Carnival Party – Part 1: Games and Prizes


I recently put together a total DIY carnival party for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and had a great time doing it!  This type of party takes a little bit of planning, but with so many fun carnival ideas and details to work with, you can really exercise your creative mind and have lots of fun putting it all together.

I had signs in the front yard, directing guests to enter through the side gate.  On the side gate, I hung personalized admission tickets which had each of the child’s name on it.  The tickets were later collected and entered into a “Door Prize” drawing.

We had around sixteen kids at the party,  most of whom were between the ages of  3 and 7.  I had a variety of carnival games set up including the basket toss, duck pond, ring toss, can toss, fish bowls, fishing and dinosaur dig.  I wasn’t sure how some of the younger kids would do with the games,  but as it turned out, all the kids had a fun time at every booth.  The great thing about these games is that they can easily be modified to make it easier or more challenging, depending on the age of the child.

For the Dinosaur Dig, I filled 20 plastic eggs with toy dinosaurs and left about 40 empty, then buried as many as I could under the sand.  The object was to have the kids dig in the sand to find the eggs which contained the dinosaurs.  For the Duck Pond, the kids had to find the one duck with the star marked on the bottom.  And for the fishing game, the kids had to reel in all the yellow, red or blue fishes, which ever color they preferred.

Tickets were handed out at each booth, and so long as the child played, they were given a ticket.  The tickets were later traded in at the prize table for goodies such as glow in the dark wands, Pez dispensers, wind-up toys, bubble necklaces, tattoos and more…..

Personalized bags were handed out to each child before they started collecting all their prizes.

It was fun just to watch both the older and younger kids collect their tickets and exchange them in for their prizes! I had a friend man the prize table just to ensure each child received one of every prize available.

Besides the carnival games, I also put out some potato sacks and hula hoops.

Overall, the games and activities were a hit with the kids.  We were so fortunate to have nice, sunny weather that day — perfect for a little girl’s carnival birthday party.

Stay tuned for part 2 — cake, cookies and more….