Universal Mentors Association

30 Fun and Easy Carnival Games for Your Next Event


Planning a school carnival or want to add some non-athletic activities to your next field day? These carnival games are perfect for school events or parties at home. You’ll find DIY options plus ready-made games you can purchase to save time. Just pick up some fun prizes and you’re ready for a day of fun!

DIY Carnival Games

If you’re handy, you can make lots of fun carnival games to delight kids and adults alike yourself!

Apple Basket Toss

Three bushel fruit baskets labeled with point values, with a bale of hay and four red apples

This one couldn’t be easier. Just grab some fruit bushel baskets and fake apples and you’re good to go!

Learn more: Apple Basket Toss/Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Leap Frog

Child hitting a wooden catapult with a mallet to fling a toy frog toward a wood stand

With a few pieces of wood and some basic hardware, you can build your own frog-flinging carnival game.

Learn more: Leap Frog/Carnival Savers


DIY cornhole boards painted blue and green, used for carnival games

Cornhole is a Midwest classic, and it makes a terrific carnival game. You can make your own boards with a few pieces of wood, and customize them to fit the theme of your event.

Learn more: My Frugal Adventures

Guessing Booth

Cardboard box labeled Guessing Booth, with two large jars holding candy

Here’s another easy one—simply fill some large jars with candy, counting how many pieces are in each. Then, let people take a chance to guess how many items are in each jar.

Learn more: Guessing Booth/East Coast Mommy

Prize Punch Board

Child punching through a tissue-paper covered circle in a board to pull out a prize for carnival games

Everyone’s a winner with prize punch board! Players simply choose a circle and punch their way through to grab their loot.

Learn more: Created by V.

Water Gun Race

Ping pong balls balanced on golf tees, with three plastic squirt guns for carnival games

Balance Ping-Pong balls on golf tees, then have players race to see who can be the first to knock them all off.

Learn more: Water Gun Race/Driven by Decor

Cake Walk

People walking around a circle from mark to mark, playing a carnival game to try to win a cake

It’s kind of like musical chairs but for cake! Players walk from mark to mark, stopping on a number when the music stops. Then, draw a number to see which one is the winner. You can give away full cakes or give individual cupcakes instead.

Learn more: Cake Walk/Carnival Savers

Balloon Darts

Ballloon Shoot carnival game with a wall of balloons and darts

This is one of those classic carnival games that everyone loves. Grab this kit from Amazon that includes 500 balloons and 10 darts, and remember that you can make things harder by under-inflating the balloons.

Learn more: Balloon Darts/Catch My Party

Lollipop Ring Toss

Carnival game made with lollipops stuck into a board to sit upright by their sticks, with colorful plastic rings

Here’s another easy one with the prizes built right in. Simply drill holes into a board and insert some lollipops. Players toss rings to win a treat!

Learn more: Some Day I’ll Learn

Bean Bag Ladder Toss

Ladder with each rung labeled with a different point value, used as a beanbag toss carnival game

Bean bag ladder toss is easy to set up but tricky to master. Players try to land bean bags on the ladder steps to earn points. It’s harder than it looks.

Learn more: Bean Bag Ladder Toss/Landeelu

Mini Pig Races

Kids racing small plastic pigs down a ramp

Pick a pig and choose a lane, then let them fly! This clever game is easy to assemble and especially fun for little ones.

Learn more: Pig Racing/Carnival Savers

Ping-Pong Ball Toss

Rows of glass fishbowls with ping pong balls inside, with a sign reading Ping Pong Toss

Here’s another carnival games classic, using fishbowls and Ping-Pong balls. It’s easy to set up and always a favorite!

Learn more: Ping-Pong Ball Toss/Catch My Party

Lucky Duck Pond

Yellow rubber ducks floating in a large red bucket of water, on a red tablecloth covered with white stars

There are several different kinds of duck pond carnival games. In the easiest version, simply draw a star on the bottoms of several ducks. If players pull one with a star, they win a prize. You can also number the ducks and offer a prize based on the number they draw. Or mix things up a bit by drawing different shapes on pairs of ducks. Players try to pull two matching ones to win.

Learn more: Duck Pond/Driven by Decor

Fish Pond

Kiddie pool filled with plastic fish, next to a sign that reads Fishing Hole

This is similar to the duck pond but with magnetic fish. Players use a special rod to “catch” a fish. Check the number on the fish to see which prize they win!

Learn more: Fish Pond/Catch My Party

Rocket Blast

Child attempting to shoot a foam rocket through hula hoops hung from a tree

Hit the dollar store for some Hula-Hoops and foam rocket flingers, and you’ve got a bargain carnival game kids will love.

