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Penguin Pop Up

Penguin Pop Up - DIY Winter Game!


Penguin Pop Up Game - Glitter added to the Board



DIY Iceberg Landing Pad for Penguin Game.



Short Carnival Savers video/gif shows catapult launcher launching stuffed penguins onto a white iceberg platform for points.

Supplies for Penguin Pop-up Game:

bullet point 2 (1 x 4) wooden boards (about 18 inches and 6 inches)
bullet pont Plywood (half a sheet about 4 ft x 4 ft) and Jigsaw to cut iceberg shapes (1 Launcher, 1 Landing pad as shown)
bullet point Hardware - 2 Hinges (One large, one small) and screws and screwdriver
bullet point "L" Shaped metal Bracket - cut to 4 inches wide (you need a saw for cutting)
bullet point Screws to secure bracket to board and hinge to bracket (see details below)
bullet point Paint - we used blue and white (Clear Glitter optional but adds an icy effect!)
bullet point Rubber Mallet 
bullet point Table (an adjustable is ideal) - set the table at a low height so younger children can reach and see this game 
bullet point 3 - 4 blocks or bricks or a way to elevate iceberg Landing Pad (not shown, but recommend - see Hints & Tips below)
bullet point 12 Stuffed Animal Penguins for jumping
bullet point Consolation and top carnival prizes

How to Make This Game:

Weeks before the carnival, have a woodworking adult construct the "iceberg launcher and landing pad" using building supplies listed above

First, your volunteer will need to make the launch pad and Iceberg landing pad.

Our Launch Pad is about 30 inches long by 23 inches wide with rounded corners. Our "Iceberg" is about 22 inches x 14 inches cut in an uneven shape. You can make your own unique shape.

Next, you will need to make a "SeeSaw". 
(Including the wooden flap at the end that allows you to launch your penguin forward, not straight up in the air.)

You can make the seesaw myriads of different ways, but we are showing you a method that worked for our game. 

First, cut your 1 x 4 board to make your two boards, one "the launcher" about 18 inches in length, the second small board "the flapper" will be about 6 inches in length.

Using your metal "L" shaped bracket, cut the bracket with a saw to about 4 inches wide. 

Next, using screws, attach the smaller hinge to one end of your "flapper" board, and your larger hinge to the launcher board a few inches closer to the "hitting side" (to allow the seesaw to rest with the hitting side up in the air.)

Now attache to "L" bracket to the hinge. Now align the seesaw set on your Launch Pad (be sure to overlap the "flapper" board over the "launcher" board by an inch or so - and mark both boards with a pencil to know the placement when attaching.

Finally, attach the "launcher board" to your Launcher Pad using screws. Note: it is best to sink the screws into the board from the underside to make sure the Landing Pad rests flat.

Finally, attach your seesaw and wooden flap to the board and test out with your mallet.

Of course, you will want to paint it. We used white and a light blue on the launcher and flapper and edged of the iceberg too!

And, while our white paint was still wet, we added some iridescent glitter for a nice touch!

Game Setup:

This game can be setup on a table or on the ground.

Volunteers have an easier time if this winter game is setup on a table (less bending to retrieve penguins that did not land on the iceberg).

As suggested above, it is a good idea to use a table with adjustable height and to have the table set on the lowest level so younger children can see and play this game too!

How to Play the Penguin Pop Up:

Children are given 3 chances to hit the end of the launch pad and try to get the penguin to land on the iceberg.

Note: We generally give kids ONE practice run to see how hard to hit the end for the penguin to make it into the air!

Like so many carnival type games, this is somewhat a game of chance as the penguins may land on the iceberg, but bounce off.

Winnings can look like this:

0 Penguins on the Iceberg = a consolation prize
1 or more Penguins on the Iceberg = a Winning Prize

Additional Hints & Tips:

The first few times we played this game, we had the iceberg landing pad flat on the ground (as shown). We found that sometimes the penguins landed on the edge of the iceberg and then the volunteer had to decide if the "landing" counted and the child won the top prize. We later discovered if we elevated the landing pad with a few bricks or even a sturdy box (a few inches tall) then the penguin either landed or bounced off the iceberg and there was no in between! 

Note: Preschool children seem to have a tough time giving the rubber mallet enough muscle to make the penguin jump. We have allowed the parents to hold the mallet with the child to try to give some more muscle to the game so they can have some success!