are taking part to log in to a video call at 6pm for a joint school singalong. Depending on how local your school is, you might be able to hear everyone across the town! Ask for a small donation and send photos to your social media pages.
  2. Hold your summer fair – just set up the stalls in individual driveways. Publish a map of locations and the children can check them off the list as they go around the town or village.  
  3. Virtual pet show. Invite entries for an online pet show! Mr Scruff the dog or Einstein the goldfish can perform a trick for the camera … or simply look cute. The child has to say why they think their special pet should win – great for building their confidence on camera.
  4. Set up a door-to-door relay race. Children run to their nearest classmate’s house and pass on to the next child. The race ends at the school gates. Use Classlist’s map feature to plot the route! 
  5. If one of your parents owns a catering business, ask if they would sell food for private parties for parents. People volunteer to host up to 30 parents in the garden and enjoy the same menu on the same night. Again, log in to a video call for a toast and share photos. A portion of the profit goes to the parent association.
  6. Invite people to host mini outdoor movie nights in their gardens. You’ll need a projector and a white sheet or wall. Children can bring duvets, bean bags or camping chairs. Get the popcorn popping and hand out mini lollies! The best time to start the film is 15 minutes after sunset, so this might be an exciting chance to stay up late for the little ones. Each parent gives a donation. Use the party feature on Classlist to set it up.
  7. Pyjama day at school. An oldie but a goodie – it’s hard to find a child who doesn’t enjoy the rule-bending thrill of wearing their PJs to school. It’s even better when the teachers get involved too and turn up in fluffy slippers and with their hair in curlers. 
  8. Toy swap. Each child brings a clean, unwanted toy to school, wrapped carefully and with a special note attached. They could write about the games they used to play with that toy and why they felt it was time to pass it on. The gifts can be quarantined for 48 hours before redistributing to children. No labels makes the gamble of what you’re going to receive more exciting, but an age range should be suggested. Pay to play.
  9. Invite parents to an online Q&A with your head teacher, a mental health counsellor or perhaps former pupils who have moved up to senior school or on to university. These sessions have proved popular throughout the pandemic and we predict they will continue long beyond it as they are so convenient for people to attend.
  10. School mascot visits. If your child has a school mascot (if not – why not consider setting one up) charge to have the mascot visit the pupil’s garden or driveway. The mascot gives the child a balloon and a card from the head teacher, wishing them a fantastic summer and looking forward to seeing them in the new term. Take a photo and share on social media.

Share your brilliant ideas with the community on Instagram @classlist and Facebook @schoolclasslist

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Timma Marett