Friday, April 12, 2013

DIY Carnival Games for Kids

DIY Circus Carnival Games for Kids

I love the circus and I love carnivals. They are fun places where magic comes alive for children. The food is easy and fun and the games are simple and engaging.  So when it came time to plan my little guy’s second birthday party I decided to go with a circus – carnival theme.

I did not go overboard for this themed party; at least I don’t think that I went overboard. I made my own games for the kids to play and tried to keep things inexpensive, simple, and fun for everyone. I up-cycled when possible and used materials sparingly.

Two carnival themed games that I found super easy to make were the Ring Toss Game and the Tin Can Toss Game. These essentially came about via my recycling bin and a pregnancy craving… old fashioned root beer is so yummy.

DIY Ring Toss Game

What you need:
1 six pack of bottled beverages {I went with root beer because I was craving root beer floats and liked the dark bottle look}
Wrapping paper {I went with a red and white striped paper -which I found at Party City}
3 hard bracelets

How to Make It:
Drink all of the root beer and clean out the bottles {I soaked mine in soapy water and rinsed them to get rid of the soda remnents – if you are planning on playing these outdoors you do NOT want bees and bugs swarming around!}
Take the cardboard container that the soda came in and cut off the handle and then wrap it in the wrapping paper {make sure that you leave the slots for the soda bottles open – you will be putting these back in.}.
Place the clean bottles back in the cardboard carrier.
Use hard bracelets {bangles} as your rings and start tossing!

How to make a Circus/Carnival Ring Toss Game
My party was a small family gathering with only a handful of children. If you are doing this on a bigger scale I would do several 6 packs of soda to have a bigger scale to work with. The bigger kids liked this game, as it required more skills. It was super quick and simple to put together and the root beer floats I got to eat for this little project were delicious. A total win-win situation.

DIY Tin Can Toss Game

What you need:
6 Empty Tin Cans
Glue {I used a quick dry glue}
Scrapbook Paper
3 Softballs

How to Make It:
Take the empty cans {think canned goods like green beans, diced tomatoes, corn…} and clean them thoroughly removing all original labeling. Take care not to cut yourself on the cans - as they can have sharp edges where they were opened with a can opener.
Once dry, lay the can flat on a piece of scrapbook paper to measure how big a piece of paper you will need to cover the can.
Cut the scrapbook paper.
Apply tape to one side of the scrapbook paper and adhere it to the tin can {I found this to be an easy way to get started so that the paper did not slip and end up crooked}.
Apply glue to the paper and wrap it around the tin can {I did this instead of taping so that the paper would adhere to the tin can without falling off when in use}.
Once the paper has been glued on and is dry these cans can be stacked to form a triangle {3 on bottom, two on top of the bottom row, and one on top of the center row to create the top of the triangle}.
Set up the tin cans, hand the kids the softballs, and watch them try to knock them down!

How to make a Circus/Carnival Tin Can Toss Game

Making these tin cans was quick and easy enough for a beginning crafter to accomplish. In order to have enough cans for this project I planned my entire weekly menu around the usage of canned goods. I also nicked my finger on one of my cans when drying it, so please take care when cleaning and drying the cans {my husband blames pregnancy brain and my lack of paying attention to my constant klutziness}.

The little ones LOVED the tin can game. It was by far their favorite outdoor activity of the day. Something about being destructive and knocking stuff down gets kids really excited. These were two really easy games to make, the kids loved playing them, and they did not break the bank.

We also had a bean bag toss {cornhole - depending on where you live} available for the adults and older children, face painting, and a tent and tunnel balloon room available for the kids {those pictures will have to wait for the circus party post coming soon}.

Tin Can Toss Game in Action!

As summer approaches I like the idea of making more outdoor games for my family to enjoy. Have you ever made your own outdoor games and if so what did you make?

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