We have compiled our very best carnival game ideas. Carnival games don’t have to be expensive and hard to create, that is why we focused on low cost DIY carnival games. Hosting a carnival can be loads of fun and is a great way to create a fun-filled atmosphere.

Here’s an idea for point systems or winners of carnival games. You can award small individual pieces of candy or tickets if they accomplish a game. At our carnival special tickets are given if they win a game. Later they go to a prize room to cash in all there tickets. Only prize tickets are good in the prize room, not game tickets.

Go To Jail

Required: A room, jail made out of something, helpers and warrants

Have a room that you can be set up as a jail. You’ll need a sheriff and maybe a deputy to mind the jail while the sheriff goes off to arrest someone. You can make the jail out of cardboard boxes, or wood with chicken wire, just something easy to take down and store if you wish. Carnival goers can pay to issue a warrant for someone’s arrest. This may involve that person also going with the sheriff to point out the person that is suppose to be sent to jail. Once that person is put into the jail, they have to serve so many minutes in jail or you can give them the option of bailing themselves out. You can even issue them prison clothes to wear.

Horse Race

Required: Board, tape, dice and movable items
Players: Up to six

Prepare a play area on a board, desktop or table. Use removable tape or to mark off six columns on the board with a start and finish line. Each column should have 5-8 squares depending on how long you want the game to last. Next, number each column. Find 6 movable play pieces that can fit in each square as they move across the board. Fun items could be small beanie babies or any other popular item. Consider that they’ll be touched by many players if used for a carnival game. Have each player assigned to a game piece and numbered column. Now roll the dice. The player in the column that matches the number rolled, gets to move his piece one square down the track. The first player to move his piece to the finish line is the winner.

Hula Toss

Required: Board, tape, dice and movable items
Players: Up to six

Hang hula hoops from the ceiling by ropes and have players throw small footballs or flying discs threw the hula hoops. You can mark off throwing levels for various ages. For the older participants you can even have the hula hoop swing back and forth as a moving target.

Knock Down Arcade Game

Required: 2 saw horses, one 2X4 piece of lumber, hinges, Fun Gripper Bean Bags or Fun Gripper Baseballs, paint and blocks of wood

Once you make this you’ll have a really cool game. Design 6 to 8 blocks of wood cut outs that will be mounted on one side of the narrow end of the 2X4 with light weight hinges. Use light weight wood that knocks over easily and you can shorten the length of the 2X4 if desired. Make them in different shapes, colors or design. Find a willing artist in your group that will make it look attractive. You can even have the 2X4 painted with a theme that goes with the blocks. Idea like serpent with animal knock downs. Mount the blocks with hinges at 45 degrees so that they stay on top of the board and can fall backward once hit with a ball or bean bag. Give participants three balls to knock down the blocks from a designated distance.

By R. Scheel, Fun-Attic, Inc.

Ping Pong Target Game

Required: Plastic pop bottles, water, water guns, and ping-pong balls

You can play this game as teams or just individual competitions can be set up. Set up your teams; place all the same sized plastic bottles on an outdoor table and on top of each bottle place one ping-pong ball. Give each team a water gun full of water and hopefully they all look or work the same. Have the teams line up behind the first player. They should be about 5-8 feet away from the target depending on age group. When signaled, the first team member will try to knock the ping-pong ball off the bottle. Once they have completed that task they will hand the gun to next player and then replace the ball back onto the bottle. The next player will do the same and the first team done is the winner.

Sucker Tree

Required: Plastic pop bottles, water, water guns, and ping-pong balls

The sucker tree is a fun game, when they pull out a sucker that is marked on the bottom of the stick, they are a winner, and you win the sucker.

Tic Tac Toss

Required: 5″ Beanbags, tape

The play area is very easy to make and set up. Fun Gripper 5 inch Bean BagsLay down tape
on carpet or hard floor for the squares. Give players only 4 bags to try to complete three in a row. Tape down a throwing line for younger players about 5 feet away and for older players about 6 feet away. Fun-Attic carries Fun Gripper 5 inch Bean Bags to complete the game.

Treasure Chest

Required: 5″ Beanbags, tape

Fill a small square or rectangle container with birdseed and place 10-15 pennies within the seed. Allow the participants 1 minute (60 seconds) to find as many pennies within the time frame. Award players based on the total amount of pennies they have found. You can have them close their eyes to complicate the game if need be. You may also reduce the amount of time for older players.

Remember – The object is for everyone to have fun. The moderator is the all-powerful dictator. You may at any time change the rules or boundaries or handicap players to help balance out the wide spectrum of abilities. We want the tentative athlete and the superjock to play together at the best of their abilities.

Have Fun! 🙂

Now here are some colorful ideas to liven up play time.
If you have a fun game that is entertaining and healthy for kids of ANY age, you can send it to us for consideration and addition to our Games and Activities Guide.
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