Listed below are several carnival games that you can set up for the children to play during the party. You'll need adult or teenage helpers to run each game booth, and the booths themselves can be created by using tables or cardboard stands. For each, you'll want some inexpensive prizes such as stickers or candy, as well as a few larger items. Finally, to create a real carnival atmosphere, you may want to set up a ticket booth where another adult can give out tickets for the children to use at various games.
Game & Activity Booth Ideas:
Sand Dig: For one ticket, each child gets a chance to dig in a sand box until he/she unearths a prize. Vary the buried prizes, and let the children dig up just one per ticket.
Fishing Game: Cut and color paper fish. Make at least 6 different designs including at least one special fish (such as one with polka dots or stripes). Attach a paper clip to each fish. Attach a string and a magnet to a yard stick. Cut the top off of a tall cardboard box, and place the fish in the box.
Each child gets one chance to glance inside the box, then he/she must back up and "fish" by dangling the rod into the box until he/she catches a fish. Award small prizes to any children who catch regular fish and bigger prizes to any children who catch the special fish.
Knock Down: Stack rows of tin cans to form a pyramid. Let each child throw 3 tennis balls, one at a time, at the cans. If a child knocks down at least 3 cans, he/she gets a small prize. If he/she knocks all of the cans down, he/she gets a special prize.
Duck Game: You'll need rubber ducks for this game. Use a permanent marker to color a spot on the bottom of one duck. Float the ducks in a large container or in a wading pool. Let the children pull one duck for each ticket they turn in. You can award a small prize to any child who picks up a plain duck and a special prize for the marked duck. If you have enough, the small prizes can be the ducks themselves.
Lollipop Pull: Get a bag of lollipops, such as Blow Pops or Tootsie Pops. If desired, decorate the lollipops with clown faces using construction paper, markers, wiggle eyes, pom poms, and glue.
Select one special lollipop, and color the very bottom of the stick with a red marker, as in the picture to the right. Stick all of the lollipops into a Styrofoam base, making sure that the red of the special lollipop is hidden.
Children can pull one lollipop per ticket. If they pull a regular lollipop, give a small prize or let them keep the lollipop. If they pull the special lollipop, give them a large prize and a lollipop from the bag (i.e. keep the marked lollipop to re-use).
To save time, see our selection of Carnival Party Games to purchase.
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