Carnival Party

Carnival Party 2yr - Clown Bowling





Kimberlee in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, Canada

October 2001


October 2001 Winner

Carnival Birthday - 2 yr old  We just had a Carnival-themed birthday party for our son, and it was a tremendous success!  We invited 29 children (28 came!) and approximately 60 adults.  Everyone had a great time! 

INVITATIONS: I made my own invitations which looked like bags of popcorn.  I couldn't find red striped paper, so I taped red electrical tape to paper and color photocopied  the sheet.  I then cut it in half, folded it and glued it to be a pocket. I used scalloped scissors to cut an edge on the top of the pocket. I then cut a rectangle of paper which would fit it the pocket snugly and printed the invite poem and details on the bottom half.  On the top half I cut and glued many pieces of popcorn that I got from a clip art book.  I then photocopied the whole thing on to cardstock and made all the copies needed.  I cut each one out, traced around the edges of all the popcorn kernels with yellow and fitted it into the popcorn "bag"!  I put them into white envelopes onto which I had printed the name and address using a circus-style font. I decorated each with a circus sticker and the lots of red, yellow and blue dots. The post office happened to have stamps with clowns on them, so this completed my invite! 

DECORATIONS: Red, blue and yellow were the colors that I used.  We rented a local hall instead of having it at home, so that there would be more room, and less mess!  My husband used red & white crepe streamers on the ceiling. He used thin rope lengthwise down both sides of the room, and down the center, he then draped alternating red and white streamers across, letting them drape on the sides and coming up in the middle. He stapled them to hold them in place. It looked just like a circus tent ceiling!  We rented a tank of helium and blew up 75 red, blue and yellow balloons, as well as some that said "Happy Birthday Tyler" and "Happy 2nd Birthday".  I used balloon weights and tied most of these in big bunches around the room. I bought some clown Mylar balloons that I also blew up, and surrounded them with balloons of the same color before I attached them to the balloon weight (e.g. clown balloon surrounded by all yellow balloons). 

The rest of the balloons I tied curling ribbon on and let drift to the ceiling and hang down, this looked really nice!  We also put big bunches of balloons on the ceiling at the center and ends of the circus ceiling.  I set up an L-shaped table for 30 kids using white banquet roll paper.  I used alternating red, blue and yellow napkins. I sprinkled balloon confetti all over the table. I used 4 honeycomb centerpieces which were bears holding red , yellow and blue balloons that said "Happy Birthday" on this table.  I just used plain flatware and colored plates.  I set up a gift table, parent snack table and drink table. I skirted one each in red, blue and yellow table skirts. I used large circus carousel honeycomb centerpieces on these tables, and more of the balloon confetti.  I found jointed "tumbling clowns" streamers which I tacked above each table.  I also found a CD with circus music on it which we played the whole time, it certainly added to the atmosphere!  I found several inflatable balls which had animals (giraffe, elephant, etc) in them. We blew these up and scattered them around.  I borrowed 3 clown costumes, complete with big feet!  Myself, my sister and sister-in-law were clowns! 

GAMES: When each child arrived they were greeted by me (mommy clown) and given a jumbo lootbag and a string of tickets. I had printed their names on tags, surrounded them by clown mini stickers and placed them on the bags. The tickets were printed on colored construction paper, cut, punched and put on red string to be worn around their neck. The color of the ticket coordinated with the color of the words on the sign by the corresponding game. There were 4 tickets for 4 games and 1 for face painting and a tattoo. My sister and sister-in-law did the face painting and tattoos. As the children played each game, they won a prize to put in their bag. The games were:  

CLOWN BOWLING - I decorated 6 of my sons plastic pins to look like clowns with hats, and colored buttons.  You had to knock down the pins to win.  Little ones (2 & under) could kick them or however they wanted to knock them down)

PICK A DUCK: I used a baby pool with 18 ducks.  With a long handled net, you had to catch as many ducks as you were old ( 3 years = 3 ducks) Little ones could use their hands.

FISH POND:Using a baby pool and a foam fishing set with 20 foam fish and rod. Again, catch as many as you are old. Little ones could use their hands.

HUNGRY CLOWN: I enlarged a clown head, colored it, and put it on a tall box with a hole in the middle. The kids had to throw three beanbags into the hole "feeding" the clown.  At every game there was a large sign on the wall, and the letters of each one corresponded to the color ticket the kids had around their necks. 

For prizes I used bags of chips, silly straws, bottles of bubbles, and crayons and a coloring book I created. I copied 10 coloring sheets from the internet which were circus themed. I created a "thank-you" page which had a birthday cake with two candles and a thank you from Tyler for coming and a wish that they had a good time. For the cover I enlarged a clown with balloons, created the title "My Circus Coloring Book"  and a line which said "Tyler's 2nd Birthday October 6, 2001".  I copied this onto cardstock and the bound all of them together - it looked really nice!  When they were leaving I gave all the kids some "thank-you" gifts - box of raisins, gum, a book that I had found (A Day at the Carnival for the older ones, and a lift the flap book Lions at the Fair for the smaller ones), and a lollipop that I had made.  Using a circus mold, I used red, yellow and blue chocolate to mold  lollipops on sticks.  I bagged them, tied them with red, blue & yellow curling ribbon, and tied a small thank-you tag to them which was decorated with more circus mini stickers.  The kids and parents thought they were great!

We also cut down the balloons so that all the kids went home with 2 or 3 balloons!  After the games, we had a "performer" - a friend who brought his guitar and sang songs.    We then brought out our 2nd set of activities. For those 2 & under, my husband had found a very large box which we cut in half and then joined together, covered with blue plastic wrap, and then filled with 9 pounds of popped popcorn. We added pails and shovels and the small kids went wild over it!! We soon had popcorn everywhere (including in the game pools)!  For the older kids, he made a "tightrope" with a piece of 2x4 and painted it blue.  The kids had to line up, walk the tightrope then jump through the hoop (a hula hoop).  They had a lot of fun!   We also had Tyler's big slide and wagon which the kids played on as well.  Finally, before getting ready to eat, I brought out a large box which I had covered in red paper then pasted on small and large circles. I had previously bought a whole pile of cheap musical instruments which I had placed I  the bottom, the filled the box with helium filled balloons and closed the lid. I gathered the kids around, opened the box, balloons flew up, the kids picked an instrument, then we (myself, kids and my other 2 clowns) had a circus parade to the lunch table. It was hilarious! 

FOOD: I served "circus dogs" with chips, cheezies and juices boxes to the kids. The parents also could have hot dogs, but I had also made a large pot of chili.  There was also brownies, pizza dip and nachos, cookies, and veggies and dip set out.  Bowls of whole peanuts (no allergies!) and popcorn were set here and there. No hot drinks, just pop, juice and milk!  

I made the cake myself which was a Wilton pan clown decorated with red, blue and yellow!  The parents got cupcakes decorated with red, blue and yellow sprinkles, and a clown "bakery bite" stuck in the top.  These are edible clown shaped decorations.  We didn't open the gifts here, Tyler was too excited to pay attention so we took them home.  Everyone said they had a fantastic time! We thought it was a success!  During the party my dad took pictures of all the kids with a digital camera, so now we are printing thank-you cards with their pictures on them and a caption which says "Clowning Around at Tyler's Birthday!"    Can't wait for next year .... wonder what we will have!?!

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