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Penguin Races

Penguin Races - Winter Carnival Game Idea!


Trim the Floating Foam Icebergs to Fit the Gutters!



We used 2 (4 ft tables) - Gutters hang off 1 ft each side.


Short Carnival Savers video/gif shows someone blowing through a straw to move foam penguins on an iceberg racing down a rain gutter.

Supplies for Penguin Races:

bullet point 2 Plastic 10 Foot Gutters with End Caps and Waterproof Glue 
bullet pont 8 Foot Table (adjustable height tables are great) to support Gutters 
bullet point Level area for game (very important!)
bullet point Floating Iceberg Craft with Penguins (So sorry... this item has sold out - we are looking for a replacement!)
bullet point Empty Milk Jug or Pitchers to fill each gutter with about 3 gallons of water
bullet point Blue Food Coloring - optional but fun
bullet point Tablecloth and other decorations (game sign and ticket box)
bullet point 1 Plastic Straw for Each Player
bullet point 2 Stopwatches or Smartphones to time players, Leader Board (write on, wipe off) and pen/paper (optional)
bullet point Prizes - Consolation and Middle Prizes OR Consolation & Top Prizes  

How to Make This Game:

Days or weeks before the carnival, purchase your gutters, end caps and glue and seal each gutter and allow plenty of time for drying.

Next, you will need to trim your Penguin Iceberg Craft to fit in your gutters and put your craft together using your waterproof glue.

See our pictures on the is page to get an idea of how much needs to be trimmed off of each iceberg. Also, we glued one iceberg on the backside so when the kids play the game and the iceberg spins they still can see a design.

Game Setup:

The most important tip to remember about setting up this game is that the tables must be level. If you are in a grassy park or a parking lot, try to find a level spot to start. You can adjust the table legs height with blocks of 1 x 4 wood if necessary. 

Also, if you have adjustable height tables, choose a very low level to allow your 4 and 5 year olds a chance at playing this fun game! We used two 4 foot tables placed together and you can see the gutters hung off about 1 foot on each side. 

Place tablecloth then gutters on the table with each gutter towards the right or left edge of the table to make playing the game accessible for the kids to play.

Next, add some blue food coloring in each gutter - optional.

Finally, set out your prizes and a container of straws for each player.

How to Play the Penguin Races:

Children are given a straw and two children will play at one time.

Of course, there will be a "Ready, Set, Go" and each player blows on the straw to get their penguins to the end of the gutter the quickest way possible!

There are two ways to pass out prizes - 

Option #1  Prize Method:

Children race each other - you have one winner and one consolation prize. Generally, if you have this setup, your winning prize is just a little bit better than the consolation prize (maybe the consolation prize is a snowflake tattoo, and the winning prize is a winter prize worth about 15 - 25 cents.

Option #2  Prize Method:

Players are timed using stopwatches. Each player receives a small prize when they make it to the finish line, but you keep a "Leader Board" with a write on wipe off board showing the top 5- 10- kids or so.

Volunteers will keep up with the board after you have 20 or so kids play the game to have a starting point for faster scores.

Kids will enjoy trying to beat their own time and towards the end of your carnival you can award larger prizes to your top winners. Stuffed animals seem to always be popular with children!)

Additional Hints & Tips:

Note: Kids love to play this game for the novelty of trying to get the floating iceberg with penguins to the end of the gutter! We found the icebergs spin as the player blows but that just seems to make the game more challenging!