Carnival Party

Raymond's Carnival 7yr - T-Shirt Helpers




Lorene in Wilmington, California, USA


August 2008


Runner Up

My son was turning 7 years old and wanted a carnival party, my imagination runs wild when its time for a Birthday Party and every year I throw him a different theme because my party guests consist of 100 to 150 with at least 50-60 kids.  So with this in mind I started planning 6 months ahead for the Carnival Party. 

I first had to get a permit because I was going to need 1/2 a block  for my booths and was also getting a jumper.  The city will give you a permit and will guide you to applying for insurance which cost about 100.00.  I started planning my games and every other week I went to downtown L.A. to buy the toy prizes.  You can get like 24 medium size balls for $5.00 or cases of bubbles, guns, purses, necklaces and more for the same price. The reason was that this was a carnival party and carnivals have lots of games and prizes to win of course.  So by the time the party arrived I had 2 large 30 gal barrels of small prizes, 2 barrels of medium prizes and 2 of large prizes. 

I made tickets saying small, medium, or large prize winnings.  Mostly all the games had this kind of winning tickets, for example on my basketball game if you made 3 balls in you would get a large prize ticket and if you made one you got a small prize ticket. Which you would take the winning ticket to the prize booth to claim your prize.  I also started buying fish bowls at the 99c store.  I would buy 3-5 when ever I went so to build up for the fishing game.

I had 6 months to plan the games and make them myself, I planned on having games for teens and games for lil ones. And some games both teens and lil ones can play. For the lil ones I made the lolipop game and this is a large box with a lot of holes that you make on all four sides and stick the painted ends of the lolipops with 3 different colors, red for small prize and blue for med and so on. Then the fishing game I painted the ocean on two large plywoods, with seashells glued on and netted material and I painted mermaids and fishes all glittery you could do whatever you want but I tend to over do it at times.  This game is where the kids throw the fishing line over and someone on the other side is clipping prizes and tugging the rope for the child can reel it in. 

No tickets are needed for this one, they get a small prize from playing it. Then I had  painted a large clown on a plywood with a large hole for the mouth and I bought some soft footballs to toss through it. Now both the teens and children can play this one because they would just stand the teens farther and the young ones closer.  And if they made 1,2 or 3 balls in that’s the ticket they would receive. I had the game golf with the same idea make 3 balls in wins large prize and the teen would stand farther and younger ones closer. I also had a basketball court for teens and my sons small basketball court for little ones with the same rules.

I had the game Ping pong bowl where this was a small pool with plastic donut shaped toys that would float in water and bowls on top of them.  I put a fan facing the water so that they would continue to move around and the player had to make a ball in for a prize. Same rule 3 balls is large prize and so on.  Then I had a small pool for the little ones, this one had a bunch of duckies and on the bottom would have a letter S M L to equal prize, we also had the fish bowl game where of course you win real fish, I bought a lot of goldfish and about 30 of the pretty red, blue fish, (sorry I forgot the name of the fish) and on a table and a few blocks I set up the bowls and the player had to toss a ping pong ball in the bowl to win. For larger kids was the balloon with darts pop 3 win large prize and so forth. I order a 5 game jumper which had a water slide, a rock climbing, reg. jumper, reg slide which was huge. I got the jumper for $175.00 and they were so nice the people left it at 7:00 a.m and didn't come to pick it up til 11:00 p.m.

I believe my son hardly played any of the games because he was in the jumper the whole time.  I also scored on a ticket booth and painted it red and white and I had 10 booths which we made with patio chair material and any kind of material with was cheap. We had poured cement in pails and a pole in the middle to make our booths and some were made out of tables also. 

I had a prize booth apart from the games and I had a beer garden with a bartender. I ordered the hot dog machine with the jumper and a cotton candy machine and snow cone machine also.  There was chicken on the menu, sub sandwich (six footer) sliced, potato salads and macaroni salads, chips, nachos, salsa, every kind of drink, I started to buy the party supplies after I was done with the games which I'll say 3 months ahead because I waited til everything was on sale. We just had our den packed out by the time the party arrived. I made my own invites one month ahead and passed them out to everyone including the homes on my block.

The invitation inclued a ticket to be redeemed for 10 playing tickets at the ticket booth when they arrive. Their invites stated that they were invited along with all their families, it was all free, I only ask that they would have to leave their vehicles on the other block if they planned on going somewhere because the block was going to be blocked off. And also I would remind them a few days before the party. I made signs reminding them and posted them on the street lights 3 days before the party also.  I always have a raffle with all my adults so they could win a few of my baskets that I create.  And these baskets are created from clearance items or at the 99c store or Ross. 

You put things that go together in a basket for example, a wash car mitten with car wax and brush and a key chain in a basket for a man prize or a wash mit some pretty soap, and a loopha or hairbrush all in a basket for a woman basket, they love my baskets.  I'll either play a card game or have a raffle, but I always have them at my parties. I want them to go home happy too. Of course you know you need a lot of helpers on the day before and until the day after of the party. So my older kids got their friends and cousins to help and I had 15 helpers, I made them aprons with 3 pockets for the small, medium and large winning tickets and they were bright different colors and designs and I bought them hats that are neon colors so to match their aprons. And I also made them T-shirst with iron transfers saying Raymond's Carnival Birthday Party this was printed on the back of the t-shirt as large as possible and they also had their names on the front of the t-shirt with a clown on top of the name, as like a name tag.  They looked so cool. 

These kids helped set up and they were assigned a booth and they also helped clean up the day after. I rewarded their hard work with a pizza party at our local arcade the following Friday.  They were great with the kids.  When the party started, I came out as a clown which took everyone awhile to figure out it was me, I had orange and lime green stringing hair, a costume my neighbor had lent me and did the  paint facing so good that they didn't know it was me. 

My neighbor was the only one that knew I was going to do that, so my own family was surprised. I stood in the ticket booth and passed out the tickets so they could start playing games and after I walked around with a bag full of prizes and handed them to all the kids that came to me or tugged at me. Then when I ran out of my prizes I went and changed.  The kids could play the games as many times as the prizes lasted and some as long as they wanted there were so many prizes that every kid was given a spiderman backpack with tie string which I bought in pink and blue ( in L.A every dozen in $3.00)for they can put their prizes and candy bags in.

Some of the kids went home crying becuase they didn't want to leave the carnival.  We also had two clown pinatas.   I recieved so many hugs from all the kids as they left and the best reward for me was that they all said that it was the best party they had ever been too then thanked me with a kiss.  My son recieved so many gifts which he gave me a hard time to open because he just wanted to play on that jumper.  This party costed a preety penny but because I started planning it 6 months ahead that my family didn't feel the amount that it was.  Buying a little at a time really helps.  You could also do as we did we put all our quarters in a jar and we had 700.00 in six months saved for the food and drinks. It was alot of work but it was fun.

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