How to make your own carnival games to test your strength

Written by donna armstrong
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How to make your own carnival games to test your strength
Have a good selection of prizes ready for winners. (fair prize image by wiladayvo from

The "Test Your Strength" game is a staple for any classic carnival. The game is also called "The Strongman," "High Striker" and "Space Launch." In the game, participants use a mallet to strike a board as hard as possible and force an object upward to ring a bell. The "Test Your Strength" carnival game can be painted in different themes to fit the carnival, or to add diversity if you have more than one such game.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wood board, 1 by 6 inches, 10 feet long
  • Wood board, 2 by 6 inches, 1 foot long
  • Wood board 1 by 6 inches, 1 foot long
  • Wood board, 2 by 2 inches, 6 inches long
  • Tape measure
  • Rotary tool or saw
  • 4 L brackets
  • Nails
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Screwdriver
  • Brass wire, 11 feet long
  • Spool
  • Bowl-shaped bell
  • Mallet

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  1. 1

    Make an "L" shape with the 1- by 6-inch, 10- foot-long board and the 2- by 6-inch board. Stand the 1- by 6-inch board vertically and attach the 2- by 6-inch board at the bottom with an "L" bracket on each side. An adult game is normally set at 10 feet and a child's game is set at 6 feet.

  2. 2

    Measure from the base of the game and mark a spot 8 inches from where the 10-foot board meets the base. Place the 2- by 2-inch board on that location so that it stretches across the base from right to left. Lean the game on its side and nail the 2- by 2-inch board into place from the bottom.

  3. 3

    Paint the game to indicate the score of the player. The markings on the vertical board should go up in increments of 100 every foot. For a "Space Launch" game, paint the vertical board like the horizon gradually turning into space with the planets or the moon toward the top of the game.

  4. 4

    Mount an L bracket to the top of the board under where the bell will be placed. The horizontal arm of the L bracket will have the spool on it that strikes the bell. Attach the last L bracket to the vertical board 1 inch from the base of the game.

  5. 5

    Thread the wire through the screw holes in the horizontal arm of the bottom L bracket , wrap it around and tie it off. Slide the spool on the wire and pull the wire up through the hole in the top L bracket. Pull the wire taught and tie it off. A metal nut will also work in place of the spool.

  6. 6

    Attach the bell at the top of the vertical board with the screws that come with the bell.

  7. 7

    Hold the 1 foot long, 1- by 6-inch board flat up to the wire and mark on the board where the wire is. Cut a notch in the board so that the board slides under the spool. The notch should be no more that 1.5 inches wide.

  8. 8

    Slide the notched board under the spool and over the 2- by 2-inch board. Nail the notched board to the 2- by 2-inch board and hit the end of the notched board to test the game. The 2- by 2-inch board works as a fulcrum and the end of the notched board will push the spool upward.

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