Carnival Party

Carnival Party 7yr - Old Carnival Poster




Sherry in Penfield, NY USA


August 2008


Special Mention

For my son's 7th birthday party we decided to have a carnival.  It took a lot of research and planning, but now we are going to make it an annual event. 

For the invitations I found an old carnival poster, and using printshop, took the art to make our own poster.  It said N's Birthday Carnival"  "M**** Fairgrounds" and then had the date and time.  "Food Crafts Fun!"  It looked just like a real flyer for a carnival.

To decorate we had everything arranged in a large square in the backyard.  My  husband hung clothesline across two sides of the square.  From this I hung long straw beach mats that I found in red/blue/green/yellow stripes.  These were the backdrops for the games and really made it look professional.  I printed out the name of each game and the rules and laminated them and pinned them to the mats behind the games. 

When everyone arrived they received a canvas bag and a white propeller hat.  (These were adorable from Oriental Trading).  I had fabric markers and they decorated them and put their names.  When they were all here we went outside.  I rented a large bounce house and was afraid that the kids would only do that and not my games.  No one went near it for more than 1/2 of the party. 

For the games we made: 

1) "Frogapult":  My husband made a catapult out of wood and PVC that stuck into the ground.  I covered a large piece of plywood with a blue tablecloth for water and put cardboard lilypads in it.  I made frogs out of felt and the kids had to fling them with the frogapult.  They received a different # of tix for if it landed totally on a lilypad partway or just in the water.  Each person manning a game had a bag of tickets to give out and they could collect them in their bags and cash them in whenever they wanted. 

2) "TIC TAC TOE"  I used boxes we collected and the bottom of a box from Walmart that was used to sell Coke glasses.  It had nine holes in it and was perfect.  I set it in a larger box and used cardboard to slope the sides and build up the back.  It worked perfectly. 

3) "Plinko"  Using instructions from the internet we made a Plinko board with pegboard and pegs.  I used an air hockey puck for the plinko chip 

4) "Ping Pong Splash"  We put a bunch of different colored cups filled with water in our kiddie pool.  (there was one tiny cup in the center worth 10 tix)  Different colored cups earned more tickets and kids threw ping pong balls in there.

5) "Ladder Golf" again homemade from internet directions.  We used large superballs for the bolos instead of golf balls 

6) "Mini Golf": We used a putting green I got from a garage sale and my husband built small walls to go around it to keep the ball on the green.

7) "Balloon Darts": I just blew up a bunch of water balloons and tacked them onto a large piece of cardboard.  We bought soft plastic darts that the kids threw to pop the balloons.  

8) "Silly Splash"  We peeled the labels off of 4 beer bottles and filled them with sand.  Then we balanced ping pong balls on them and gave the kids a squirt bottle.  They had 20 seconds to sqirt them off. 

9)"Creature Crash"  We painted a heavy 2x4 board bright red and balanced it on a sawhorse.  My husband attached hinges to it and I wired 4 small stuffed animals to the hinges.  When the kids hit the top of the animal with a ball it tips off the edge of the board.  Very easy and it was adorable.  So the kids went around earning tickets and taking breaks in the bouncehouse.  We had a prize area and a snack area set up.  I collected prizes for a year shopping mainly at Target for $spot sales and after holiday 90% off so I had a huge amount.  We decided what would be worth 2. 1015 or 20 tickets and arranged them on the shelves of a small unit we had. This was a great way to get rid of all the left over small number of favors I had left from other parties and people were happy to donate things as well.

I also set up a table with popcorn in popcorn bags and individual servings of cotton candy that I put in bags with ribbon.  There was a can that they had to put in 2 tickets to take a snack. For a cute decoration I painted a big clown on the outside of a refrige. Box and cut out the face for the kids to pose in. We also had a table set up to do sand art.I had necklaces shaped like ice cream cones sports balls and bracelets. 

For the cake I used the giant Wilton cupcake and frosted it to look like a circus tent.  I put a flag on top that said "Happy Birthday N".  We also made 16 clown cupcakes with Wilton silly feet cupcake holders.  These were a huge hit.  We ate inside in the kitchen where we had streamers and balloons.  I'm lucky that I had a lot of help and I hired a few teenage girls to help also.  We kept everything up all day and invited neighbors to come play and bounce afterward.  So each child went home with their canvas bag of prizes (most were stuffed full) a sand art piece of jewelery and a personalized propeller hat.  We had 16 kids from 6-10 years old and many neighbors/friends afterward. We had a great time and received many compliments.   "

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