Fun Carnival Games for for kids
20 Fun and easy games for a Carnival
during your next Carnival themed birthday party.
These Carnival games
and ideas are easy to set up and inexpensive to
put together and most use recycled materials.
All of the
games listed have been tested and at birthday parties and are the kids
Great for Fall Festivals and Circus parties too!
Carnival Theme Birthday Party Ideas for more fun ideas
Moonwalk or Bounce House
A great way to entertain children of all ages at
Set up a station under a tent for face painting.
You will need a face paints, paper towels, paint brushes, cosmetic
sponges, face glitter, small table, a few chairs and several hand held
mirrors. Make sure to designate a space for the line to form.
For extra fun have the face painter dress up as a clown or character.
Create balloon animals for the party guests to
Mystery Fishing Carnival Game
Kids fish for prizes in this fun game! For the "water" use a
very large furniture or
appliance box, hang a sheet across a doorway, or cover a table so that
the "fish" (and the person in the water) are hidden from view. Tie a
string to a stick and attach a clothespin on the end of the string.
Birthday party guests take turns "casting" the line into the "water".
The person in the "water" puts small gifts, favors or candy on the
clothespin and then tugs the string to signal that there is a "fish" on
the line. Then kids pull up the line and retrieve their prize. This is
a simple but fantastic birthday party game that kids adore! Have lots
of prizes because kids will want to do this
carnival game again and
For this carnival game you will need a table, three cups and a ping pong ball for this fun
carnival game. Have the booth operator set out the three cups face
down and show the player that they are putting the ping pong ball under
one of them.
Then shuffle the cups around without lifting them
from the table. Ask the player to guess which cup the ball is
Kids love trying to figure out which one the ball is under!
Give prizes for correct guesses.
Use empty cans (paint them bright colors) and stack them in a pyramid
shape on a table. Have guests throw bean bags at the pyramid and try to
knock them over.
Either 6 or 10 cans will work and you may want to make a few extra
to speed up the re-set process.
We Spray painted plastic milk containers silver and used it as
our pyramid toss.
Fill 2 liter bottles with water and set them in a triangle shape
about 4 feet from where the children will be throwing the rings.
Make a triangle from 6, 10 or 15 bottles. Buy
rings from Oriental Trading or recycle old butter tub lids by
cutting rings from them.
We made this ring toss game by recycling water bottles. We
hot glued them down to a large box top and then decorated around
them. The white tops were worth 1 point and the blue tops
were worth 3 points.
Duck Pond Grab
Carnival guests pick rubber ducks out of a wading pool - they win a
prize according to the number on the bottom of the duck. Write the
numbers 1 - 5 (repeat numbers according to how many ducks you have) on
the bottom of the ducks and place in the pool full of a few inches of
water. In back of the pool on a table have 5 baskets with different
prizes and number the baskets 1 through 5. Carnival guests pick up a
duck to see what number is on the bottom then win the prize that
corresponds to the number of the prize basket. If the carnival guest
picks up a duck with the number 4 on the bottom, they get a prize form
the number 4 basket. It’s a simple game, but children love it! The more
ducks the better in the pool … give them away for party favors after the
On these ducks (see picture) we simply put
a "W" on the bottom of some of the ducks for "winner" - then the
child got to pick a prize.
*If you want your duck pond inside use foam peanuts or rice
in place of
||Ping Pong Ball Toss
Set out fish bowls or use large plastic cups for
this fun game. If you use large plastic cups hot glue them onto a
large piece of thick cardboard. Line the bowls or cups up side by
side so there are no gaps between the containers. Give players 3
ping pong balls and tell them to try and get the balls into the cups.
This is harder then it looks because the ping pong balls bounce around!
You can also choose several random cups and color them a different color
and if a ball lands in the special cups the player gets a bigger prize.
Tip: Make sure and contain this game with at least 3 walls as the
balls tend to bounce everywhere.
For this Ping Pong ball game we used large and small cups - the
larger cups were double points since there were fewer of them.
Buy or make a large circular target with different point values (like a
dart board). Use small circles of Velcro with adhesive on
the back and attach them to ping pong balls. Kids throw
the ping pong balls at the target for tickets.
Lucky Lollipops Carnival Game
Buy a very large Styrofoam cone from the craft store and paint it a
bright color. Take lots of lollipops and color the end of about ¼ of
them using a permanent marker. Stick the lollipops into the cone - make
sure the mark can not be seen. The children choose a lollipop and keep
it - if they choose a lollipop that has a mark on the end they get to
keep that lollipop and choose a prize, or they can have another turn.
