Jacob's ladder

Attach small buckets to the rungs of a step ladder. The player tries to toss a ball into the buckets in order, from the lowest to the highest. If you can't find inexpensive buckets, try using plastic flower pots.

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Games with a Religious Theme

A church carnival can provide fun for the younger church members. Oriental Trading Company (see ad at left) is especially strong with items for this theme. A few of the ideas we have found are below, see our Carnival Game Ideas page for more games that you can adapt to your theme. Special thanks to the Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin, Oregon for their great ideas! 

If you have more games for this theme, we would love to hear from you.

David and Goliath

Use a slingshot to toss small beanbags at a target painted to look like Goliath.

dip in the nile (dunk tank)

Have your dunk tank volunteer dress in a toga.

Feed noah's animals

Paint a board with a picture of an animal. Leave a hole for the "food" to be thrown into. Player gets three tries to throw the "food" into the hole. To make the game harder, have the player use a slingshot to toss the food.

fishers of men (goldfish toss)

Set up a row of empty goldfish bowls and let the player try to toss a ping pong ball into a bowl. The prize is a living goldfish (in a plastic bag), available for very little cost from your local pet store. You might try to earn a little extra by selling inexpensive goldfish bowls to the winners.

Joseph's coat of many colors 

Volunteers wear colorful coats with lots of pockets and circulate throughout the carnival. Each pocket holds a different prize. Player gets to choose the pocket.  

Planting god's word

The players throw artificial flowers at flowerpot targets. Weight the stem end of the flower so it will have enough weight to fly smoothly through the air. The flowerpots could be labeled with words like "Love," "Respect," "Honor," etc.

Rebekah at the Well

Make a well out of corrugated cardboard (you can get it in "stone" patterns or paint it yourself). Put three colors of tokens with a paper clip attached at the bottom of your well. The foam shapes at craft stores would work well for the tokens. The players use small fishing poles with a magnet on the end of the line to "catch" a token. The color of the token corresponds to the prize they win.

This Little Light of Mine (Candle shootout)

Firmly anchor candles in dishes, players try to shoot out the candle flame with water (squirt) guns. A barbecue lighter is handy for relighting the candles. Have plenty of water guns on hand so some can be refilled while others are in play. Don't use the ultra powerful water guns, they'll knock over your whole set up!

walk in Jesus Footsteps  (cake walk)

Make footsteps out of colored paper and put a number from one to six on each "step." Then play music while the players walk from step to step. When the music stops, you roll a dice to see which players are the winners. Winners can get cake, pie, cookies, candy, etc.

Walls of Jericho (can knockdown)

Stack six cans in a pyramid. Each player gets to throw one to three balls at the cans. You can use tennis balls, rubber baseballs, or other types of balls for this game. You can decide if they must knock down all or just a few cans to win a prize. The cans can be decorated to go with your theme.


Ark Animal Face Painting

Set up a face painting booth to do animal faces. For fun, ask the child to bring a friend so they can be painted "two-by-two!"

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Daniel in the lions den

Make a "lion" target out of plywood or foamcore for beanbags. Each player gets to throw three beanbags at the target. 

Jonah and the whale 

Make a "whale" target out of plywood, foamcore, or a cardboard box. Each player gets to throw three "Jonah" beanbags at the target. 

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Jump for joy

Bouncing structures, also called Moonwalks or Joy Jumps, are very popular at carnivals. You can rent a structure or buy your own. 

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