1. The Beauty Salon was a popular booth at our Fall Carnival. The boys and girls loved getting their hair colored, blue, green, pink!
2. Karaoke was also very popular this year!
3. About three years ago, our room moms rented an electonic bull. (I can’t think of the right name!) The line never ended! The kids and adults loved it!
4. My sons’ school has a Kissing Booth. They didn’t get actual kisses, but they did give you a Hershey’s Kiss instead. They also have a lips stamp, and they stamp your face with it! And you see TONS of kids running around their carnival with several kisses! Very cute!
5. We played “Bingo for Books” in the media center.
6. Snack Walk (like a cake walk but kids picked out bags of chips, a box of Little Debbies, bag of cookies, 2 liter bottle of soda, etc
7. We also auctioned off Janitor-, Principal- and Librarian- for-a-day. Those were very popular. (Janitor brought in the most!)
8. We have done Super Twister with dots painted on a large piece of tarp that got taped to the floor with everyone trying to touch the correct color with the correct body part. Ours is big enough that 30+ kids can play at a time.
9. A popular game at our school’s carnival was the football toss. Rings were hung from the ceiling (beginning with rings the size of a hula-hoop) and you would try to throw a football through a ring. The smaller the ring, the higher the points.
10. Hit the Teacher With a Wet Sponge. Hugely popular, even with the parents.
11. Bubble-gum Blowing Contest: Popular because gum’s usually a no-no.
12. Advanced Spelling Bee- Allowed students to take steps toward prize board if correct; end of the line if missed.
13. Dress up the Teacher: Hit garage sales and the Good Will for outrageous items to dress a teacher. Tie this in with problem solving/ academics standardized test review…use a digital camera to photo results as keep sake.
14. A few years back we had a carnival and one big seller was the “Loonie ” Jars (here in Canada we call our dollar a Loonie. ) We asked families to donate jars filled with items – such as packs of gum, small toys, marbles, pencils, – you name it, people filled them. We had over 400 donated. Then people drew a number from a basket and that was the jar they got.
15. We just had our carnival on Thursday and Friday, and I teach third grade. This year we did the toy walk (played just like the cake walk). We used small inexpensive toys ($1.00 limit) the kids brought in and also got some happy meal toys donated from McDonald’s. Another one we did was the Wii game. The kids loved it!!!
16. We do a “Great Pumpkin Obstacle Race” where the student dresses up like a great pumpkin (we use my orange hunting coat, hat, and gloves) then they go through tires, over hay bales, and weave through pumpkins. The kids love it!
17. Last year at our fall festival we had a duck race. You set up a small pool and get the little bath ducks. You also need squirt guns. The students “race” their ducks using the spray from the squirt guns to make them go. It was really fun!
18. We had a carnival many years ago and the booth that was the biggest hit, was the engraving booth. We ordered necklaces from Oriental Trading and had one of those hand held engraving machines and wrote the kids names on them. It was quick and easy.
19. A parent built a Plinko board that travels from grade to grade with his son – it’s the most popular item at the fair. We have a stage in our gym so kids stand on the stage to drop the Plinko disks.
20. The Fortune Teller booth is our most popular one.
21. Mystery boxes- boxes with holes that the kids put their hands into- had peeled grapes, cold spaghetti, jello with fruit. We gave each one a scary name.
22. Guess the weight of a big pumpkin.
23. We sold plastic gloves filled with popcorn. Each “hand” had a spider ring on the finger.
24. Musical Chairs with Stuffed Animals. Before the carnival, collect stuffed animals (kids can donate these by the arm loads). Put them in a pile in the center of the room. Place chairs in a circle around the stuffed animals. put numbers under the chairs. Play music for a minute. Have kids sit. Draw a number. Winner picks a stuffed animal.
25. What about sand art? The kids love it! You can get supplies on line, such as small plastic bottles and bracelets. Use salt dyed with food coloring for the sand.
26. Another idea is to make a box maze in your classroom. It could be a crawl through. Maybe kids could solve a puzzle along the way.
27. Guessing contests are fun. Decorate clear glass jars and fill with what ever. Lollipops, M&M’s, individual wrapped candies, pretzels, dry beans might add a soup making recipe, so that it shows on the outside of the jar. Here again have different people bring a decorated jar full of something and have them count and put on a folded paper on the underside of the jar lid the number of items in the jar. Only one prize per winner and of coarse family members can’t win their jar. The more jars the more winners. Any size jar will work – jelly jars, gallon jars, miracle whip jars and etc. Decorating is fun. Example one person completely covered the jar with wrapping paper and put 1 bag of candy in the jar, so the correct guess was one. Stick on stickers. Make a puff top on the lid. Glue on lace. Tape a pattern on the inside of the jar and use enamel paint and paint the design on the outside of the jar and maybe outline with permanent fabric paint. The outline isn’t necessary, but adds an extra nice touch. Don’t forget to remove your pattern when complete.
28. Fluky Ball: Set up an easel with a bucket below. Child must bounce a ball off the easel into the bucket to win.
29. Tin Pan Alley: child rolls a ball down a ramp. At the bottom there is a box with 2 muffin tins painted with 3 different colors. The child rolls 3 balls. If 2 colors match, you win.
30. A great carnival idea is do offer a DINO DIG! Take a baby swimming pool, fill it with sand and small plastic dinosaurs (oriental trading has them cheap) give the kids a small shovel to dig for their dino. We also do digging for diamonds! Girls love finding little rings and such in the sand.
31. Pumpkin Ring Toss. We get donations from the local nurseries for pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks, gourds, etc. We take about ten of the larger stemed pumpkins and use them as the targets for the rong toss. I found wooden hoops at the local fabric store.
32. Gourd Bowling. I purchased a set of those plastic children pins and then used some of the gourds from the nurseries. The gourds roll funny so it makes it more fun.
33. Ping-Pong Ball Toss. We purchased ten of the plastic pumpkin trick-or-treat containers that the kids use and had them placed as the target. I had a half dozen or so orange ping-pong balls that the kids have to toss in.
34. One of my favorite games is “Chicken Chucking”. Get a few rubber chickens and set up an area that people can throw them into a pen (rubber maid bin) I place mine about 30 feet away and at 40 feet away. Its hilarious watching everyone throw it. When I did it at my church I found some real cute rubber chicken key chains to give away to the people that made it into the 40 feet away pen.
By Jim Berigan
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