Top 17 Carnival Games For Kids

Did you want to take your kid to a carnival for his or her birthday, but are unable to find one running anywhere near you on that date. Well, there is absolutely no need for you to get disappointed. You can easily plan a special party by planning some nice carnival games for your kid in the backyard of your own house.

All you need to do is set up a few tents hire some professional clowns, jugglers and other carnival artists and create a fun, lively and colorful atmosphere. Don’t forget the carnival games. For the kids, besides the antics of the clowns and other artists, it is these lovely and fun carnival games, which attracts them the most.

There are numerous simple yet fun games which you can plan for your kid’s carnival party.

carnival games for kids

17 Ideas For Organizing Fun Carnival Games For Kids

Below is a list of some really exciting carnival games, which are extremely simple for you to plan in your own backyard. While planning these games will not be any trouble for you, the kids are simply going to have a great time playing them.

Let’s All Become Clowns

four clowns in costume


While the kids love to watch the clowns do their funny acts, the kids would also love the idea of becoming clowns themselves. You can set up a paint booth in one of the tents.

The kids would be provided with face paints, glitter, paint brushes, face towels and hand held mirrors. The kids will have to paint their own faces in clown faces.

The one who is able to paint his or her face the best would be the winner of the game.

Balloon Darts


I am so sure that all of us, who has ever been to any carnival in our life, has played and loved this game.

Setting up this game is pretty simple. All you need is big board, which is covered completely with balloons. Stick this board on a tree or any other place. Now each kid is five or seven darts and made to stand at a small distance from the board. The kids have to select one color and then throw the darts in such a way, that they are able to burst all the balloons, which are of the color selected by the kid.

Any kid who is able to burst all the balloons can be considered to be the winner of the game.

Switching Cups

Switching Cups


Another simple carnival party game for kids which you can easily set up in your backyard is this switching cups game.

For this game all you need is three empty cups, one small ping pong ball and a table. You can play this game with only one kid at a time. The cups are first place facing up and the ball in dropped in one of the cups. Next all the cups are turned upside down and the person orchestrating this game, using swift movements, switches the positions of the cups randomly. The kid has to guess which cup contains the ball.

Kids love to guess in this game, especially if you give them a prize for every correct guess.

Break The Can Pyramid


This is also a very popular and a typical carnival party game. What need for this game is empty cans of the same height and shape and a softball.

The cans are stacked up one on top of the other in the form of a pyramid. Again, this game can be played by one player at a time only, but the most of the carnival games are designed in such a manner only. The kid is given the ball and has three chances to aim and throw the ball in such a way that all the cans gets dismantled.

A prize should be given to the kid who is able to do so in the given three attempts only.

Grab The Duck From The Pond

Grab The Duck From The Pond

If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, then this game can be really fun. Eve if you do not have a swimming pool, you can take one of those huge plastic pools for rent and use it for this game.

The game is pretty simple. You need to place a number of plastic ducks in the pool. Each duck should have a number between 1 to 5 written on it. Prepare five baskets each numbered 1 to 5 and place prizes inside these baskets. The kids are supposed to grab the ducks from the pool, without actually entering the pool, and whichever numbered duck they are able to grab, they will get a prize from the basket with the same number.

It is really fun when kids try to catch the ducks from the pool and try out tricks for pushing the ducks in the middle of the pool, towards the corners, so that they can grab them. Kids also love this game, since they are almost guaranteed a prize. Just make sure no kid ends up falling in the pool and hurting himself.

Tossing Of The Ping Pong Balls


This simple game again requires the services of cups and ping pong balls.

Stick the plastic cups to a cardboard, in such a manner that there is no space between them. Sticking them is necessary, as the plastic cups tend to extremely light in weight and may keep falling even with a little wind and this would keep disrupting the game. The kids are made to stand at a little distance from this board containing empty cups. They are given ping pong balls and they have to aim and throw the balls inside the cups.

While this sounds easy, keeping the balls inside the cups can be difficult as these balls have the tendency to bounce and jump out of the cups. You can make two or more kids play this game at the same time and have a sort of a face-off between them. Whoever is able to keep the ball inside the cup would be the winner.

