Top 5 Rentals for School Carnivals - Loanables

Top 5 Rentals for School Carnivals

If you have school aged children, it’s the time of year where you are either practicing your “saying no” skills or your calendar is getting full with volunteer commitments.  Personally, my calendar is full and now I’m practicing the fine art of saying no gracefully.  (Check out this article from Real Simple on 10 Guilt-Free Strategies).

If you find yourself on the school carnival committee, I’m here to help.  Below are the top 5 rentals for school carnivals. These are tried and true – you just can’t go wrong with these classics:

1. Slide

inflatable slide

I recommend getting a dual slide because kids like to race. Also, you can move more kids through in a given time.

2. Dunk Tank

Dunk Tank

Who wouldn’t love to dunk their teacher or the principal? Just make sure nobody is assigned to the station for more than about 20 minutes at a time. It gets old going into and getting out of the water.


3. Obstacle Course

Just like with the slide, I recommend getting a dual lane so the kids can race and you can move more kids through in a given time.

4. Games

Milk Bottle Toss

The most popular rentals are High Striker and the Milk Bottle Toss. Note: I think this is a great place to save money and put parents to work. Let them get creative with cake walks, bobbing for apples, face paint, etc. Check out these ideas on Pinterest.

5. Concessions

Popcorn Machine Cart

Popcorn machines, Cotton Candy Machine and Funnel Cake Fryers are by far the most popular.  Another fun thing to do is get a food truck to come to the school. I like doing this because it is one less thing the organizers have to worry about.  Check out our recent blog on the Top 10 Austin Food Trucks.

Making Your Event Unique

To make your carnival unique from year-to-year, bring in at least one new thing each year. Here are a few of popular ones:

The Big Baller

It’s like something you’d see on American Ninja Warriors


This will test agility. It’d be really fun to watch the teachers and parents do it.

Human Whack a Mole

Things to consider:

  1. If you need to move a lot of people through in a short period of time, don’t choose things where kids need to be suited up. Examples include rock walls, euro bungee bounces and the whack a mole. It would take a long time to give everyone a turn on these.
  2. If you have a wide age range of kids, consider having a few things just for the littles. I’d get a bounce house slide combo and put an age limit on it.
  3. Power – you probably need to rent generators to run the inflatables. Generally one generator can power 2 inflatables (note: this is not the case if the inflatable is large and has 2 blowers. Those need their own generator). If you plan to plug the inflatables into an electrical outlet, keep in mind that it is the only thing that can be on that circuit (I don’t mean plugged into the outlet – I mean the entire circuit). You can’t plug multiple inflatables into a circuit, and I wouldn’t recommend plugging anything else into the circuit. It will blow the fuse and you don’t want to deal with that during the carnival.
  4. If you are using any games with water, don’t put them on the football field because they create a muddy mess and the coaches will hate you afterwards 😉

Email us at if you have any questions. We are always happy to help. Not only do we help others plan school carnivals, but also everyone on our staff has been on a committee for their kids school.

, September 21, 2018. No Comments on Top 5 Rentals for School Carnivals. Category: Event Planning, Party Ideas.

About Candace

Candace is a 3x Start-up Founder and Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP). She geeks out on brainstorming bold ideas and then actually brings some of them to life. She is currently the CEO of Loanables, where her mission is to reduce overconsumption by making it as easy to rent as it is to buy.

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