matchbox challenge ideas

How we did the matchbox challenge

The last few weeks have definitely brought out my competitive side. N less so, but even he managed to put a bit of focus into it at the end of the challenge. N came home from school with a fundraising competition – the matchbox challenge. Who could fit the most items in the matchbox.

Check out these other fundraising ideas for schools and children’s groups

We had a bit of a chat first about the types of things we might want to include. Of course we checked the rules because we didn’t want to have our his total reduced from disqualified items.

There were a lot of rules – no living items (or dead) so no bugs etc. Not that I fancied finding bugs to add. Nothing toxic. And you couldn’t have duplicate items – so only one seed, not different types of seeds.

We worked our way round each room looking for different items to add. Craft things, garden, hair accessories, jewellery, stationery, larder. Every so often I’d think of something new to add, or come across something in the house that would fit but not take up too much room. Or N would turn up holding something he’d found in his room to add.

matchbox challenge ideas

How many items did we fit in the matchbox?

In the end we had 61 items. Looking back I spotted other things we could probably have fitted in. And I wondered whether things like spices could go in rather than just one (I added a clove as that was quite an obvious one to see and recognise but didn’t want to risk adding in other spices and them being classed as duplicates).. Being a nut free school we couldn’t add in a nut either which would have been a good one as chopped nuts are pretty small. I also presumed we couldn’t include tablets, otherwise I might have gone to town on those.

When all the entered matchboxes were judged against their written list of items, we ended up losing 3 items. Afterwards I realised we’d got 2 different types of foil, and maybe the elasttric string was classed as a duplicate with the elastic band. Then there were lots of tiny items like sugar, which you just can’t see. Even granulated sugar isn’t very big.

So with 58 items N won his class competition. But the class 2 and 3 winners were brothers who both got 74 items. I’d love to see what they included – a matchbox is pretty small, and it would be interesting to see how far they were able to take their choices.

So 3rd in the school wasn’t bad, but a big difference between Joint first, 3rd and 4th who wasn’t far behind ours.

It was a great challenge. Hopefully enough people entered to do a reasonable amount of fundraising – it cost £2.50 to enter.

half open matchbox challenge

What to put in a matchbox challenge

  • Mini skittle
  • Metal ring
  • Washer
  • Compost
  • Coffee granule
  • Clove
  • Pen spring
  • Pencil lead
  • Lemon pip
  • Pepper seed
  • Used match
  • Mini magnet
  • Safety pin
  • Birthday cake candle holder
  • Bullet casing
  • Silica gel (from inside the sachets in bags/shoes)
  • Hair band
  • Bit of ribbon
  • Photo
  • Cardboard
  • Foil
  • Kirby grip
  • Earring
  • Butterfly back
  • Brooch back
  • Lego
  • Sellotape
  • Blue tack
  • Sticky place marker (post it)
  • Metal watch link
  • Crochet stitch marker
  • Petal
  • Grass
  • Leaf

And loads more.

You could do this challenge for any fundraising efforts – you just need to provide the matchboxes* to ensure everyone has the same size. Or you could do it for a party activity.

Have you ever done the matchbox challenge?

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  1. This is such an interesting challenge. I would love to try it with my kids. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I thought we did quite well, but now I want to try it again, and properly fit things in better after collecting them rather than stuffing in as we found things. I think I could have fitted in a lot more that way.

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