Super Tic Tac Toe
Create a super Tick Tac Toe board (at least 4' x 4' ... if you have the
room make it as large as possible!) with butcher paper or a large sheet
and duct tape for the lines ... or if you have a large flat area of
concrete you can put the duct tape down directly on the ground.
Buy or you can make several beanbags and give each player 3. Tell them to
make a tic tac toe (either 3 beanbags in a row across, down or diagonal)
to win a prize.
We made this Tic Tac Toe board from red butcher paper and it is
4.5 feet x 4.5 feet.
Tip: If you don't have time to make a board for the circle toss game lay
out a large mat from the game of Twister and have players throw pennies
onto the mat.
Create a large playing board with a sheet or butcher paper (at least 4'
x 4'). Cut out paper circles about 3" in diameter) and glue
them on the playing board - space them at least an inch or more apart in
a random design. Lay the board on the ground and about 4' from the
board make a line where the players will stand behind to play.
Give each player 5 - 10 pennies (or recycle water bottle lids) and ask
them to try and get their markers to land completely in the circle -
they can't hang over the circle onto the playing board.
1. Play this carnival game by giving each player a large dice that
is made in their color. We use 12" square cardboard boxes
decorated like dice. The 1st player becomes the playing
piece and rolls his/ her dice. They then move ahead the number of spaces
shown on their dice. Then the next players goes and on down the
line until someone gets across the finish line. Make it more
difficult by requiring players to get the exact roll to make it across
the finish line.
Players move across a racetrack to win a prize. This game can be
played 2 ways but both require a large racetrack. Make the
racetrack by laminating large sheets of butcher paper about 15 feet long
and 8 feet wide. Divide the track into 6 long lanes with at least
10 spaces in each lane. Color or put down 6 different colors or
construction paper into the lanes - one color per lane.
Carnival players pick a color and stand in their lane.
2. Instead of making a large dice for each player use one large
dice and have the announcer roll the dice.
If you don't have the space for this fun game make a smaller
version and let the players use plastic horses or cars as the playing
Bozo Style Bucket Toss
Line up 6 buckets in a straight line about 8" apart. Players stand
in front of the buckets about 4' away at the starting line and try and
throw ping pong balls into the buckets starting at the closest and
progressing to the furthest away. Give prizes away depending on
how many buckets they can complete. To make the game easier for
smaller children use bean bags.
Fill a large rectangle container with water and place a floating plastic
duck in the center. Two players line up at opposite ends of the
container and use squirt guns to try and make the duck touch the other
players side of the container (or set up a line 6 - 8" from the sides
that the duck has to cross). Provide large tubs of water at each
side for the players to re-load their water guns.
Guess How Many
Fill a large clear plastic jar with colorful candies, M & M's, jellybeans, rings, carnival mardi gras type necklaces
etc. and ask carnival guests to guess how many items the jar contains.
Set out slips of colorful paper and pencils for them so they can write down their name and
guess. Provide a decorated container to hold their guesses.
At the end of the carnival announce the winner and let them take home
the contents of the jar. Tip: Count the items while filling the jar
- write down the number! :)
Color Me Wild
Use colored hairspray and glitter hair spray to color streaks or give
all over color to carnival guests. You'll need a table, chairs,
drop cloths, sheets or garbage bags to put over the guests clothes and
hand held mirrors.
A fun carnival game that kids really enjoy! Decorate an area or a
several large appliance boxes as a jail and have volunteers dress as
western sheriffs or police officers.
Guests pay the sheriff
a ticket to put someone they name in jail for 3 minutes. Give the
sheriff a whistle and handcuffs to go and arrest the person the player
has named. The person is then brought back and placed inside the
jail. They can either wait the 3 minutes or pay a ticket to get
out right away.
This is the "Jail" we made from large appliance boxes
before it was decorated around the bottom with hay bales and
pumpkins. All the kids wanted to be "arrested"! The
sheriffs had a table to the left where they kept track of
Lucky Treasure Key
You'll need a large treasure chest or trunk and a new lock. When
you buy the lock for the treasure chest you'll need to buy several extra
locks that have keys that look the same, but do not open the lock.
Place a prize in the treasure chest and lock it. Place the keys in
a decorated container and then ask players to choose 3 keys.
Players try and find the key that will open the lock and unlock the
Party games just for girls - Girls birthday
Party games for boys only -
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Birthday Party Games
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