Quick and Easy Toddler Carnival!!

Rain Rain go away, please come back on a weekday!!
Looks like the forecast for this weekend is going to include rain. =( While I do love green grass and spring flowers I also love having a chance to send my kids out to ride bikes, write with chalk, and run off some steam. If we are stuck inside we need to get crafty to prevent cabin fever!

So... when it rains...we will play!!  How can you play indoors for hours on end and not have to run to the craft store for supplies?  Easy... a simple toddler carnival.  You only need 6 items, some toddlers, and a bit of imagination!

Here are the items that you need...  Magnets - I used the ones from my fridge ( you know the ones that most of the realtors  send you during the spring selling season??!!) , string (yarn) , paperclips, plastic cups, two small bean bags , and a ball!


First game:  RINGTOSS Simply take two paper plates and cut out the center portion of the plate (keep the inside circle for use later on).
 Next, glue / tape the two plates together and let the kids go at it decorating their flying disk! Side note:  you can use one plate but I found that when the kids threw the plate like a frisbee  more than one plate allowed the kids to have a more accurate throw.
The third step is to have the kids line the cups up in any shape they see fit (we picked a line and made the last cup worth the most points).
Next write a number on the cups which becomes the point value of the cup!
Finally, line your kids up and take turns throwing their colorful frisbees at the cups!
-Tip and Trick: If you  do not want the cups to move but do not want to tape them down just take a plastic bag, fill it with dry noodles that you have in the pantry, and put it under the cup. It prevents them from moving and you do not have to use up all of your tape!


Second Game:   BOWLING! THIS IS SUPER EASY!! You just line up ten cups in a pyramid and roll a small bouncy ball towards the pyramid. You have already labeled the cups with numbers from the ring toss so just count the number on each cup that gets knocked over!!  This is great for number recognition. Having fun and learning... what?!?  Good mommy moment!


Third Game: FISHING! This is where you need the magnets and your left over paper plate discs.  You take your fridge magnets... ones you do not like  =)  and poke a hole in the top of it.  Below you will see my pile of magnets I rounded up!
 Tie a string to the magnet. The string should be long enough that your toddler can hold it while standing and it will reach the floor. I used about 3 feet of string. (When did my kids get that tall!) You then take your paper plates and cut small  one to two inch 'fish' out of the plate.

Don't judge the cutting skills  - you will hurt my 5 year old's feelings ;)
 Let your children write the numbers 1 through 10 on the paper plate fish ...there they go learning again!  Next attach three to four paperclips to the fish and place all ten fish on the floor.  Your children will then stand in a circle around the fish  and attempt to pick them up using their magnets!  See... FISHING!  Once you have  finished fishing each child can count the numbers on the fish that they were able to retrieve.
If your kids are still a bit young for number recognition you can just have the kids color each fish a different color. Once the fish is retrieved from their 'pond' the child will identify the color of the fish!
-Tip  - I found that the heavier magnets work better because it is easier for the kids to fish with a little bit of  weight on the end of their string.

Last Game:  Baby bear  Toss:  I have a wide hallway by my front door which works perfectly to set up ten plates on the ground. The kids took ten paper plates and labeled them one through ten. Next the kids taped each one onto the floor in numerical order. The tape is an important piece in this one because the kids tend to be more successful if the plates do not move.  The kids line up and take the beanbag, (baby bear stuffed animal in my case) and throw them at the plates. Each child took two turns and identified the number on the plate that they hit with the baby bear.  Great for number recognition and they got to throw things in the house which made for happy kids!!!!

With a bit of work, and some paper products you can have hours of entertainments!!! The kids can even decorate the carnival area, or hand out tickets to their extravaganza.  Invite the neighbors to escape the rain and have some fun playing inside!

Enjoy !