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Hopper Races

Funfair Activity - Hopper Races


A large grassy field is needed for this activity!


Toddlers are typically too small to bounce without help!


Short Carnival Savers video/gif shows kids racing on large hopper balls. 

Supplies for Hopper Races Activity:

bullet point 4 (or more) Bouncy Balls with Handle or Hopper Toys
bullet point Bicycle Hand Pump or air compressor 
bullet point Cones or Flags for setting up racing area
bullet point Booth Sign & Ticket Box
bullet point Prizes - Not necessary, but a winner's prize is appreciated!

Activity Setup:

Before your event, inflate the Hopper Toys. (we recommend doing this a few days before your event -as things are so hectic on the day of the funfair.)

Tip: To make sure the hoppers are not over or under inflated, we used a square box that was the recommended size, and inflated each hopper until they touched the sides of the box.
The hoppers we sell state they inflate to 18 inches - that seems small, but look at the images above - that is really large enough even for a small adult!

The most important thing to remember about setup for this funfair activity is that you must have the entire game on grass and make sure you are not close to concrete or curbs

It sounds silly, but kids get so pumped up about winning! We witnessed lots of kids falling off the bouncy balls as they try to hurry their bounce in their quest to win, so this is never a activity for a gym floor (unless you have mats)

In addition, you need plenty of space between your racers - so the imaginary lines should be about 4 - 5 feet across so racers do not run into each other.

You will need a "Starting Line" and a Plastic Cone for each racer about 25 feet (or so) for the "Turn Around" part of the race.

How to Run this Booth:

Kids are given a bouncy ball hopper and placed at a starting line.

Let kids have a practice run first, that way they learn how to bounce on the balls and move in the direction they want to go.

Each racer is told that they bounce down the "grass track" to tap their Colorful Cone and then turn around and come back to the starting line which will be the finish line.

After the practice run, have a volunteer state "Mark, Set Go!" and the kids take off.

How Players win a Prize:

Of course the way to win the game is to cross the finish line first.

We noticed (and you can see above) that kids sometimes just try to run with the hopper between their legs (not really hopping) so be sure to tell kids they must be hopping the entire time to win!

For this activity, it is simply fun to do without any prizes, but if you wish you can give out an inexpensive necklace or other prize to the winner - they think its great!

Additional Hints & Tips:

As mentioned above, toddlers are typically too small to participate in these races. If there is an adult or teenager who can hold them on the ball and help balance them they can do that for fun!

We tried out this race at a school carnival and the kids thought it was GREAT! First, we had potato sack races running, then we switched out to the bouncy races the second half of the carnival to keep things fresh! 

Of course, the bouncy balls can be deflated and saved for other events such as your school's field day or even PE Activities too!