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It's A Summer Fair and Your Kid is the Star!

Updated on September 19, 2012

Blow Away the Boredom

When summer strolls in it brings the state and county fairs. What better fun, and hours of entertainment, than to have your own neighborhood fair. If you live in the suburbs and are lucky enough to be part of a community with lots of kids then the deal is even sweeter.

With some organization and assistance from adults your children can easily throw together a neighborhood ‘children’s fair’ in a matter of a week or two-depending on a few logistics, such as location, (a large backyard or common area will work nicely), and preparation of games and activities. In the spirit of teaching your child lessons in giving to others all proceeds, above the cost of supplies, can be donated to a cause or charity that the group collectively decides on.

Here are easy steps to follow in the planning and orchestrating what could be an annual activity.

1. Talk with your neighbors and make a list of participants

2. Have a preliminary plan that offers a general direction, such as the location and size, activities, etc., while maintaining flexibility for any input from the group.

3. Designate one or two people to facilitate the organization and time schedule to keep things on track.

4. Remember that this is your child’s activity-don’t take over and lose the focus of this ‘kid’ activity.

Common Fair Activities


Lemonade or Kool-Aid stands are easy to manage for kids. A large camping jug, paper cups, and a table with a sign should be sufficient to set up a stand.

Cookies, cupcakes or brownies are easy treats for kids to help mom or dad bake and bag for sale.


There are two approaches kids can take when setting up games: scatter the game activities throughout the selected yard, or section off a ‘game’ area and place all the games there. It will depend on how much space you have. Of course, one can scale the plans down to fit the accommodations.

Moving activities include: Potato sack race, egg on a spoon race, two legged race, egg toss, etc.

Solo activities include: pin the tail on the donkey, fishing for a prize, ring toss, finding buried treasure, face painting, and making a simple craft.

Things to do continued...


How about a pet show contest? Instead of just one category, such as dogs, which not every child owns, make it possible for any pet to get into the act-even the goldfish! Again, keep in mind the size of space you have and how long the fair is supposed to be open for.

You can easily get around the problem of having to pet sit all day by designating a set time when members of the audience can vote on the contestants. Some of the categories for prizes can be:

Biggest, smallest, longest or / and shortest tail, most scales, most feathers, loudest, quietest, most active, least active, scariest, cutest, most similar to its owner…

Have plenty of ribbons to go around.

Neighbor’s got talent: have a talent contest for any child who wants to participate. Again, take a tally of the number of participants and the time to do their act and schedule a block of time for the audience to view and vote.

Talent does not have to be limited to a musical genre. Magicians, cheerleaders, or even artists can be encouraged to join in. Remember Sandra Bullock in ‘Miss Congeniality’? Well, her ‘talent’, so to speak, was playing a set of glasses filled with different levels of water. Remember to smile and applaud loudly for those whose talent is bewildering.

Inexpensive trophies would be an added bonus for the winners.

A watermelon eating contest is always an adventure-and plenty messy. This can be especially attractive to older kids who want to prove something, (or very hungry kids)!

Blowing the biggest bubble gum bubble contest-not what parents usually want their child to engage in, but it is a possibility.

Fun Fair Activities

Facepainting | Source
The Potato Sack Race
The Potato Sack Race | Source
Pet Show Contest
Pet Show Contest | Source

Things to see


Every fair has them and what you can help your child exhibit is his collection. Unless this is an expensive collectable, have him carry his collection of marbles, or action figures, etc and display it in an attractive box. Again, keeping in mind its value this part of the fair may need to be set aside for things of little real value.


What’s a fair without the guy on the soap box hawking his wares? In the children’s fair tables of yard sale items from their toy box, book shelves, basements and garages-all kid oriented, can be set up and sold. These are the items that they are willing to part with and ‘clean out their closets’. Remember: all proceeds go to charity, so in the event the item does not sell DO NOT PUT IT BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM. Bag it and donate it to a drop box for charity.

Some additional suggestions for success

If your plan is to bring in people from the surrounding neighborhoods to participate as fair goers, then don’t forget to post an ad in the local paper. Usually, if it is for a charity cause, it is free. Also, have the group create some clever fliers on the computer and hang those in favorite meeting places around town at least one week ahead of the proposed Fair Day.

I’m sure that between planning, set up, and running the Fair, you will keep your child busy and free from boredom for many hours. “Happy Fair Day”.


