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Bean Bag Toss
Some carnival ideas for preschool require only slight changes in the carnival booths that appear at typical carnivals. For example, although many carnivals feature a bean bag toss, preschoolers will probably struggle with getting the bean bags into those tiny holes. Instead, create a bean bag toss by using large buckets, weighted down or secured to something on the floor. Preschoolers should stand a couple of feet away from the buckets - much closer than is typical with this type of booth. Alternatively, kids could try to drop the bean bags into the bucket while standing on a chair.
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What Do You Feel?
Preschoolers love games that involve their senses. To tap into this interest, create a booth in which preschool kids reach into a box and feel an item, and then have to identify what they think the item might be. Use items with interesting textures, such as a grape, a strip of carpet, an earring, or a piece of spaghetti.
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Dig for Buried Treasure
Fill a large box or basin with foam peanuts, sand, beans, or similar materials, and bury some objects inside of the box. Objects may include coins, small pieces of paper, or buttons. Preschoolers should be given a certain amount of time to find as many of the objects as they can, and they should receive a prize (or a given number of tickets) based on the number of objects they successfully find.
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Walk Along a Balance Beam
Preschoolers are just learning how to balance themselves in difficult physical situations. Lay blocks or bricks along the floor in a straight line and challenge players to walk across the "balance beam" without losing their balance. Alternatively, place hoops in a staggered formation on the floor and challenge players to jump from one to the other until they make it to the end. Doing either of these successfully wins a prize (or a ticket).
You can also make an invisible balance beam for students to cross.
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Applesauce Feeding Contest
For preschoolers that enjoy a bit of competition, here's a creative idea about how to introduce some into a carnival booth, while keeping it fun. Players at this booth must arrive in pairs, with two pairs competing at a time. One member of each pair receives a blindfold and a small bowl of applesauce. The other member of the pair sits on a chair with her hands tied behind her. The two pairs then compete to have the seeing member of the pair finish eating the applesauce first, with the blindfolded member of the pair feeding it to her. Preschoolers will find the results hysterical, and some of the teachers can take part in this as well!
These carnival ideas for preschool will be a welcome departure from the typical ones that appear at most carnivals. The carnival area will ring with the laughter of kids who are truly enjoying themselves!