How to Build Children's Carnival Rides

By Elizabeth Brown
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Any child enjoys a carnival. Aside from the cotton candy and games, the rides are favored by most kids.You probably can't build a Ferris Wheel, but with a bit of ingenuity, the right materials and a few tools, you can design your own carnival and even construct some rides. After the carnival is over, the rides can provide years of enjoyment.

Step 1

Create a spin-n-spray ride using a tire swing and a sprinkler. Tires from light pickup trucks and SUVs work best. Find a hardwood tree like an oak with a sturdy branch that is shaped like an L or a V. Hang the tire using the nylon rope. There should be six feet of distance clear on all sides. Drill holes in the bottom of the tire to avoid the tire filling with water. Set a sprinkler on a steady stream and position it so that the rider gets sprayed as she swings outward.

Step 2

Build a go kart. There are multiple sites where you can order go kart kits with step-by-step instructions for assembling parts and painting. If you are handy, you may choose a do-it-yourself plan. Please refer to the resources section for go kart kits or instructions to build your own kart from scratch. Once the kart is built, transform your driveway into a track using orange cones and yellow duct tape. Make sure children are supervised, the track is clear, and all passengers are wearing a helmet when riding.

Step 3

Create a tractor trailer ride. If you don't own one, contact a local farmer who may be willing to volunteer theirs. A second option is a lawn tractor trailer. Set a destination. If you have berry bushes or fruit trees, hand out plastic cups or bags and drive to the fruit so passengers can pick their own. If you have enough animals, you can create a petting zoo destination where riders can stop and feed or pet the animals. A new litter of puppies, kittens or baby chicks is always popular as long as there are instructions not to touch the babies.

Step 4

Make a water slide. A hill works best, but if you don't have one available then a small incline is fine too. Check to makes sure the ground is smooth and clear of rocks or roots that may cause injuries. Lay down the tarp and put down sand bags to hold it in place. Position sprinklers on either side to keep the slide wet and slippery. You can use liquid soap to make it extra slippery. Use tear-free shampoo to prevent any irritation from the soap getting into mouths and eyes.

About the Author

Elizabeth Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in education from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut. She began writing professionally in 2004 and has published op-eds and letters in the Hartford Courant and other local journals. She is currently a Hartford Public Schools Examiner.