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Lucky Duck

Spring Carnival Game Idea – Lucky Duck!


Ducks Hold Prizes Kids Try To Match - No Water Needed!



Whoo Hoo - they found a match!!


Supplies for Lucky Duck Game:

bullet point 36 – 48 Plastic Duck Container (see below)
bullet pont Assorted small carnival prizes that fit into plastic Duck Containers (see ideas below)
bullet point Basket or Bucket to hold "Reserve Ducks" (see information below)
bullet point Game Sign and Ticket Box
bullet point Table with blue poster-board "pond" and tablecloth
bullet point Medium and/or top prizes

Game Setup:

Before your event, choose how difficult you wish this game to be - think of this as a standard matching game with a few changes!

Take your blue poster board and cut out a "pond" shape.

For example, if you have 18 different prizes in 36 ducks a child's chance of winning will be less than if you have 6 different prizes in 36 ducks.

We recommend starting with 5 - 9 different types of small toys to fill the ducks. For example, you could choose one type of toy that has different colors like the mini porcupine balls, and fill all the ducks with the balls. That way the kids are matching the color of the balls. 

Or, you can choose to have 9 different toys (for example: spin tops, mini ducks, flying frogs, fuzzy chicks etc.) and have 4 of each of these items and place them in the 36 ducks. Try to have all the same color and design on these toys, as the children will be looking for an exact match!

Setup your table, tablecloth and fake duck pond with most of your ducks - save out about 8 or so "Reserve Ducks" to have in your reserve bucket.

How to Play the Lucky Duck Carnival Game:

One player plays at a time. The player is allowed to choose 2 ducks. They will open them up to the side of the pond and see if the prizes match.

If the inside the ducks match, the carnival player has won and receives a prize. If not, the carnival player returns the ducks and has another try. If the player does not have a match after the third try, the volunteer replaces the unmatched toys into the ducks and places them in the reserve bucket to prevent an unfair advantage for the next player.

Players get a total of three chances to find a match. If no match, they get a consolation prize. 

After a player, the booth volunteer adds new ducks to the "pond" from the "reserve ducks" and then places the "used" ducks from the play to the reserve basket. 

Optional: Add A "BONUS PRIZE":

Make this game a super fun challenge by making one simple change...  

Have a "Bonus Prize" that is hidden inside two of the ducks. For example, you could hide ONLY 1 Mini Fuzzy Chick in 2 different ducks. If the carnival player matches this Mini Fuzzy Chick, then they win the more bonus prize! Generally, we find the kids get excited over any stuffed animal - so this is a great way to award a small stuffed animal on a budget!

We have found when we add a super fun bonus prize to a game kids seem to get back in line for another chance to win!

Additional Hints & Tips:

Note: the players Do NOT keep the Duck Containers; they return them to a carnival volunteer so the duck can be refilled for the game and even saved for next year's carnival!

Note: We think the "reserve bucket" will help keep the game fair to for all players! This the volunteer simply replaces the ducks with new ducks and no one know what toys are hidden inside.  After a player finishes, have the volunteers rotate the board or mix up a few ducks to make sure the next player does not have an unfair advantage!


red white carnival awning