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Kids Carnival Games

Carnival Game Ideas for birthdays and other celebrations. Tailor it to your theme or party occasion.
carnival party games

Quick Link to Our Carnival Party Games

Duck Pond

This carnival game is perfect for young toddlers but enjoyed by any age. All children are winners! Just pick a duck and win a prize.

Materials

  • Kiddy Pool or large container or storage tub
  • Water
  • Sharpie
  • Numbered Buckets for prizes
  • Small Prizes (stickers, candy, pencils, small toys)

Instructions

  • Fill tub or pool with water.
  • Mark the ducks underneath with a numbers 1-4 or however many prize buckets you want to have.
  • Mark each prize bucket with a number corresponding to one on a duck. Example if you number ducks 1-4, then you need four prize buckets.
  • Each child has a turn picking a duck and then selecting a prize from the corresponding prize bucket
  • Return duck for next child's turn.

Tic Tac Toe

Get a pre made game or make your own and decorate according to your party theme. This carnival game can be played indoors or outdoors.
tic tac toe carnival game

Materials

  • Tic Tac Toe Game Board
  • Bean Bags
  • Cones or Tape or Sidewalk Chalk to mark where to stand

Instructions

  • Buy or make a tic tac toe board.
  • Give each child 4 or 5 bean bags
  • Three in a row wins!

Tips

  • Adjust distance to age group.
  • You can make your own bean bags if you have a sewing machine with scrap material and fill with rice.

Ball Toss

Find five baskets and decorate with colors of your party by coloring, painting or print and attach some pictures on the front of each basket.
ball toss party game

Materials

  • 5 Apple Baskets
  • Bean Bags or White Poly Baseballs (One Dozen)
  • Cones or Tape or Sidewalk Chalk to mark where to stand

Instructions

  • Arrange your baskets and set how far you want the children to stand
  • Give each child 5 balls or bean bags.
  • Determine how many must make it into the baskets to win. Adjust according to age group and ability.

Tips

  • Adjust distance to age group.
  • You can make your own bean bags if you have a sewing machine with scrap material and fill with rice.

Plinko

Here is a home made game board to play plinko for those of you who are handy! It was a big hit with kids of all ages.
homemade Plinko board

Materials

  • Game Board
  • Round Discs
  • Numbered Buckets with prizes

Instructions

  • Plinko Board (lean board back so chips slide rather than bounce out)
  • Give each child a disc
  • Drop the disc from the top and the number slot it lands in, is the bucket the child selects the prize from.

Tips

  • You can purchase a plinko board but they are expensive so making one is a great alternative
  • You can make it smaller for young children and use coasters as game pieces.

Penny Drop

Easy to set up game using a fish tank, jar, water and pennies! Great for an ocean theme party or an outdoor party with carnival style games.
Penny Drop Carnival Game

Materials

  • Aquarium
  • Heavy clear glass vase or jar
  • Water
  • Pennies

Instructions

  • Fill tank with water.
  • Place jar in tank.
  • Drop pennies and if it goes into the jar, it's a winner.

Tips

  • Weigh down jar with pennies or aquarium gravel or pebbles if needed.
  • It's tricky so consolation prizes are a good idea and maybe two jars to drop pennies into.
  • Adjust water level to make it easier or harder.

Putt Putt Golf

Easy to set up and all ages can play.

Materials

  • Putting green
  • 3-5 golf balls
  • Putter

Instructions

  • Give each child 3-5 balls and putter.
  • Putt each golf ball.

Tips

  • Show how to hit, and explain you don't need to hit it hard or you'll be chasing balls.
  • For younger children use practice plastic golf balls instead of real balls.
  • Have prizes for everyone who tries.

Tiki Nut Hunt

This is the classic ball and cup game where you shuffle the cups with a ball under one and the child guesses which cup is hiding the ball.
tiki nut hunt game

Materials

  • Cups
  • Ball or small object
  • Decorations to match theme

Instructions

  • Show the ball and place under one cup.
  • Shuffle the cups and have the child guess which cup the ball is under.

Tips

  • Can adjust number of shuffles according to age.
  • Have prizes for everyone who tries.
  • Good for all themes. Find plastic cups at the Dollar Tree and other $1 sections in Target or WalMart to match your theme.

Bean Bag Toss

Make a bean bag toss board and decorate with your party colors or you can find some premade.
bean bag toss carnival game

Materials

  • Game Board
  • Bean Bags
  • Cones or Tape or Sidewalk Chalk to mark where to stand

Instructions

  • Buy or make a bean bag toss board
  • Give each child 4 or 5 bean bags
  • Decide how many you need to get in the hole to win.

Tips

  • Adjust distance to age group.
  • You can make your own bean bags if you have a sewing machine with scrap material and fill with rice.
  • Test to see how difficult it is to get the bean bag in...this is more challenging than the tic tac toe bean toss.

Racing Cars

This is a simple game with one die, die cast cars and a game board.
race car game

Materials

  • Game board made out of wood, cardboard or you could laminate card stock or similar.
  • 1 Die (large is easiest) You can find some at education stores where they sell game pieces.
  • Decorate board to match theme

Instructions

  • Players select car and put at the starting line.
  • Player rolls die on turn and moves car the number of spaces on the die thrown.
  • Winner is the first car crossing the finish line

Tips

  • Racing Flags make cute prizes or decorations.

Parachute Game

Drop a parachute onto a quadrant and depending where it lands, determines which prize.
parachute game

Materials

  • Tarp or Landing Area of your choice.
  • 1 Parachute Man
  • Add numbers to each quadrants
  • Numbered Prize buckets for each quadrant

Instructions

  • Players drop parachute man onto game mat.
  • Depending where he lands, determines which prize is selected.

Tips

  • Number the quadrants so children can try to aim at a certain one.
  • For a larger mat, use a parachute with colors as different quadrants to land your pieces on.

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