Carnival type games are great but I'm always trying to figure out "cheap" versions without the need of too much effort. But here are some ideas that hopefully can give some ideas as to what can be done for carnival events.
Store bought games that I've used
- Mini Frisbee golf
- Bean bag toss
- Ladder ball
- Ring toss
Homemade carnival games (sort of)...
Frog fling: Secure a can sideways to the middle of a small kid size tennis racket (between the head and the handle. Put a bean bag frog (that's what I happen to have on hand) towards the top of the racket head. Use the handle to flip the frog and try to land it into a basket (kind of a see saw action). Okay, I'll admit it, this one was a last minute idea, kids seem to like it but need some work...
Shoot the cans: Cheap Dollar store type dart guns and empty soda cans. Stack the cans on a pedestal (stack of books would work) and then try to knock the cans off the pedestal.
Ring the cans: Nerf gun. Clean some tin cans and poke a hole on the bottom and string them upside down. Hang the cans from above. I have a popup tent with a big opening and I use the pole on top of the popup tent to hang the cans. Use the Nerf gun to shoot at the cans to try to hit them. If you want them to ring, tie a smaller can on the inside of a big can and create a bell.
Shoot the target: Nerf dart gun, cardboard box, disposable cups, tissues, rubber bands. Cut circles in the cardboard box that's about the size of the circle midway up the cups. Put a prize into each of the cups (if you are using prizes) and cover with tissue and secure with rubber band. Place the cardboard box sideways so that the holes are facing the players and secure. Insert the cups into the cardboard box and have the players aim and shoot. If the dart goes through the tissue then they get the prize. Additional cups with prizes and tissue on deck makes things go quicker. Might want to cover the cardboard box with something to dampen the ricochet.
Horseshoe: okay not quite homemade but bring the outdoor plastic horseshoe indoors by using a baseball tee as the pole.
Washer toss: empty tin cans and metal washers. Try to get the washers into the cans.
Safe Balloon pop: Insert sharp pins from the back of a cardboard and secure. Blow up balloons and tape them just above the pins, make sure not to accidentally pop them. Have the players throw bean bags or balls at the balloons and try to pop them.
Ping Pong ball toss: Line a shallow box with cups facing up. Put prizes inside the cups. The player tries to toss ping pong balls into the cups to get the prize.
Hoop toss: Try to toss a hoola hoop around an object like a sitting stuffed animal.
I like pretty Christmas cones, but I was trying to think of a kid friendly way to make them and this turned out pretty well...
- Copy of the pattern on cardstock
- Pretty wrapping paper, (other decorative papers or lightweight cloth should work too)
- ribbons and other things to decorate and the necessary glue to affix them.
- 2 paper fasteners (brads)
- hole puncher
- optional tassel
1. Glue the wrapping paper to the backside of the cardstock pattern.
2. Cut out the pattern along the outside lines.
3. Punch holes at the 'X' (I like using a smaller hole punch like 1/8" or smaller)
4. Decorate the wrapping paper as you see fit. (I like to put ribbons along the rounded edge so it'll have a nice finish. If you want scalloped edges, now's the time to cut them.)
5. If you are using a tassel, make a knot at the end and then tape it close to the 90 degree corner leaving the tassel hanging outside of the paper.
6. Now with the decorated side facing out, line up the outside 2 holes (furthest away from the 90 degree corner) not worrying about trying to make a cone shape, and fasten with a brad.
7. Line up the remaining 2 holes and fasten with brad.
8. If you want, you can try putting in some liquid glue to make sure that the bottom of the cone is sealed.
9. attach handles by either punching 2 holes opposite each other and tying on a ribbon or just staple on a ribbon on opposite sides of the cone (making sure that the brad is in the back.
I'll try to post some pictures after the kids are done with their project...
For the Halloween alternative at church, the kids are going to get a lesson about the reformation with Martin Luther and the 95 theses. So figure that for game time, I'll try to come up with a list of related games. Unfortunately online I only found pin the 95 thesis on the door so here goes my list of games that I came up with. I think even in explanation of the games there can be much lessons taught.
- Win a Vacation to St. Peter's Basilica Place on the floor in a circle papers with unique numbers. The kids walk around the circle while the music is going. When the music stops a number is chosen. The kid on the number gets a "vacation to St. Peter's Basilica" and gets a cupcake/candy bar. Reminder that the building of St. Peter's Basilica under Pope Leo the X was part of what led to the problem with indulgence.
- Pin the 95 Theses on the Door Put a picture of a door on the wall. Give the child a post-it and play just like pin the tail on the donkey. Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on October 31, 1517
- Indulgence Drop Fill a clear container with water. Place a small stack of quarter size washers in the center of the tank (basically want to raise the washer). Kids drop in coins to try to get them to land on the washer to see if they can win with indulgence. Just in case someone does "win". Prepare a big empty box all wrapped up with beautiful wrapping paper as the empty hope of trying to buy your way. The uselessness of trying to buy your way to heaven
- Solae Toss Cut circles in 5 large pieces of cardboard each circle larger than the next. On top of each hole write "Sola Scriptura", "Sola Fide", "Sola Gratia", "Solus Christus", and "Soli Deo Gloria". Stack them with spaces in between. Kids try to throw a plastic (light) ball through all five holes to win. Reminder of what the reformation was about
- Find Luther Make lots of cardboard figures and put them in a paper bag. Kids try to feel for Luther without looking.The Catholic church was trying to find Luther
- Shoot the Heresy Hang tin cans from the ceiling or other structures from above (I just punched a hole in the bottom of empty tin cans, threaded them and made a knot inside the can). Label each can with a heresy. Kids can use whatever flying projectiles that you have handy to try to hit the cans.
- Pop the Heresy Basic balloon pop. Sharp darts are just too scary for me to deal with so the way we did it was poke sharp nails through the back of a foam display board. Duct tape the nails in place. Put tape loops on the front of the board and stuck balloons on the tape making sure that there's a nail poking out behind the balloon. Secure the display board to the wall and toss bean bags at the board to pop the balloon. All that said, go ahead and write different heresies on the balloons and the kids try to pop them.
- Pope Hat Tip Fold a piece of cardboard and write Bible on it. Open the cardboard. Balance a paper pope hat on top (directions available on line). Use a dart gun or soft frisbee or other projectiles to try to knock off only the pope hat. Sometimes it's not as easy to address a problem without accidentally knocking over Biblical principals
- Ways to Heaven Bean bag toss. The targets are believe/faith/grace...
- Arrest Luther Ring toss to "capture" Luther
Now, I've got to get busy making signs and getting all the pieces together.
Cinnamon Sticks ornaments
Scalloped Shell ornament
Pine cone ornaments
wire wrapped balls 24 gauge around a balloon
Copper wire tree
Wire and bead ornament
Clay ornaments Clay 1/2 cup cornstarch 1 cup baking soda 3/4 cup water Bake at 175 for about an hour
Hum do you need to cook it like here
Air dried porcelain
More cooked version