Get Lollipops If You Are Lucky


You will need a huge cone made from Styrofoam, which is available in many shops, or if you do not want to buy one, then you can simply prepare one at home with a piece of thick paper. The cone should be painted in a bright and dark color like red.

Now take lots of lollipops and out of the whole lot, separate ¼ of them and paint the ends of these lollipops with some color. Now mix these back with the other lollipops and stick all these lollipops on the cone, in such a way that the colored ends are not visible.

The kids have to pick one lollipop each and the ones who are able to find the lollipop with a colored end wins and gets to keep the lollipop.

Bulls Eye


This is yet another game for testing the aiming and throwing skills of the kids.

There are target boards available in the market or you can paint one for yourself at home. In case instead of the darts, you wish to use ping pong balls, then you will have to paste Velcro on the target board for the balls to stick onto it. You can keep different prizes for hitting different parts on the target board.

Toss Coins In The Circles


Take a large sheet of plain paper. The paper can either already be black in color, or you can paint it black. Now cut out small circles, which are slightly bigger than the size of the coins. The circles should be in some bright color like red, blue, etc., which shows nicely on the black paper.

Glue this paper on the floor and draw a line at a little distance from this paper. The kids are made to stand behind this line and give coins which they have to throw in such a manner that they land exactly inside any one of the circles on this paper.

If you are not able to get in inside any circle, you lose the game.

Racing with The Dice


Racing is a very common game, but it is a game which all the kids enjoy. However, when you have a carnival theme, you need to make sure that the racing happening at your party gets a little twist.

When making the racing tracks, do not just divide the tracks vertically but horizontally as well. The number of blocks for each player between the starting line and the ending line should be a minimum 12.

Each player starts by rolling a dice and moving ahead on the tracks by crossing the exact number of blocks which appeared on his or her dice. The first one to finish this way will be the winner. The blocks do not have to be very big in size and therefore, the game can be played in a small space as well.

Bucket Toss


Place 6 empty buckets, and make the players stand at a little distance from these buckets.

The players have to throw ping pong balls in the buckets and try to make sure that he or she is able to get the balls inside each of the 6 buckets.

Anyone who is able to get all the 6 buckets would be the winner.

War Of The Ducklings


In this game a large container is filled with water and a small plastic duck is placed inside it.

The players are given squirt guns and they have to stand on opposite sides of the container. With their squirt guns they have to try and push the duck towards the side of the other player and make it touch the wall of the container that side.

Police And Criminals


Fold and make several small chits. All the chits should be kept empty except for two chits, one which would have the words police and the other would have the word robber written on it.

The chits are shuffled and each kid picks up one kid. The kid who gets the police chit announces that he is the police, but the robber keeps quiet. The police now has to find out who the robber is, while the robber winks at other kids and those kids then declare that the robber has killed them.

Once the police is able to catch the killer, you can prepare a small jail for him or her, where they would have to stay behind bars for 3 minutes.

Find The Treasure

find the treasure

For this game, you will need a treasure box which will have a gift inside. Find keys that look exactly the same as the key to the actual lock of this box.

Now mix all the keys and every kid is given three attempts to pick three keys from this assortment of keys and try to open the chest.

If you are able to open the chest, the treasure would be all yours.

Racing On Stilts


The tall guys walking around in a carnival wearing large stilts is a very fascinating sight.

Taking this idea, you can actually plan a stilt race for the kids. Empty coffee cans, which are sturdy enough to bear the weight of the kids, are tied to the soles of the shoes of the kids and the kids have to run with these coffee cans below their feet.

Tire And Football


Hang a tire, from one of the tree branches and make the kids stand at a little distance from this tree and try to throw a football through this tire.

Limit the number of chances each kid gets for getting his or her aim right to three.

Mystery Box


Decorate a huge box and place several small everyday items like pencils, rubber, sharpener, ruler, etc. inside the box. Cover the box with a piece of cloth.

The kids have to push their hands inside the box, without lifting the cloth and try to guess the items inside the box. Whoever gets maximum answers correct, wins the game.

Keep switching the items with every kid to keep the game fair for all the kids.

Thus, it is obvious from the above game ideas that planning a carnival party with some typical carnival games is neither difficult nor expensive. So choose your favorite carnival games for kids from the above list to plan a perfect party.