LADYBUG RACES GAME - SETUP & DIRECTIONS
Short Carnival Savers video/gif shows plastic lady bugs racing through a hole in a flower board design.
Supplies for DIY Ladybug Races Game:
1 Piece of Plywood, cut to about 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide
1 Piece of Plywood, about 2 feet square (for your board supports)
Woodworking tools (Circular Saw, Jigsaw)
Pull Back Ladybug Toys -Or- 1 1/2 inch balls decorated to resemble ladybugs
Woodworking tools and a volunteer who know how to use the tools
Acrylic Paints, assorted Colors
2 - 4 Thick Poster Boards -OR- very smooth flat Plywood 4 ft for the Race Track
Small Broom (to sweep away pebbles, dirt etc. from floor)
Clear, sticky Packing Tape - to seam together Poster Boards
Ticket Box and Game Sign
Consolation & Winners Prizes
Make This Game:
Well before your spring event, make this ladybug races game to allow plenty of time for the board to dry. (Our board is about 30 inches tall by 4 feet wide)
Start by cutting your main board. At the bottom of the board, make 3 "mouse holes" for your ladybugs to go through.
(Our "mouse holes" are 4 inches wide by 4 1/4 inches tall.)
Next, on the bottom of the board about 4 inches in from each outside edge, cut two "notches" for your board supports.
Your next step is to cut a circle about 13 inches in diameter and then cut your circle in half. In addition, you will need to cut a notch in each support to match your board for support.
Now for the Race Track - you have two options:
1. Poster Board- This is the easiest method, but will not last as long as the smooth plywood option but works great indoors or on a gym floor! You will need to "seam together" your Poster Boards using your clear packing tape. This is best done inside and with two people to help keep the posters perfectly together while taping. Note: we cut a strip from a green Poster Board and added it using packing tape to our black poster board to act as a "starting line".
Finally, use your packing tape and tape around all edges of the Race Track to prevent bending of the edges of your poster board. Note: if you have access to a large laminating machine, laminating each poster board and then seaming together would be ideal.
2. Smooth Plywood Board- This method is best for annual events as this will make a lasting Race Track! Cut your plywood to be about 4 feet in length. Sand the edges and the top thoroughly and paint as desired to be the Race Track for the ladybugs.
Finally, "test out" your ladybugs. Some ladybugs "crawl" in a straight line, others are a little less straight or don't go as far. This is why we recommend at least 24 ladybugs, so you can choose the "best crawlers" for this game. (Remember, you will need 3 of each color)
Once this game is made, the setup is simple.
Find a flat area on a walkway or indoors on the tile to set up this game. We suggest that you sweep off rocks, leaves and dirt from the general area. NOTE: Parking lots and streets can have very rough concrete, so we recommend a walkway or path for a smoother surface if you have a Poster Board Race Track - and of course, this game works great indoors on tile floors too!
Next set up your board with the support and slide your seamed Poster Board "Race Track" under the game.
Set out your Ticket Box, Carnival Sign and display your prizes and you are ready to play!
How to Play the Ladybug Races Spring Fling Game:
We recommend having at least 2 children (but ideally 3 children) to play this game each time. Children are given 3 Pull Back Ladybugs in the same color at the "starting line."
The object of the game is to get as many of their Ladybugs through any opening in the board to the other side.
So... this game is NOT won on speed, but on accuracy.
The game volunteer tells the children the goal is to get as many of their ladybugs through any of the flowers to the other side as possible.
Winnings can look like this:
No children get their Ladybugs through the flowers = consolation prize for all
1 child gets at least 1 Ladybug through the flowers = they receive a winners prize - the others receive consolation prizes
2 or more children get at least 1 Ladybug through the flowers = the ladybug that went the farthest on the other side wins
Additional Hints & Tips:
If this is a game you intent to use year after year, you may wish to start out with the smooth plywood as the "Race Track"
Important Note for Fund Raising Carnivals - Because you will have a "winner" with most rounds on this game - we recommend choosing a "Medium priced" prize as you will need many to pass out during your carnival.
Note: Most children under the age of 3 will have a little trouble pulling back the ladybugs and getting them to "go" so this game is best for children 4 and up.