Fun Ideas for What to Put in an Estimation Jar or Guessing Jar as a Fundraiser

jelly beans in a glass jar image by Katrina Miller from

Estimation games add interest to parties, fundraising events and other gatherings. Kids and adults love trying to win a prize by guessing how many tiny items there are in a jar or container. The typical guessing jar holds jelly beans, but there are ways to make this game a little less ordinary.

It can also liven the game up when the person with the best guess gets the jar of items as well as a prize.


Food items are standard choices for guessing jars. Jelly beans are typical, but you can deviate from the norm with things like conversation hearts, dry macaroni noodles, gummy bears, gumballs or chocolate chips. Use seasonally-coloured items to jazz up your jar. For example, if you are doing a Christmas fund raiser, pick out red and green gummy bears to place in the jar.


Small toys are perfect for guessing games. Lego blocks, rubber bouncy balls, small dinosaur figures and fuzzy pom poms are unusual items for guessing. Rainbow-patterned marbles look colourful in the jar, and some other options are plastic insects, Matchbox cars and toy baby bottles.

Household Items

For a more mature crowd, household or crafting items would be appropriate. Buttons, rocks, cotton balls, pennies or seashells will have people stumped. Colourful beads purchased from a craft store make a stunning estimation jar.