Carnival Party

Carnival Party 1yr - Block Carnival




Gaby in Maywood, IL USA


August 2007


Special Mention

My son is an only child.  This being his first birthday we decided to have a carnival theme.

The invitations were made out of out of heavy white cardboard cut into a small square. I wrote out Come one come all Joaquin is turning one! I included the time and date of the event and then with the help of all my family we cut the cardboard into puzzle pieces and put that in an envelope. I bought paper at a party store that read 1st Birthday. On that paper I wrote some facts about my son, how many teeth he had, the size of clothes and shoe that he wore. My son is very big for his age so any time he gets presents I usually end up having to return items because they are too small. I included a mapquest map on colored paper of our address. I added an itinerary letting everyone know what is going to go on at the party. I sent out about 80 invitations.

I started planning for the party 6 months before. I picked up a form at city hall to have all my neighbors sign so that the block could be closed for the day. Which worked out very well because most cities won't charge you to have a block party. I immediately got to work instead of renting a moon jump I bought one on Ebay which I rented out every weekend before the party to our friends, that way it paid for itself and we had extra money to spend on the party. I bought make a bear kits at Hobby Lobby which include an unstuffed bear, a bag of stuffing, an adoption certificate and an outfit. The bears were $4.99 and $6.99 depending on the size you wanted. I asked everyone to RSVP with the number of children that would be attending the party 3 weeks before so that every child would have a bear. I ordered white frisbees from Oriental Trading Co. (24 for $9.99) for make a frisbee time. I bought 2 packs of permanent markers form Sam's Club to color the frisbees. I also bought suncatchers from Oriental Trading Co., which the kids could paint. I ordered most of my prizes from Oriental Trading including inflatable bats, inflatable balls. I bought a couple of prizes from Target, from the dollar section that they have. You have to keep an eye out because when the store is going to replace the dollar items, they mark the old items 75% off.

I bought popcorn boxes, red polka dot tissue paper, primary colors curling ribbon, giant lollipops, and party whistles and put them all together in the popcorn box to make centerpieces. I avidly looked on Craig's List everyday for any thing I might need. I bought a commercial popcorn machine which was used twice for $50, which was much cheaper than renting. The popcorn supplies were all purchased at Sam's Club. My brother worked for a local movie theater so he made the popcorn for us. I later found a sno cone machine and cotton candy machine on Craig's List. I bought so many tables and folding chairs, (all from Craig's List) that my husband and I now have a party rental business. I bought two 10 x20 canopies used and put them together to make one great big one. I decorated them with red streamers taped to the cover to look like a carnival tent. I had a friend who works for a construction rental company bring a port-a-potty so that the kids would not have to go a long distance to get to the washroom.

When the guests arrived, the adults would get a ticket for a raffle we gave movie passes. They would make a nametag for their child; the child would pick a duck from the pond determining what bear they would make later. Then the family would walk to the craft table where adults and children would decorate a cloth square for my son. Afterwards my mother sewed it together and made him one huge quilt.  My sister and cousin were greeting people once they finished with their cloth piece and handing out balloons. They were both dressed as clowns.

The party started at 1:00 p.m. at 2:00 p.m.  My son had his grand entrance we announced to all that the party boy would be arriving soon. My brother turned on the fog machine and bubble machine that we had from a previous party as well as the radio, which played my son's favorite song. We sat him in a Power Wheels car that, we bought for him and he rolled through the fog. He was really excited because everyone was clapping and he loves to clap. The food consisted of hotdogs, hamburgers, nachos all purchased from Sam's Club. My father manned the grill and made burgers to order. I had a small refrigerator, which I took outside and inside of there I kept trays with all the condiments so that nothing was hot. Once the guests made their hotdogs it was back to the fridge.

The goodie stand had cotton candy, popcorn, and sno cones in many different flavore. The games included penny pitch simple posterboard with stickers in the form of stars on them. Can knock down, empty can with the lids super glued back on. Bottle ring toss we used 2 liter bottles and filled them with water, the rings were purchased from Oriental Trading Co. Balloon dart throw, simple corkboard bought at Wal-Mart and pushpins to hold the balloons in place. The balloons and darts were ordered in a mass unit from Oriental Trading Co.  Bank a shot was just an easel that has a chalkboard on one-side magnets on the other that my son had. Bean bag toss was a game that I bought on clearance for $4.95 Oriental Trading Co. Fish bowl toss, I bought round bowls at Hobby Lobby, goldfish from a local pet store, and ping pong balls from Wal-Mart $1.46 for 6. Bucket toss, 6 small buckets from Wal-Mart clearance summer section for $1.00 for all. Tin can alley, metal cupcake molds that I spray painted in different colors and plastic wiffle balls from Target 6 for $2.00. Frisbee throw was a piece of plywood that I cut 3 rectangles in bigger that a frisbee. Lollipop tree was made out of cardboard and holes were cut to put lollipops in that had color-coded stems. Quarter drop I had an old fish tank and I put a 3 shot glasses on the bottom so that the kids could try to land the quarter in them.

The games were housed in separate booths that we constructed out of old refrigerator boxes. We went to Sears Outlet and they let us take as many as we wanted. At every game they got tickets. When they were finished playing they would take the tickets to the prize booth, which was constructed out of an old refrigerator box my nephew collected the tickets and would ask what prizes they wanted, to make it fair for all no matter what age everyone got the same amount of prizes. I took photos of the prizes before and taped them to the prize booth.

I bought paper bags and my nephew would fill them up with whatever they asked for.  He would then direct them to a hand painted mural of a clown that my brother painted and we cut a circle out so that the kids could take photos. Whenever we had craft time the games would close so that everyone participated. We had a tattoo booth and braid booth. My cousins would put rub on tattoos on the kids and clip on colorful braids. We had 3 pinatas full of candy. Instead of cake I bought cupcakes at Sam's Club a box of 30 is about $12.00. I bought vanilla ice cream and many toppings so that the kids could make their own sundae. In all 60 kids plus adults attended.

Before the guests left I gave them all their frisbees and suncatchers which were drying. They all thanked me and made sure to ask if next year we were doing the same thing. I think we will this way the kids have something to look forward to. A few days after, we mailed the kids photos from the murals as thank you cards.

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