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How to Make a Duck Pond Game

Colorful duck pond game at carnival.

The Duck Pond Game is one of the simplest crowd pleasers of all homemade carnival games. It's also versatile because even the youngest child can play. If your school or fund raising event needs carnival games for kids, the Duck Pond is a solid choice. Read on to learn more.

Buy a small wading pool. A plastic children's pool small enough to fit in the bed of a pickup is fine. Purchase a plain pool, without a built-in slide or added accessories. If you can find one sporting a duck print, even better.

Purchase at least five dozen yellow plastic bath toy ducks. They must be heavier on the bottom than the top.

Test the ducks by floating a few on water. If they easily flip upside down with little or no waves, you must add weight to the bottoms so they all stay upright. To weigh down the ducks, carefully create a hole on the bottom, or use an existing hole. Squeeze the duck to absorb water and then allow it to pop back into shape. Experiment with water levels until the ducks consistently stay upright in the water.

Decide on a prize scale and mark the ducks accordingly. Most carnival games for kids pay out a prize to every player. This approach isn't cost effective unless you create a limit to the big prizes. Pick how many prizes are available, and in what sizes. Color code the ducks to match by marking each one clearly on the bottom with a permanent marker. For example, all ducks marked with a blue circle win small prizes, 25 red coded ducks win medium prizes, and 10 green coded ducks win large prizes.

Fill the makeshift Duck Pond with water and place all the ducks inside. Stir the water to mix up the color coded ducks, and you're ready for your first player.


Candy can be cost effective as a 'small' prize. Toss 'small' toy winners back into the Duck Pond after the winner receives a prize. Remove 'big' toy winners from game play. Using this method, you can't run out of 'big' prizes by mistake. Squeeze excess water out of the ducks after use to prevent mold growth.

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