1. The Beauty Parlor was a popular booth at our Fall Carnival. Boys and girls loved to dye their hair blue, green, pink!
2. Karaoke was also very popular this year!
3. About three years ago, our room mothers rented an electronic bull. (Can’t think of the correct name!) The line never ended! Kids and adults loved it!
4. My children’s school has a kissing booth. They didn’t get actual kisses, but they did give you a Hershey kiss instead. They also have a lip seal, and they seal your face with it! And you see TONS of kids running through their carnival with multiple kisses! So cute!
5. We played “Book Bingo” in the media center.
6. Snack walk (like a cake walk, but the kids chose bags of potato chips, a box of Little Debbies, a bag of cookies, a 2-liter bottle of soda, etc.
7. We also auctioned janitor, principal and librarian for one day. They were very popular. (The concierge brought more!)
8. We have made Super Twister with dots painted on a large piece of canvas that was taped to the floor and everyone tried to touch the correct color with the correct part of the body. The bear is big enough that more than 30 children can play at the same time.
9. A popular game at our school carnival was the soccer toss. Rings were hung from the ceiling (starting with hula-hoop-sized rings) and an attempt was made to throw a soccer ball through a ring. The smaller the ring, the higher the points.
10. Hit the teacher with a damp sponge. Very popular, even with parents.
11. Bubble Gum Contest – Popular because bubble gum is often a no-no.
12. Advanced Spelling Bee: allows students to step up to the award table if correct; end of the line if lost.
13. Dress up the teacher: Hit the garage sales and Goodwill for outrageous items to dress up a teacher. Relate this to reviewing standardized problem-solving / academic tests … use a digital camera to photograph the results as a souvenir.
14. A few years ago we had a carnival and one of the best sellers was the “Loonie” jars (here in Canada we call our dollar a Loonie). We asked families to donate jars full of items, like gum packs, small toys, marbles, pencils, whatever, people filled them. We had more than 400 donated. So people took a number out of 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 (we played like the cake walk). We used inexpensive small toys ($ 1.00 limit) that the kids brought in and we also got some happy meal toys donated by 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 as a big pumpkin (we wear my orange hunting coat, hat and gloves) then they go through tires, hay bales and weave pumpkins. Kids love it!
17. Last year at our fall festival we had a duck race. You install a small pool and get the bath ducks. You also need squirt guns. Students “race” their ducks by using the spray from the squirt guns to make them run. It was really fun!
18. We had a carnival many years ago and the booth that had the greatest success was the engraving booth. We ordered necklaces from Oriental Trading and we had one of those hand engraving machines and we wrote the children’s names on them. It was quick and easy.
19. A father built a Plinko board that travels from one grade to another with his son; It is the most popular item at the fair. We have a stage in our gym for kids to get on stage to drop Plinko records.
20. The Fortune Teller booth is the most popular.
21. Mystery boxes – boxes with holes in which the children put their hands – had peeled grapes, cold spaghetti, jelly with fruit. We gave each one a terrifying name.
22. Guess the weight of a large 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 carnival, collect stuffed animals (kids can donate for arms). Put them in a pile in the center of the room. Put the chairs in a circle around the stuffed animals. put numbers under the chairs. Put on music for a minute. Have the children sit down. Draw a number. The winner chooses a stuffed animal.
25. What about sand art? Kids love it! You can get supplies online, like 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 trace. Perhaps the children can solve a puzzle along the way.
27. Guessing contests are fun. Decorate clear glass jars and fill them with whatever. Lollipops, M & M’s, individual wrapped candies, pretzels, dried beans can add a recipe to make soup, so it shows on the outside of the jar. Here again, ask different people to bring a decorated jar filled with something and ask them to count and place on a folded paper at the bottom of the jar lid the number of items in the jar. Only one prize per winner and ordinary family members cannot win their jar. The more jars, the more winners. Any size jar will work: jelly jars, gallon jars, miracle whip jars, etc. Decorating is fun. For 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 puffed lid on the lid. Glue the lace. Glue a pattern to 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. Contouring isn’t necessary, but it adds a nice extra touch. Don’t forget to remove your pattern when you’re done.
28. Fluky Ball: Set up an easel with a cube underneath. The child must bounce a ball off the trestle onto the cube to win.
29. Tin Pan Alley: the child rolls a ball down a ramp. At the bottom there is a box with 2 muffin tins painted in 3 different colors. The boy throws 3 balls. If 2 colors match, you win.
30. A great idea for carnival is to offer a DINO DIG! Take a baby pool, fill it with sand and little plastic dinosaurs (the eastern trade has them cheap), and give the kids a little shovel to dig for their dinosaur. We are also looking for diamonds! Girls love to find little rings and things like that in the sand.
31. Pumpkin ring toss. We receive donations from local nurseries for pumpkins, hay bales, corn stalks, squash, etc. We took about ten of the largest steamed pumpkins and used them as targets for the rong toss. I found wooden hoops at the local fabric store.
32. Pumpkin skittles. I bought a set of those plastic kids pins and then used some of the pumpkins from the nurseries. Pumpkins roll in a fun way, which makes it more fun.
33. Ping-pong ball toss. We bought ten of the children’s plastic pumpkin trick-or-treating containers and set them as targets. He had a half dozen orange ping-pong balls for the kids to throw.
34. One of my favorite games is “Chicken Chucking”. Get some rubber chickens and establish an area where people can dump them in a pen (rubber clean-up bin). I place mine about 30 feet away and 40 feet away. It’s funny to see everyone throw it away. When I made it to my church, I found some cute rubber chicken keychains to give to people who came to the pen from 40 feet away.