Things You'll Need
Sturdy wooden board, about 18 by 5 inches
Sturdy wooden board, about 8 by 5 inches
Two cabinet hinges
Wooden block, about 5 by 5 by 8 inches
Large, flat wooden or cardboard box
Toy frogs or green beanbags
Ah, carnivals. The rides, the sticky food, the games and prizes...all the same elements as the perfect child's birthday party. But for birthdays that fall during the dead of winter, it may be necessary to build your own carnival. Though the rides may be impractical, kids will still have a blast winning small prizes (such as candy, pencils and even miniature stuffed animals) at homemade carnival games, such as this frog flipper.
Line the two wooden boards end-to-end. Screw them together using one of the cabinet hinges.
Saw the wooden block in half, with the cut running diagonally through the longest side, creating two triangular ramps. Discard one half. Sand away any sharp or rough edges on the other, if necessary.
Lay the remaining block half on a flat surface, cut side up. Lay the two hinged boards on top of the block, the shorter side flat against the table or floor and the longer side leaning against the cut side of the block.
Turn over the two hinged-together boards. Lay the block cut-side down on top of the long board, its small point lined up with the hinge. Place the other hinge against the other side of the block, and use screws to attach the hinge to the block and the underside of the board. Turn the whole assembly back over.
Paint an "X" on the end of the short board closest to the hinge, and a target on the part of the long board that overhangs the triangular block. Let dry.
Paint a pond with several lily pads of various sizes on the bottom of the box. If desired, add point values to the pads. Let dry.
Set up the wooden contraption about a foot from the "pond," with the X end facing it. To play the game, have children put toy frogs on the X and hit the target with the mallet, launching the frogs onto the "pond."
Do not use real frogs for this carnival game.