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Rebecca M-I loved your comment. I agree, the fair thing can actually help bored kids stay absorbed in this 'planning and executing' activity for days! If it goes well, they may decide to do it again. On the other hand, they will quickly learn how much work goes into it. Thanks for your comment. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi ChitrangadaSharan Thank you for your feedback. I hope that you will enjoy doing this activity with your young ones. :)

      Hi Audrey-Oh, gosh, I recall those school fairs and Sunday church fairs also. I loved the 'cakewalk' activity because I would always win a cake for my family. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      It seems we have it backwards around here...our fairs are always in the fall when school is back in session. I say let's have summer fairs!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      What fun Denise! Brings back many fun memories. I loved fairs as a kid and enjoyed them even more with my own kids and grandchildren.

      Will share this wonderful hub.

      Hugs ~ Audrey

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Lovely ideas and how much fun can it bring to the kids and parents alike!

      Thanks for sharing these wonderful suggestions in this hub!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Karen, nice to see you here. Thanks for the comments and vote!

      Alicia-yes, much planning on a large scale-not so much on a smaller scale. Anyway you scramble it it comes up F-U-N! Thanks for visiting.

      Simone, so nice to see you here. Thanks for your comments. We used to do something like this and always had a ball!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      This is such a fun idea! A bunch of neighbors actually do something similar to this every May, and it's always a hit. Voted up!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great hub with wonderful ideas! The whole project sounds like it would be marvelous fun for children and a very creative activity. It would require a lot or organization, but that's part of the fun! It would be a great experience for kids to be involved in the organization too.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      9 years ago from New England

      Hi Denise,

      Great idea! Voted up, useful, and bookmarked.

      Great idea for a neighborhood of kids to plan together...and join in the fun by visiting each other's booths. Will bring it up for the community to think about. In the meantime, I will read this a few more times. :).....good as a scout project, too! :0) Thanks for putting this together. I seem to have the energy at odd hours for finishing hubs, too. Great job!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Gail-I remember my siblings, neighborhood kids and I doing this as well. We had a ball!

      Mrs. M-How wonderful to know that you may be able to use some of these ideas. Thanks. :)

      Hi Stephanie, I think you are right...the way I laid it out here it would certainly take several weeks to tackle a project of this magnitude. It would probably require an adult or two or certainly some teen involvement to organize. Thanks for your comments.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      9 years ago from USA

      This sounds like it could be a summer-long project and tons of fun for the kids and adults, too. When I was a kid, we lived too far out in the country to do these kinds of neighborhood projects, but what a great idea for those who live in a development or a neighborhood with lots of kids! You do come up with some great ideas! Voted up and useful.

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      9 years ago from The Zoo

      We have a big block party coming up and your ideas are going to come in handy...and some! great hub!

      Bookmarked and UP!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Great idea and lots of good suggestions. My siblings and I used to do this on a smaller scale when we were kids, and the planning and actual event kept us busy and excited for days. Love your idea of designating profit to charity and also think it's really important to let the kids do this as independently as possible. Am voting this hub up.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Good morning Cara-thanks. I was up until 5:30 this morning of those nights. I only ended up with one hub and short on sleep, but oh well. I'll talk with you later. :)

      Hi K-thanks for your comments. Ah, yes-the bubble gum. Loved chewing it as a kid, hated my kids chewing it and losing it in places I didn't want to find it, as a parent, LOL

      Hi b-thanks for reading and commenting. My 'kid' is now my nephew, age 17...somehow I don't think he'll go along with my plan, but I sure had fun writing it. :)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      You are so Clever Denise, A Fair in your own neighborhood. How fun is that! I wish I were a Kid again and lived in your Neighborhood! My Boys are grown now, but this idea will entice so many others...Loved all your Great Ideas!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Great ideas, great Hub Denise. I especially like the idea of blowing the biggest bubblegum, a definite winner with the kids.

    • cardelean profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Fantastic idea! I agree that the planning part is a great organizational tool for kids to learn and the reward is the fun at the end. Nice job!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank for your feedback, Charlotte. My siblings and I always loved to put together stuff like this. Of course, ours was not as elaborate as what I describe here. But, I'm sure, with a little parental assistance, it would be a great summer project.

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      9 years ago

      Hey Denise!

      This sounds like something kids would totally love! It would be so cool to work towards it - i think the process of planning and getting ready and the fair itself would be something so enjoyable (and educational too) for the kids!


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