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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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