Carnival games are used to raise money for fair boards, school organizations and many other groups. The games range from simple dart games to electronic water gun games. You can set up your own carnival games with a few boards and other props. You may also buy ready-made games from local and online vendors.
Games of Skill
Carnival games of skill include the basketball toss or other sports ball games. In the basketball toss, the vendor has a basketball hoop set up and the contestant attempts to make a set number of baskets in a certain period of time. Other variations include making three baskets in a row, or four baskets out of five tries. The vendor may require you use a softball to knock over cans or other items, or toss a football a certain distance or through a hoop. "Sharp-shooter" is another example of a carnival game. The object is to knock down targets by shooting them with a pellet gun.
Games of Chance
Carnival games of chance include the rubber duck pond and the goldfish toss. Everyone who plays has the opportunity to win because the winner is selected randomly. For instance, in the duck pond, the contestant selects a duck, which may or may not have a winnng number written on the bottom. Another game of chance uses a spinning wheel. Players choose a number or other mark on the wheel. If the wheel stops spinning on the chosen number, the player wins.
Some carnival games are made for young children to play during the time the rides are maintenanced. These games generally are designed so all players win a prize. The duck pond may have all the ducks numbered, or a ring toss where the bottles are set close together and the rings are over-sized. Other juvenile carnival games include fishing with magnetic hooks and fish, or a coin toss where the player wins the item the coin lands upon.
Homemade Carnival Games
Carnival games used at birthday parties or other social gatherings are generally homemade from plywood and items found in the home. For instance, weighted soup cans stacked in a pyramid for the can toss, or a kid's wading pool may mimic the fair's duck pond. Another game often played at church or school carnivals is the "cake walk." Markers are placed in a circle on the ground and participants step from marker to marker until the music stops. The person standing on the predetermined mark wins the prize. Bean bag tosses and dart board games are also examples of homemade carnival games.
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