Fun activities at a community fair?
October 7, 2008 11:05 AM   Subscribe

What kind of a kid-friendly activity can I set up at a community charity event?

We have a 10 x 10 ft. tent in which to provide some sort of game, craft, etc. It is sponsored by my company, so plenty of company merch to give away as prizes. One problem: company sponsored by donating money to the charity and not so much providing funds for supplies, so money is coming out of volunteer pockets.

The major attraction is a duck race, so bonus points for duck-related.
posted by kamikazegopher to Grab Bag (9 answers total)
Best answer: What about that one game where there's a kiddie pool filled with rubber duckies, and on the underside of each is a letter or number which corresponds to a prize. Have the kids get one shot a pop -- a majority of the kids win something small like candy or baseball cards while one or two win something bigger (but still not overly expensive).
posted by nitsuj at 11:18 AM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: A game that lets kids throw something is always a winner. A beanbag board is cheap and easy to make; paint a big cartoony duck on a large piece of plywood or cardboard and cut holes out in strategic places. You can place different distances of tape lines for different ages of kids to scale the fairness. Then give prizes.
posted by phunniemee at 11:25 AM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: Game: If the company swag is kid-appropriate, buy a few dozen rubber duckies, paint one of three colors on the bottom of each duck, float them all in a water-filled tub and let the kids net a duck with a little fishnet. The color of the dot on the duck determines which prize the kid gets. Upside to this game: everyone wins! Downside: it's boring to anyone over the age of 6 unless the prizes are spectacular.

Craft: At the Maker's Fair this year, MicroSoft had a "Decorate a Duck" booth. They provided tempera paints, glitter glue, pom poms, sequins and rubber duckies and dressed the kids in dress shirts (on backwards) for smocks. Booth was packed w/ kids, though I never did get the connection of what ducks had to do with MS.

Activity: Duck Duck Goose

Activity: At my son's school's carnival, the facepainting booth is always huge. Face paint kits are available for cheaps around Halloween and it takes zero artist ability to paint a daisy, butterfly or spiders* on a kid's cheek.

*I volunteer as a facepainter at this carnival every year. Every year, I go prepared to flex my professional illustrator muscles and give those kids the most awesome painted faces ever. Every year, 300 children ask me for a) pink flowers, b) purple butterflies or c) black spiders. Sigh.
posted by jamaro at 11:29 AM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: Face painting is fun, but the table can get pretty hectic. Don't use the shitty paint you buy at the party store. See my Ask post on the subject.
posted by radioamy at 11:34 AM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: Deep Fun at UUA (via Cool Tools)
posted by sandking at 12:52 PM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: Teach the kids about non-newtonian fluids by filling up a baby pool with cornstarch and water. They can be ducks as they walk across in bare feet, and their "webbed feet" allow them to walk on top of the "water" as long as they keep moving, but when the stop, they sink.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:59 PM on October 7, 2008

A video of the above idea.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:24 PM on October 7, 2008

Best answer: I would recommend a Fishing Pond (a staple of fair type things where I grew up, where it is called a "fiskdamm").

Basically, it's a little fishing booth, where the kid uses a makeshift fishing rod and line to throw the "hook" (something like a clothespin) into a smallish booth (easily made with a sheet, decorated with blue and green craft paints as if it was a pond, or with an underwater theme). An adult sits on the inside, grabs the line and simulates a fish striking the hook by pulling on it. Then the inside person attaches a goody bag to the line, and the kid pulls it out as if it was a "fish".

Works really well for smaller kids, under about 6.
posted by gemmy at 5:08 PM on October 7, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the great answers, folks! I am running them by my partners-in-crime to choose.
posted by kamikazegopher at 2:03 PM on October 8, 2008

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