Games For Learning

You can have a whole carnival based on learning, or you can just slip one educational game into a conventional carnival. We've made a small start on this theme, we would love to add your ideas!

See our Carnival Game Ideas page for more games that you can adapt to your Carnival of Learning theme. At the bottom of this page, we've listed some books available from that are great resources for this theme.

Number Games

Estimating Quantity - Guess How Many

Fill a large clear jar with jelly beans, buttons, or other small colorful objects. Players write their guess as to how many objects are in the jar on a slip of paper. At the end of the carnival or at a set time, announce the winner and award a large prize.

Estimating Length - Bucket of Worms

Cut lots of thick, colorful yarns or cords in varying lengths from 2 inches to 12 inches. Put the "worms" in a bucket. Hold the bucket up so the player can't see what "worm" they are selecting. Ask them to guess how many inches long their "worm" is. After they have guessed, let them measure the length with a ruler. A correct guess wins a prize. (You should keep the ruler out of sight during the guessing time.)

Adapted from: Math for Fun Projects (see link below to purchase from

Place Value - Pitch a Number

Make a target with three circles. The smallest inner circle is the hundreds place, the next is the tens, and the outer circle is the ones. The player tosses six small tokens (pennies work great) at the target and then adds up their score. Higher scores win bigger prizes.

Adapted from: Games for Learning (see link below to purchase from

Addition - Seven Eleven

This is a classic carnival game that can be rented from party suppliers, or you can make your own. The player rolls balls down a ramp into numbered holes trying to get their total to be either seven or eleven. This is a classic Seven Eleven set up:


Addition - Beat The Dealer

This is basically blackjack for kids. It's more fun with giant playing cards, but regular cards work fine too. Just as with blackjack, the player tries to beat the dealer's hand without going over 21. We have the giant cards in our Catalog.

Addition - What's in a Name?

Make a chart listing number values for each letter of the alphabet:

a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.

Have each player add up the "points" in the letters of their name. Award prizes based on the points.

Adapted from: Math for Fun Projects (see link below to purchase from

Angles - Angle of Fortune

This is like a Wheel of Fortune game, only with angles. Make a large circle and divide it into sections by 30 degree increments. Make two sets of cards, one set marked with 0, 1, 2, or 3, and the other set marked from 0 to 9. Place a prize on each section of your circle. The player selects one card from the first set and two from the second. This give them a degree measurement. For example, if they pick the cards 2, 4, and 8, their angle is 248º and they can pick up the prize that is between 240º and 270º.

Adapted from: Math for Fun Projects (see link below to purchase from


Word Games

Spelling - Word Mania

You can use Scrabble tiles for this game or make your own "tiles" with letters written on squares of colorful poster board. The player reaches into a bag and pulls out 8-12 (you decide) letter tiles. They then have a set amount of time (try one minute) to make as many words as they can with their letters.

Reading  - Climb the Ladder or MonKey in the Tree

Set up a step ladder or draw a ladder a piece of poster board. Make several sets of flashcards with vocabulary words. You will need as many cards in each set as you have rungs on your ladder. Ask the teachers at each grade level for appropriate words to use. Each player tries to read the cards for their grade level one by one (have several sets of words for each grade level). Every time they get one right, they move a token up the ladder.

You could also do this game with a stuffed monkey as the token that they move up a tree that is drawn on poster board.

Adapted from: Games For Reading (see link below to purchase from

Writing - The Neverending Story

Put a very long roll of paper up on the wall. Let the players take turns adding to the story with words or pictures. There are no "losers" here, everyone wins who adds to the story.

General Knowledge

Brain Quest

The Brain Quest cards are targeted to certain ages and provide a variety of questions. You can award prizes based on how many questions are answered correctly. We've included some links below to purchase the card sets from




Books from


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