Homemade carnival game ideas

Are you organizing a carnival party and need ideas for carnival games?

Traditional carnival games are usually played in carnival booths. You usually trade one or more tickets for a turn in a game. Examples of carnival game booths include the Duck Pond game, Hoopla, Toss the Ball, Knock the Can, and of course, the Coconut Shy. If you’re throwing a carnival party, you can rent game booths, or better yet, make your own. To make a simple carnival game booth, you need a small table, a cloth large enough to cover the table (in a bright color if possible), a large poster board, and some thick paints or markers.

Simply place the tablecloth on the table, letting it hang down the front of the table to the floor. Using your paints or felt-tip pens, write a funny sign, stating the name of the game. You can get really creative here! Finally, attach the banner to the fabric and there you have it: your very own homemade carnival game booth. If you really want to look authentic, buy cheap narrow plastic tubes (available at hardware stores), cut them into pieces to make a rectangular frame for the booth (you’ll need one long, just slightly longer than your table length, and two shorter (decide how tall you want the frame to be).

Use strong tape to join the pipe pieces together to form a three-sided rectangle, then affix it to the table, again securing with strong tape. You can hang a lightweight sign from this, but be a little careful – the frame won’t take too much weight. If you want, you can buy ready-made games in their booths. However, you can make your own. Put away canned food, rinse and dry. Cover these cans with brightly colored paper and use them to stack them for the Knock the Can game. Add a couple of bean bags and your game is ready to play. To play, the guest tosses the bean bags, one at a time, into the cans. If they drop all the cans, they win. For the Coconut Shy, you will need to buy some fresh coconuts. To make the stands for the coconuts, use empty soda bottles that have been rinsed and dried. Cut the bottle caps and cover them with brightly colored paper. Place the bottles on top of the table, well spaced, and place the coconuts on top of the bottles. Have three small balls, or bean bags, per turn, and you’re ready to play.

To play, the party guest tosses the bean bags, or balls, one at a time, into the coconuts. If they eliminate one, they win. Toss the Ball is an easy game to play. Line a trash can with brightly colored paper, place it in the back of the booth or on the floor. Place a marker a fair distance from the basket. This is where the party guests will stand to take their turn. Use any ball you want, for example a basketball or baseball, it must fit in the destination bin. To take a turn, the guest stands on the scoreboard and throws the ball. If it goes in the basket and stays there, they win. You have two main options for prizes. Give your guests tickets when they win a game, which they’ll redeem for a prize at the end. Or hand out a small prize at the booth to each winner. Have fun!