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Making carnival games

Updated on October 15, 2008

Monkey banana toss.

Instead of beanbags, you throw plastic bananas through the holes.
Instead of beanbags, you throw plastic bananas through the holes.

Easy carnival games

One of the things our company has provided for events is simple carnival games with an old fashioned flavor. We made them all ourselves, and got better at it as time went on. Here are a few ideas you can make for your school carnivals. They can even be class projects that students can help with.

Ring Toss:

Styrofoam wig heads

Garden stakes

Embroidery hoops or pool diving hoops

Put each head on a stake. Push into ground. If the ground is hard, hammer stake in first, then put styrofoam head on it. Make a line to stand behind and kids try to toss the rings over a head. The heads are only about knee high. If you are going to be on asphalt, fill some milk jugs with sand and park the stakes in there instead.

Balloon Dart Game:

Caution: Don't let little kids stand too close as the darts can bounce back.

Carnival game darts:

Water balloons

Scotch Tape

Board to Tape balloons to

Plastic bin to fill with balloons ahead of time.

Balloon pump.

Don't count on being able to blow up and tie balloons fast enough to keep up with the crowds. Fill the bin with balloons ahead of time. Oriental Trading Co. and carnival supply stores usually sell darts and balloons and such.

Bean Bag Toss:

Bean bags

Plywood with holes in it to throw the bags through.


We painted a clown with a big open mouth on ours. Have someone with a scroll saw or jig-saw cut it out for you, or use a keyhole saw.

The easiest way to make beanbags is to sew rectangles on a sewing machine, and leave a 2" slot for stuffing. Fill with beans or rice or walnut shells or whatever is available and hand stitch the opening shut. Make more than you think you need, or you'll have to pick them up every other minute. The plywood works great for a one time or yearly carnival, but if you plan to haul it around a lot, consider replacing the plywood with canvas and a PVC frame that you can take apart and roll up for easy storage and moving.

While you are packing for the event, don't forget your prizes. Throw in some baggies or brown paper bags too, because little kids tend to have full hands and it keeps them from losing their prizes.

Smart and Final sells rolls of tickets; if you plan to sell or give out tickets for the carnival games. If you are doing a company picnic, have a rubber stamp to stamp the hands of kids that are part of the party. Otherwise you'll have kids from all over the park trying to play the games.

Some other ideas for games include Nerf football toss, Nerf basketball, a kiddy pool filled with water and rubber duckies with numbers on their bottoms, dunk tanks, and wet sponge tosses at the coach or principal. Use your imagination and test drive your ideas before the event to work out the bugs.

Good luck.

Pony rides and Bounce Castle


If you want bigger things like pony rides and bounce castles, there are companies that specialize in those. Allow plenty of time to book them, as they have peak seasons and need advance planning.

Spin the Wheel

We use our wheel a lot, but it wasn't simple to make. If you make one, make the sign part double sided, so you can have numbers on one side, and prizes on the other for different events.
We use our wheel a lot, but it wasn't simple to make. If you make one, make the sign part double sided, so you can have numbers on one side, and prizes on the other for different events.


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    • profile image

      Lindsey 9 years ago

      Great idea about the sign on the wheel! And I've never heard of doing the ring toss they way you do it.

    • profile image

      annette brown 9 years ago

      how did you make the wheel?

    • profile image

      Ken 9 years ago

      Is there someplace you can buy the wheel ? I looked at but could not find the wheel, although they do have some other ring toss that I am considering to order.

    • Moonmaiden profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 9 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      Ken, I've never seen them for sale anywhere, which is why we made our own. But never say never. Sometimes rental places will sell the equipment to you if they get a newer one in.

    • profile image

      Hussin 9 years ago

      Looks like tons of fun. Where can I get one?

    • profile image

      jackie 8 years ago

      where did you get the tent/booth?? I've been looking all over for those but I haven't found the right kind for a good price...

    • Moonmaiden profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 8 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      I always use E-Z ups. But the ones in the photo belonged to the event, not to me.

    • Social Conscience profile image

      Social Conscience 8 years ago from Earth - Where are YOU from?

      Moonmaiden, you are invited to my next birthday party! Bring your games!

    • profile image

      Chicago 8 years ago

      Where did you get the material for metal base and pegs from.

    • profile image

      lola997 6 years ago

      this is so cool! my daugter stehpanie loves to make crafts and i only go to oriental for everything there things are the best!!

    • profile image

      Ella 5 years ago

      Thank you

    • jollyjump profile image

      jollyjump 5 years ago from Columbus, GA

      Thanks for this Hub! I'm in the party business and we will use these ideas.

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