WOW - FREE Shipping! All orders $100 & up - Continental US! No Coupon Needed :) !close

Top Blog Posts

lady holding lolipop

Paying too much for your prizes?

carnival cakewalk table

Avoid shutting down your cakewalk...

bottles of soda

How one school received 905 sodas

See them now

Like Us on Facebook!

The BIG "Treasure Dig" Mistake

The BIG "Treasure Dig" Mistake

Posted by Cathy Knight on Jun 15, 2018

Original Carnival Savers image - girl playing treasure dig carnival game in the sandbox with prizes

Avoid This BIG MISTAKE At Your Treasure Dig Carnival Booth!

Updated April 25, 2023  

Kids love to dig in the sand! That's why the Treasure Dig carnival booth is a "treasured" idea for a school fundraising carnival, fall festival, or even a backyard carnival themed party. 

So, what could possibly be the "big mistake" when setting up this simple booth?! 

Here's the set-up process: 

1. You simply put "play sand" in a large toddler pool. 

2. Add some toys. 

3. Let the kids dig and find a prize or two to keep... right?

 WRONG! This is where most booths fail!

The real fun of the Treasure Dig carnival game is the element of surprise! So, if you dig in the sand, immediately see a toy & that is what you get, then this excitement is mostly non-existent. Read below to see how to simply change this booth from ho-hum to EXCITING!

chickadee-lollipop-tree.jpg The BIG Secret: Hide Toys INSIDE Something... 

It is AWESOME to add toys inside Mini Treasure Boxes BEFORE placing them into the play sand for several reasons. Keep reading below for these reasons. 

(Last updated by the Carnival Savers Team on July 26, 2021)

Example of Filled Treasure boxes with prizes for Carnival Game - original image
The above image shows example of filled mini treasure boxes with carnival prizes.

nb-one.jpg Mini Treasure Boxes Keep The Prizes New!

Toy prizes quickly get dusty, sandy, and scratched when not protected by boxes in play sand. They might look already-used. So, you can keep the prizes looking clean and brand-new if kept in a container, such as a miniature treasure box. 

nb-two.jpg Containers Keep The "Treasure" A Secret!

Again, if kids are digging at the Treasure Dig and immediately see the toy they will receive, it takes away the fun and element of surprise from the game. Keep the prizes in a treasure box for the fun mystery factor. 

nb-three.jpg Award Some Big Prizes, Too!

Even though the treasure boxes are tiny, you can still award top & medium prizes at this booth.

Simply fill most of your mini treasure boxes with small toys such as bracelets, erasers, and rings. 

A planned number will be filled with slips of paper that tell the carnival players they have won something that did not fit into the treasure box!

We had 1 medium prize and 1 top prize at the last carnival we helped with and the feedback from the volunteers was that the kids LOVED to keep the Mini Treasure Boxes along with the prize! 

nb-four.jpg The Number of Winnings Are Predetermined!

This is especially helpful for any carnival or festival with a tight budget.

First, estimate how many children will play the Treasure Dig game and base your supplies on that number. A few players will get back into line a few times to attempt to win a medium or top prize. 

Second, decide how many top and medium prizes you will have at this booth. 

Third, print out slips of paper to fill in the boxes for the medium and top prizes that do not fit into the treasure boxes.

Example of a
The above image shows a yellow bucket with bags of bubble gum.

For example, let's say you estimate 350 children will play the Treasure Dig game. You buy at least 350 Mini Treasure Boxes and choose to have 48 Felt Pirate Patches as the medium prizes & 24 Gold Nugget Bubble Gums as the top prizes. 

You will need to purchase AT LEAST:

378 Treasure Boxes (Or 7 packages - we sell in amounts of 54/package.)
306 Consolation Prizes - (Like 96 Squishy Sea Creatures, 96 Wiggle Eye Rings, 144 Nylon Rope Bracelets)
48 Pirate Patches - Be sure to have 48 slips of paper to put in the treasure boxes. 
24 Gold Nugget Bubble Gum - Be sure to have 24 slips of paper for your treasure boxes. 

If you need to show more profit at your booth, simply choose a less expensive Top Prize. For example, you could choose Beach Safe Containers as a top prize.

Thanks for reading the Carnival Savers blog! Check out some other helpful carnival hints & tips below to continue planning and prepping for your big event: