A fun game for up to 6 kids at a time- take them to the races!
Make it matchbox cars for the boys or horses for the girls, they can even race cars against horses in this game and it will still be a fair race.
Their game pieces (the cars and/or the plastic horses) can be their take home party favors.
You can get fancy, but only if you want to, and make a 6 lane race track out of plywood and paint. But, all you really need is a roll of wide white paper and markers. If you can’t find a 24″ wide roll, use the 12″ wide and tape 2 piece together the long way to get 24″. Make your track about 6 feet long. Mark out your 6 lanes, the start and the finish, and divide the remaining space in each lane into 12 spaces (I’ve used just 10 here in the illustration):
If using a paper track, place it for the game on a hard surface like the floor- not on a rug where it will tear much more easily.
You need two different color dice- one to determine whose turn it is NEXT and one to tell how many spaces they can move. I suggest making all 2’s and 4’s (on the dice that determines how far they can move) be ‘backwards’- meaning they have to move their game pieces backwards 2 or 4 spaces, instead of forwards. If these are the rolls at the start- that game piece stays in the starting gate until their next turn.
Start the game off with the player in Lane #1 rolling the one die that determines who gets to roll. That player then rolls both dice, moves his or her game piece and passes the roll to whichever player’s number was rolled by the dice that determines who rolls next. Repeat as necessary until one of the game pieces crosses the finish line- the winner. If they’re enthusiastic, let the winner stay in the game with the next bunch of players.
Include this as one of your party games for your carnival birthday party, but it can also be adapted to a variety of party themes by changing the game pieces: dogs for a Scooby-Doo party, other plastic animals for a safari or jungle party, plastic kittens for a Hello Kitty party, monkeys for a luau party- you get the idea.