Carnival Fundraising Game Ideas

A water gun range is a fun carnival game.
A water gun range is a fun carnival game. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

When you need to raise money for your school or organization, a fundraising carnival can boost your bank balance in one evening. With a carnival, you can provide an entertaining evening for the community, thereby building relationships and reaching out to families in your city. As you plan games, consider options that will be inexpensive to execute and that will appeal to a range of ages.

Football Toss

For an easy game that is irresistible to people who want to prove their skill with a ball, set up a football toss. To make the game, simply suspend a tire between two posts or trees by tying two ropes around the tire and attaching each one to the top of the post. You might also stabilize the tire by attaching a third, lighter rope to the bottom and attaching a light weight to the other end. Each player can pay a certain amount for three attempts at throwing the ball through the center of the tire. Offer small prizes for three successful tosses or create a leader board using a white board and markers. In doing so, you can inspire a spirit of competitiveness in carnival-goers. You can do the same game with a baseball, softball or bean bags, and you can adjust the starting line depending on the age of the player.

Video Game Tournament

To appeal to kids and adults who are interested in video games, set up a tournament at your carnival. Choose a popular game that is family-friendly and relatively easy to play, such as "Rock Band" or "Dance Dance Revolution," and have participants sign up for spots. The winners of each timed round can advance to the next round until an overall winner emerges. Charge a fee to enter the tournament. A video game tournament is likely to attract a variety of ages, and you may see considerable spectator interest; capitalize on the crowds by placing a refreshment stand nearby.

Water Gun Range

A water gun range is a safe, kid- and adult-friendly carnival game. Set up your booth with shelves at varying levels and stack lightweight items on them. You can use plastic military men, empty soda cans or plastic bottles. Provide a small arsenal of water guns that can be used to knock the items down; you might charge more for higher-powered guns. Each player has one tank of water to knock down as many items as possible. Assign prizes for different numbers, and charge a fee to contribute to the fundraiser. Have extra filled guns on hand so that play is not interrupted while you refill the empty water guns.

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