10 Tips and Tricks for your Shop

As you prepare to start your holiday shop we understand that there might be quite a bit to keep in mind. Don’t let your holiday shop stress you out around the holiday season. Here are some ideas that might help you better prepare.  

1. Get the word out – The earlier the better. Make sure that you inform the parents about the shop itself. Be sure to explain how the shop works (you can find an easy way to explain this on our website) and why your school is doing it! Is this a fundraiser or service project for your school? Let the parents know that they are serving a cause beyond their kid’s joy in choosing and giving gifts to loved ones. Beyond the shop itself be sure that you get the word out about the need for volunteers. Make the parents aware of the times you need help and the process your school has for volunteering.

2. Set Up – Beyond volunteering for helping kids in the shop itself, see if you can get volunteers to help set the shop up one afternoon. Parents that will need to work during the shop hours might be ables you p to help with the set up. Check with the school on when you will be able to set up the shop and what the area you are given will look like.

3. Baskets – Some of our schools have found it helpful for the students to carry empty little pencil baskets with them to the shop. Sometimes schools or teachers will have small organization baskets on hand. See if you can find enough baskets for the amount of students that will be at the shop at any given time. This is a basket that they can use to choose gifts for each of their family members. We know that many kids  take their time to choose the perfect gift for their family member and the basket helps the student see what they already have and whomever might be helping the child to know what they have so far.

4. Dollar Store – If you would like to give your shop a little more holiday spirit try picking things up at the Dollar Store. Wrapping paper, bows and other miscellaneous holiday decor are easy to find and won’t break your budget. Attaching balloons to cups and stringing them together will give the illusion of extra large Christmas lights!

5. Recycle – Try to recycle products from around the school to decorate. You might wrap old boxes waiting to be thrown away or pizza boxes from holiday parties. Coloring paper plates and wrapping them in plastic wrap gives you larger than life candy decor.

6. Schedule Volunteers – Remember to always have 2-3 volunteers scheduled to work every hour of the shop. You might use an online app such as Doodle or When I Work to schedule your main volunteers. After you have your core 2-3 volunteers, tell the other potential volunteers that they can show up when it is convenient for them. This might cause more volunteers to show up and help out!

7. Organize Gifts – Place gifts out by price and you might get out multiple color options of each gift so the students know all of their choices when choosing gifts. This will also make things visually easier for the children to understand. Telling them they have $5 to spend on mom and then giving the visual cue – not past this line – will help them to better understand what they have to choose from and ultimately manage expectations.  

8. Keep Gifts in Boxes – Only take out a limited supply. This will keep everything a little more organized. Keep the boxes underneath the table where they are displayed and you can continue to get more out as you need them. This will also make it easier to see what you might need to reorder.

9. Volunteer Supplies – Make sure that you have supplies on hand for volunteers. Useful items would be pens for checking off family member gifts or doing math, calculators and clipboards to hold the students’ envelopes. These will help lower stress and most schools have these items already!

10. Spirit of Giving – Let your child experience the joy of giving this holiday season in a safe, educational and fun environment at the Penguin Patch Holiday Shop. Our reasonably priced gift items range from $0.25 to $12 with the majority of items falling between $1 and $4 each. You can join in on the fun by helping your child choose who they will surprise with a gift and suggest ways for them to earn extra holiday money. Better yet, sign up at your school today to volunteer and be a part of this fun and exciting event. When your child gets home, be sure to ask how they selected their special presents, you’re sure to hear a story that will last a lifetime!

For more tips and tricks, check out our blog and to see how others set up their Penguin Patch Holiday Shops, check out our Facebook page!