DIY 'Dumbo' Inspired Carnival Arcade Games

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DIY Dumbo Fun

What happens when you can’t agree with your boys on whether Friday night should be a Dumbo-Movie night or an arcade outing?

You stay home!


Not too long ago,

we were all happy to see another week conclude. The kids wanted to go to Dave & Busters. I wanted to watch Tim Burton’s Dumbo. Neither group was budging so I made the executive decision to stay home, where we actually made Dumbo-themed arcade games and had the best family night ever!

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Benny and Toby enjoyed following instructions

as I guided them through painting cardboard tubes, applying stickers, organizing toys inside a cardboard box, creating values for certain ball drop results and setting up rules to take turns.

If none of this makes sense, it’s okay— here’s what we did

A Dumbo-themed Ball Drop arcade game:

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We also created a Claw grabber-type game

where all prizes were set-up to be Dumbo plushies or other pachiderm themed toys…hehe. This project was done by basically cutting out the front of a box and covering with clear wrap. Then I carved two holes (one on each side of the box) and inserted a wooden dowling through the holes. This serves as a manual claw grabber that you can twist. You would tie a string with a velcro piece at the end and turn it in order to release the string low enough for the velcro to stick onto a plushy and then high enough to claim the prize…Ta-da!


I’m not sure that our evening would have been as memorable

chasing boys around a dark arcade full of people or inside a quiet theater trying to keep Toby from getting bored while eating pounds of buttery popcorn. What I do know is that these little guys are pretty crafty and I was happy to stay home and watch them work.

Thanks for reading, friends!


-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez