Game 1: The Bean Bag Toss
Plausibly the handiest thing to have on hand for any kid's party is a small selection of bean bags. Use them for knocking over stacked cans, throwing at a target, tossing into a bucket, or for a quick game of Hot Potato. Shown is one of three that I made today. Use squares of fabric about 5x5" (I used suede, just because I happened to have it on hand), sew three sides together, fill with beans, and then sew the last side. Seriously, is there anything in the world easier to make than that? I decorated mine with scraps of felt, but they could easily be left plain or decorated with just about anything else in the world.
Game 2: The Milk Bottle Throw
Classic carnival game, right? I've seen a bunch of these milk bottles marked at about 10 cents a piece at our local thrift store, but if you can't get your hands on any, no worries! Stack pop bottles, plastic cups, or empty soup cans and then knock them over with a ball.
Game 3: Mini Golf
Maybe you have a few golf balls and putters around your house, but if not try what I did and head to the thrift store. One golf balls, one putter, and an empty soup can are all you need to put together an easy golf game. Have kids knock the ball into the can. Whoever does it in the least amount of strokes wins.
Also, how dang cute are soup cans wrapped in scrapbook paper? Recycling Love, people.
Game 4: Ping-pong Ball Toss
This game is really easy to put together, and my kids have already had a really fun time "trying it out". Use small plastic cups, like the 3 ounce ones sold at most grocery stores, and glue them together on every side. Then use whatever method you feel is best to mark each of them as worth a certain amount of points. The kids toss a ping-pong ball into the cups, and are scored according to the cup it lands in. I really like using the mini-popsicle sticks to make flags, as they make the ball bounce around a lot. It's more fun that way, and adds a bit of a challenge.
A few other ideas:
~ A laminated target which the kids can shoot a Nerf gun at.
~ Face painting.
~ Balloon animals. It's super easy to make them!
~ A magic show.
~ A duck pond, a la a real carnival. Fill a baby pool with water, and write numbers on the bottom of rubber ducks. Float the ducks in the pool, and when kids choose one out they get tickets equal to the number on it.
~ Bowling, using a store bought, outdoor bowling set.
~ A "photo booth". Also known as: Just a place set aside for the kids to get together and wear silly masks while getting their pictures taken.