Carnival Party

Backyard Carnival 5yr - Red & White Theme




Heidi in South Lyon, MI


August 2005


Special Mention

For my son’s 5th birthday I wanted a backyard Homemade Carnival.  Since we only do birthday  parties (big bash) every 5 years I can justify the expense and the grandness of this party.  

Invitations were created on the computer with the details, the corners were all trimmed in 1/2  circles with the back marker trimming the edges to look like a ticket. 

A ticket booth was created  from a refrigerator box with red and white stripes.  Here the children checked in, received a goody  bag (primary solid colors from Michael’s $5).  Inside the bag were their preprinted thank you card a  coloring book packet I made with word search and puzzles personalized with Ashton’s name party  theme (a child created the site on the internet) as well as 10 different color tickets that I printed  from our computer with the word TICKET bolded (use the label software). 

Each game the children  played required a ticket in order to receive a prize.  Regardless how they did, each booth had a  different prize but only one prize style per booth.  The prizes are part of their goodie bags.  My  mom made 300 juggle squares (purchased 3 yards of 6 solid color cotton fabrics, 4 x 4 sew them  together as a T and sew the remaining sides together until only one side left, stuff with your plastic  shopping bags and sew the last side up). Homemade snow globe was made out of recycled water  bottles, Fill with water, veggie oil, glitter and beads.  Pencils with ribbon tied at the end to make a  swirly wand.   Fortune Fish Teller (OT).  Blowers were made from toilet paper rolls, paint and add  crepe paper streamer in different colors at one end.  Crazy straw (OT).  Plastic Zip lock bag with a  foam frame kit inside (Michaels).  The final prize was a bag of misc favors left over from other  parties in the past. 

Each ticket booth was made from a box and painted carnival style.  We made  ticket boxes from used Pringles containers covered in the card stock color of the ticket with a  square cut out in the top.  We used a pop up tent canopy for the craft area which consisted of  edible sand art in a necklace and blow art where I cut card stock in half sheets provided each child  with several straws and an assortment of paints to make a spin art creation but more cost effective.   My mother manned the craft tent. 

We used another pop up canopy tent for the concession stand  which was manned by my mother in law who served Corn Dogs, Pizza (Little Caesars), Sausage &  Peppers, Veggie Tray, and frozen melon squares.  Lemonade with orange food coloring, Water, and flavored water in juice boxes (Walmart) were the beverages.  Cup cakes with bright  colored icing with a ribbon taped on the bottom.  We rented a snow cone machine.  I made popcorn  bags, peanut bags and cotton candy tubs. All supplies for these items were purchased at Gordon  Food Supply. 

I created personalized labels for all items with the theme Ashton;s.  Same label  program found on your computer.  To add color, I added small balloon stickers to all labels made.   My niece had a stand where she painted faces and put on fake tattoos.  

My nephew knows magic  tricks so we set him up in the middle of the 3 ring circus made with a water hose and hula hoops as  the main attraction.  My sister and I dressed as clowns and passed out balloon models.  We had a  trampoline and slip n slide on hand as well as a large tent that sat over 100 people (friend let us  borrow it).  I collected chairs and table from family and friends as we had close to 200 people at  this party. 

All the games were homemade. 

RING TOSS crepe paper on dowels, pounded them into  the ground, made rings of two plastic plates glued together. 

FISH POND walls made of foam board  with cut out fish on the bottom and the background painted blue.  Pole paint dowels tied and glued  orange string to it and put a clothespin on the end.

TIC TAC TOE spray painted our grass and made  bean bags. 

WET SPONGE THROW my husband stood behind a plywood painted muscle man and the  kids threw wet sponges at him. 

BOWLING saved 10 2 liter bottles, put water in them and a few  drops of food coloring, use a softball to knock them down. 

COIN TOSS black foam board with  colored circle dots all over it. 

PING PONG TOSS huge container filled with water, put foam floating  rings in it and have them throw ping pong balls. 

LOLLIPOP PULL styrafoam cones spray painted  with candy apple lollipops in it, some bottoms are painted to win a prize. 

TIN CAN TOSS used tin  cans (Pampered Chef can opener makes it so you have smooth edges and can hot glue the can back  together) knock the cans over with a softball. 

We also painted a lion with his mouth opened where  we cut out the mouth for a photo with the child.  We took a foam swim stick, put aluminum foil  around it and glue on beach balls for another photo. 

For pennants we took string and red straws and paper plates.  Decorate a plate, cut two holes in it, and alternate the straw and plate.  We also  made paper fans, taped the together and taped a string on them to hand from tree’s the deck and  around the house.  We are made felt pennants with felt lettering for peanuts, games and so on so  everyone knew where everything was. 

For the real fun we painted 5 boxes in solid colors, painted a  number on each of them, cut two holes on each side removes the tops and bottoms of the box took the cut offs and made wheels to have a bumper car type race.  We also made a tight rope our of a  2x4 painted it and put it on bricks for a small height, hula hoop with aluminum foil around it with crepe paper and had the kids jump through it in the 3 ring circus area where we had painted a  circus train out of boxes cut bars into two sides and put stuffed animals that you would see a  carnival.  The kids could also sit in there and have their picture taken.  I also conned several of my  brother in laws to dress up as a tiger, elephant and seal to do tricks. 

Finally we had several child  pop up tents that connected, we placed bubble wrap and balloons inside, when they would exit  there was a funny mirror there that we made out of foam board and crinkled up metallic tissue  paper.  We had a friend or family member man each game so we could keep track of the prizes.  It  was a lot of work and recycling but it was all worth it, not just for my son but for all that were there.   After the party, we hosted a BBQ for those that helped us with everything.  I hope you can take a  few of these ideas and create your own back yard bash.

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