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Winter carnivals provide a terrific opportunity to raise funds for a school or organization. They also come at a welcome time when parents are likely dealing with kids who have been snowbound or are tired of staying home over their winter break. Winter carnival games provide the chance for kids and families alike to enjoy a festive time and make your event a great success. With careful planning and helpful volunteers, you can organize your own indoor winter carnival games.
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Decide on standard carnival games you will have at the winter carnival. Typical carnival games include: a ring toss, cake walk, air hockey, dart-throwing, bowling, dump tank, water gun shooting, mallet pounding, basketball shooting, beanbag toss, putting practice and horseshoe toss. You don't need to have every game based around the holiday to pull off a winter theme, as the theme and decorations will be based on winter. It is easy, however, to incorporate the winter theme with these games. For example, use rings that are decorated with blue and white glitter for the ring toss. Another option is to thread fishing string around a plastic snowflake ornament and try to get the participant to get the circle thread over the soda bottle. Play Christmas songs during the cake walk and get an artist to draw a winter scene on the stand for the beanbag toss.
Select a few winter-themed games. Bring piles of snow inside and have a snowman decorating contest. Younger kids can select an ornament from a Christmas tree with a number on the bottom of it that corresponds with a specific prize, similar to the duck pond game. Make a snowman out of white hook-and-loop fastener and have players throw a sticky ball at it. Attach signs that show how many points the person receives per each body part. If the player earns enough points, he will get a prize.
Ask for volunteers. Each game will require at least one volunteer, and some games will flow better with multiple volunteers. Ask for individuals who are members of the organization that is managing the carnival. Teenagers are also a good resource for volunteers.
Gather supplies. Ask area merchants to donate items, like sodas for the soda ring toss or prizes for the winners. Cash donations also help cover part of the expense. Ask individuals if you can borrow supplies, such as an air hockey table. Make a detailed list so you know where to return the item after the carnival.
Make a map. Determine how much space you will need for each game. Be sure to factor in things like the need for several feet between a pitcher and the target. Group games by age to make it more convenient for visitors and to avoid accidents. Some games can be placed in the middle of the carnival room, but be sure that you maintain plenty of floor space for people to walk.
Set up each game with a booth. Make a large sign for the name of each game so people can easily see where they want to go. Add Christmas lights and decorations around each booth to match the winter carnival theme.
- MDA Carnival: Party Games
- Kids' Activities and Games: Carnival Games For Kids
- School Carnivals.com: Carnival Game Ideas
- MDA Carnival: Creating Your Own Booths
- Find Party Ideas: Create a Carnival Party for Your Very Own Greatest Show on Earth
- Daily Herald; Snow, Indoor Fun Combine at the Lombard Winter Carnival; Marie Wilson; Jan., 2011