These carnival games for kids stimulate the imagination

21. January 2018 - Anika Semmer

5 Fun Carnival Games for Kids With Dressing up and Action




What is the best thing about carnival for children? It’s the festival of imagination! These 5 carnival games for kids are all about dressing up, moving and joining in and fire up the imagination.

Carnival makes children’s eyes sparkle and excitement abound. For most of them, it is one of the best celebrations of the whole year, because all the colourful (and noisy) impressions, dressing up and making up themselves gives the imagination so much to do! And that’s great, especially when the children can live out their urge to move and their imagination with fantasy-promoting games.

Transform into someone else and immerse yourself in another world: these 5 carnival games for kids are all about dressing up. Most of these carnival games for kids are variations on well-known children’s games such as Blind Man’s Cow, but changed to suit carnival.

Still more great carnival games for families, best lists with partner costume ideas and genius family costumes and a successful carnival party can also be found at Abenteuer Freundschaft!

5 Fun Carnival Games for Kids

Carnival games for kids make for a great atmosphere at Carnival

Costumes from terren in Virginia at CC BY 2.0

1. Dress Up with Balloons

What you need

  • Inflated balloons
  • Many costumes
  • Old clothes in big sizes: Nightgown, trousers, loose tops, jacket etc.
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Large shoes

Each child is allowed to choose a balloon. In the middle of the room there are many costumes, clothes and lots of accessories to dress up. Now two teams are formed with the same number of children, and two children from each team play against each other. The child who loses is eliminated until a winning team is left.

The two children line up opposite each other, each with their balloon. The game leader calls out: Go! And then both children have to throw their balloon into the air. They have to keep the balloon in the air and keep pushing it. Their goal is to put on as many clothes and accessories as possible in the time before it touches the ground. The winner is the one who has put on the most clothes and accessories.

When all the children have had a turn, the winners play against each other until one team emerges as the winner.

2. Who Are You? Guess Disguise

This is what you need

In this game, a child is blindfolded and tries to find out another child’s costume by feeling it.

The game leader blindfolds one child and leads him or her to a chair in the middle of the room. All the other children spread out in the room. Now the game leader plays music to which the children dance around the seated child. They can be as loud as they want.

The moment the leader stops the music, everyone is quiet as a mouse. With gestures, the children determine the child who is standing closest to the chair and he or she sits on the chair instead of the blindfolded child. Now the blind child feels the costume and tries to guess it. The sitting child should not make any noise if possible so as not to give himself away. If the costume is guessed, it is the child’s turn to be blindfolded.

3. Mummy Wrapping

What you need

  • Many rolls of toilet paper

Two children compete against each other, trying to wrap one of them as a mummy as quickly as possible until the toilet paper roll is completely used up.

At the beginning, the children form teams of two and each team gets a toilet paper roll. At the start signal, one child begins to wrap the other like a mummy as fast as they can. The mummy is allowed to hold one end of the toilet paper to help. As soon as the first team has finished, they call out loudly: Done! And has won.

Then the children swap roles until everyone has been a mummy once and a winder once.

4. A Fabulous Costume Story

The fabulous costume story is a variation of a chain story.

Each child takes a cushion and sits in a circle. Now one child begins to tell a story. His story must include his costume, an object that matches his costume and his fantasy name. Each child has up to 4 sentences to tell his story. Now it is the turn of the child sitting to his/her right to continue the story by telling his/her fantasy name/role, disguise and matching object. When each child has had a turn, the last child or the game leader finishes telling the story.


Anna is a pirate with a sabre, Leon is dressed as a wizard with a magic wand. Anna begins the story:Once upon a time there was a brave pirate called the fearless Anna. She had a sharp sabre and set off on a treasure hunt. But then there was a storm. Now it’s Leon’s turn to continue the story. Good thing that on their ship there was also Gandalf the Wizard with his mighty wand. When the storm was raging and the ship was about to capsize, he woke up and said: Abracadabra.

Tip: A child who likes to tell stories and is eloquent should start. It is worth recording the story with a voice recorder on a smartphone, for example, great fantasy stories come out!

5. Who Is the Fairest of Them All

This is what you need

  • A trove of costumes
  • Old clothes
  • Accessories
  • A prize, e.g. a sweet

Tip: Ask the parents of the children that each child brings a bag of disguises / accessories.

This game is a great way to end a carnival party for children.

The task of all the children is to dress up as originally as possible. They can be as imaginative as they like. When all the children have finished dressing up, each in turn introduces themselves and tells who they are.

Now the children vote for the child who has dressed up the best. He or she receives a prize and can be crowned with a crown or tiara in a festive ceremony.

Have a browse around Abenteuer Freundschaft: we have lots more tips for family board games, winter activities and great activities with kids.

And if you like what you find here, like us on Facebook and Instagram. Great side effect: you won’t miss any of our new ideas!

Image source Cover: Princesses by Serena under CC BY 2.0

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