If you find yourself wondering how you are going to pull off a school carnival, let alone how you ended up cochairing the event, don't worry. It can be a fairly hands-off event when planned correctly upfront. The key point to remember is that this type of event is purely for the kids. If it is loud, silly, gross, or goofy, they'll probably like it.
1. Inflatables: Bounce houses are fun, but they've been done to death. See what other inflatables your local rental company can offer. From inflatable sumo wrestling suits to pseudo–obstacle courses with "dangerous" stunts, there is an inflatable for every event and budget. If your school hosts preschoolers as well, consider getting a smaller, traditional bounce house for the littler kids. No one wants to be run over by a fourth grader hyped up on soda pop and cotton candy.
2. DJ: Who doesn't love a good DJ out there spinning records? Kids love loud music. It makes the whole event that much more exciting. Discuss what songs and artists are acceptable for your age group and which ones aren't well before the day of the event. The last thing you need is your principal showing the school superintendent around while Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" blares from the gym. The DJ should be happy to provide age-appropriate and kid-friendly songs for your carnival.
3. Photo Booth: Photo booths are all the rage. Kick yours up a notch. Instead of a simple backdrop where parents just use their cell phone, rent an actual old-school photo booth that shoots out the strip of four photos. Renting this retro machine is highly desirable at wedding receptions, but kids love it, too. You can save money by using your own photo props. Collect hats and feather boas from other PTA parents. You can also search Pinterest for printables to download featuring cutouts of mustaches, big lips, and monocles. (Side note: monocles are hot with kids, but no one knows why.)
4. Money-Grab Machine: You've probably seen those machine on television where a person stands in a glass cylinder while money is blown all around them. What they grab they can keep. Did you know you could rent them? Of course, you can't put cash in there -- PTA budgets aren't that big-- but you can put in lots of confetti mixed with a few teacher slips for extra recess or homework passes. Get creative. There will be a line for this activity all night long. Kids love it.
5. Black Lights and Disco Ball: Black-light Zumba is a thing and it is FUN! Zumba, a dance exercise craze, is a fun way to get kids up and dancing. There is no partner dancing or slow dancing. It's more of a macarena-style dance, except you -- PTA parent extraordinaire -- are going to rent black lights to add to the excitement. You can have a parent leading the group or you can ask a local Zumba instructor to volunteer that evening. Be sure to tell everyone to wear white and add a bounce of white balloons on the floor.
6. Dunk Tank: If your principal is game, kids never tire of trying to dunk the principal. This rental can be a real money-maker as there are so many kids that want to be able to proclaim that they dunked the principal for years to come. This is a much easier event to supervise than taping the principal to the wall, which can be difficult and, surprisingly, ruin the principal's clothes.
Cochairing a big event doesn't have to be difficult, especially when you can rent great activities like the ones above.Share