Cupcakes are a regular feature at kids' bake sales.
Bake sales are a simple way to raise funds for your child's preschool, pee wee ball team or a charitable organization. Not a whiz in the kitchen? Volunteer to organize the sale and stick to making something easy that you can make in big batches. Think in terms of fun, kid-friendly treats you'd like to buy yourself: maybe the cereal treat bars you remember from your own childhood, or the delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that never seem to last when you make them at home.
1Talk to those in charge of the school or organization for which you're putting together the fundraiser. Find out their policy on bringing in homemade food or other food for resale. You may be required to label items containing nuts, or avoid nuts altogether. Some school districts require each item be individually wrapped for resale, or that bake sale helpers wear plastic gloves when handling the food. Ensure all your bake sale helpers follow the required rules and procedures -- the last you thing you need is for a little customer to have an allergic reaction to a cookie or to invoke the ire of the school's health code monitors.
2Set a time, date and location for your bake sale that will maximize the opportunity for customers and traffic. Enlist other parents in publicizing the bake sale and inviting friends and neighbors to stop by and pick up treats for their own families. Involve the youngsters by letting them help make posters and hand out fliers about the bake sale. One of the best ways to maximize sales is to have the bake sale in conjunction with another heavily attended kids' event: run the bake sale for your child's team during the preschool T-ball tournament, for example, or operate the sale for your child's school during the family reading night or end-of-year field day.
3Ask parents and other adults to contribute baked goods for the sale. Remind them of the health and safety rules. Ask them to make items that kids like, especially ones that are visibly appealing as well as yummy to eat. Tell each baker when and where you need the items delivered, and how to package them for sale.
4Select one or two simple bake sale treats you can make in large quantities without breaking the bank or spending days in the kitchen to complete. Let your little ones help with the shopping and food prep to begin teaching them it's not just Mom's job to raise money for Susie's nursery school or Tommy's pee wee football team. Even young preschoolers can add and stir ingredients in the cookie dough or shape sugar-coated popcorn into popcorn balls.
5Make several large batches of treats made from butter, marshmallows and crisped rice cereal -- these are inexpensive, easy to make and can even be dyed with a few drops of food coloring to match school colors. Cupcakes are typically a hit with the little ones, especially if you use a confetti cake mix or add sprinkles to the frosting on top. For a fun alternative, bake the cupcakes in flat-bottomed ice cream cones -- kids will get a kick out of being able to eat the cupcake and the "wrapper" it comes in! And you can't go wrong with oatmeal cookies, whether plain or with healthful dried fruits or colorful candy-coated chocolate candies mixed in.
- At school bake sales, items traditionally feature specific prices. However, for church or charitable events at which most of the customers are adults, consider leaving the individual prices off and setting out a can or basket marked "donations" -- you will typically make far more money this way.