Fun Carnival Games for for kids
20 Fun and easy carnival game ideas for birthday parties and school fairs. DIY, cheap, homemade booth ideas and game stations that are easy and inexpensive to put together. Carnival games and activities for kids, tweens, teens and adults of all ages! Perfect for a Carnival themed birthday party.
Find fun carnival booth supplies here - lemondade stands, basketball games, carnival tickets, ticket booth and more!
The Carnival games list and ideas are easy to set up and inexpensive to put together and most use recycled materials.
All of the carnival booth ideas and games on the list have been tested and at birthday parties and school fairs. We picked only the kids favorites to make the list.
Great for Fall Festivals, schools, carnival backyard games, indoor and outdoor carnival games at a school and Circus parties too ages 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 years old!
See our Carnival Theme Birthday Party Ideas for more fun ideas.
Moonwalk or Bounce House
*If you want your duck pond inside use foam peanuts or rice in place of water.
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.
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
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.
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.
1. Play this carnival game by giving each player a large dice that is made in their color.
We used 12" square cardboard boxes for the dice. Decorate with colorful paper and decorate like dice using black construction paper circles or a black permanent marker.
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.
2. Instead of making a large dice for each player use one large dice and have the announcer roll the dice.
Tip: 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 pieces.
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 everyone's time.
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 prize.
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