Learn more: Rocket Blast/Carnival Savers

Pick a Pop

Tray of Tootsie Pops stuck upright into a foam block, next to a sign that says Pick a Pop

This easy game ensures everyone gets a prize! Players pull a sucker from the tray. If the bottom has a black dot on it, they win a bigger prize. If not, they get to keep the lollipop as a consolation prize.

Learn more: Craftibilities

Soda Bottle Ring Toss

Bottles of soda in the grass with small plastic rings set up for a carnival game

Here’s another game that comes with its own prizes. Simply set up bottles of soda pop, then give players small rings to try to toss around them. (Tip: Mason jar rings are the perfect size!)

Learn more: Soda Bottle Ring Toss/Landeelu

Ball in Basket

Blue bushel baskets mounted on an upright pallet, labelled Ball In Basket

Mount some bushel baskets to a pallet for this easy DIY carnival game. The trick is to put them at a very slight angle, so only the gentlest toss can keep them from bouncing out.

Learn more: Kara’s Party Ideas

Knock Down the Cans

Pyramid of tin cans with colorful funny faces, next to three rubber balls

This one’s so easy to set up, and you can change the difficulty by using empty cans or full ones that are harder to knock down.

Learn more: Welcome to Nana’s

Egg Crate Bean Toss

Woman's hand holding beans over four egg cartons with some compartments painted red, blue, or green

Paint a few random compartments of egg cartons using three different colors, and assign each color a point value. Players toss five beans, then add up their score to see if they have enough points to win a prize.

Learn more: Aly’s Blog

Carnival Games You Can Buy

Not into DIY? Save the time and hassle and buy ready-made carnival games instead.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

Sport Squad Endzone Challenge Football Toss

Man preparing to throw a football at a target with a variety of holes

This football toss game is easy to set up, and you can vary the challenge levels by having people throw from different “yard lines.”

Buy it: Sport Squad Endzone Challenge 2-in-1 Football Toss at Amazon

Midway Monsters Milk Bottle Ball Toss

Child posing with stacked milk bottles and small balls for carnival games

These wooden milk bottles are safer than glass, since they can’t break. Remember that the official rules say you must not only knock over all three bottles, but also completely knock them off the stand.

Buy it: Midway Monsters Milk Bottle Ball Toss at Amazon

Giantex Basketball Hoop Arcade Game

Side-by-side basketball hoops mounted on an inclined apparatus with four balls

Use these side-by-side hoops for competitions, or let two people play at once to see how many throws they can make in a minute.

Buy it: Giantex Basketball Hoop Arcade Game at Amazon

GoSports Splash Tower Water Dunk Game

Man being splashed by water from a bucket after a child hits a nearby target with a ball in a carnival games dunk tank

Dunk tanks are always a carnival favorite, but they can be a little dangerous. This version is safer, plus it’s much easier to set up.

Buy it: GoSports Splash Tower Water Dunk Game at Amazon

MD Sports Roll and Score Arcade Game

Home ball rolling game like skeeball that can be used for carnival games

Real Skee-Ball games are pretty expensive, but this one is a little more affordable. It’s still plenty of fun though!

Buy it: MD Sports Roll and Score Arcade Game at Amazon

Dropster Disk Drop Carnival Game

Woman dropping a disk into a board covered in pegs that guide it into a slot below

Inspired by Plinko, this easy game lets gravity do all the work. Customize the slots with your own labels to let players know what they’ve won.

Buy it: Dropster Disk Drop Carnival Game at Amazon

SWOOC Giant Kick Darts

Two men kicking rubber balls at a large inflatable dart board

Here’s a fun twist on regular darts! It’s the perfect game for an outdoor carnival or event.

Buy it: SWOOC Giant Kick Darts at Amazon

Clown Bean Bag Toss Game

Child throwing a beanbag into the open mouth of a clown printed on a vinyl banner

If you don’t feel like making your own bean bag toss game, buy this simple vinyl banner instead. It comes with a few bean bags, but you may want to buy extras just in case.

Buy it: Clown Bean Bag Toss Game at Amazon

Giggle N Go Giant Inflatable Bowling Set

Kids playing with a giant inflatable bowling set outside on a lawn

Looking for something unique? People will love this supersized bowling game, with weighted pins to add an extra challenge.

Buy it: Giggle N Go Giant Inflatable Bowling Set at Amazon

WinSpin 36-Inch Prize Wheel

Spinning prize wheel set up at a neighborhood market

Everyone loves to spin and win! Write your own prizes on this big wheel, then let people step right up and take a chance.

Buy it: WinSpin 36″ Prize Wheel at Amazon

Need more ideas for active fun? Check out the Best Field Day Games and Activities for All Ages and Abilities.

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Whether you buy or DIY, these carnival games are perfect for field days, fundraisers, parties, and other school or community events.


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