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AMY PACKHAM A beginner’s guide to...


   


GROTTOS C


ast your mind back to when you were younger – going to see Santa was possibly one of the most exciting, memorable parts of the festive season. Now it’s your turn


to pass on this magical tradition (no pressure!). There are lots of things to consider when


planning your grotto... How will you deal with queues? Do you have a Santa lined up,  where will you actually set up the grotto? Where can you buy Santa’s gifts for 250 pupils? What will you charge? 


alone terrifying, why not have groups of 15 go in together? Santa could read them a story, give out gifts, ask how good they’ve all been, then say farewell. This also helps solve the problem of people queuing up in wait (and therefore not spending money elsewhere at your fair). Tracey Morgan-Willcox, PTA vice chair,


(180 pupils): ‘We had a grotto a few years ago which was all blacked out with a few fairy lights, but we found some children were scared of the dark and didn’t want to come in! Last year we went for a winter wonderland theme: everything was white, silver and blue – it was truly magical. Our decorations were sourced locally in


 surround and used this as our focal point. We bought large polystyrene white balls which we made to look like snowballs, and had a  used snow scenes and covered the doorway with a silver and white homemade ribbon curtain. Children were far happier to come into a bright white lit-up snow scene than our previous grotto. We also used a ‘Santa Stop Here’ sign and some Christmas music whilst others were waiting. Each child received a quality book that was


age related (this gift went down better with parents), a selection box or sweet tube, as well as a candy cane and a Santa’s grotto sticker.


36 WINTER 2014 pta.co.uk


We charged £3 per child. We used a time-slot system with parents pre-booking in the month leading up to the fair, but we also had spare slots for those who turned up on the day. We called children in by name and Santa made a fuss of them and told them a short story about himself and how busy he was! We ususally raise around £500 on the grotto alone. My advice is to go for quality and experience 


Seven to eight weeks before: 


        


Fve to si weeks before: 


        


Tree to four weeks before: 


     


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