Carnival Party

Carnival Party 1yr - Booth Game Banners




Dhanashree in Howell, NJ USA


April 2009


Special Mention

I luv helping my friends organize parties for their kids. So when it was time for my son's first birthday party, I wanted to do something different. I luved the idea of having a Carnival where all guests - big and small would enjoy.  I prepared a guest list for approximately 85 adults and 40 children.

I then started with the Invite.  From the dollar store I got '1st Birthday Party' cards pack. I then created a personal invite with the event schedule in the shape of a ticket which I made from cardstock paper. I also created a directions sheet to the venue of the event. I then inserted the Personal Invite, Direction sheet and actual Carnival entry tickets for each invitee. (I purchased a roll of tickets online from www.smalltoys.com along with a lot of party favors.) 

For the entrance to the banquet hall, I got a 5 feet cutout of a clown which I found at our local dollar store. As I wanted to make the paper cutout stand, I pasted it to a 5 ft 2 inch width wooden stick (local Home Depot). I then put the stick in an empty Enfamil tin and poured concrete in it to set. To cover the Enfamil tin, I took brown lunch bag and covered it. I then crunched it and sprayed it with a golden brown paint I had. This way it looked like the clown was standing on a rock. In his hands I gave a small poster board that read Ahren's First Birthday Party". We then tied colorful balloons to one of the clowns hands. 

Above the doorway entrance we had a banner that read "Welcome to Ahren's Carnival". I got a black cloth for $1 per meter at Walmart. I also got foam animal figures at Walmart. I then bought glittered foam paper with one side stick on and cut out Welcome to Ahren's Carnival and stuck the animal figures to make it colorful.  For the stage I created a backdrop. I bought shiny bluish black color cloth from Walmart for a 8 by 10 feet backdrop. I got cartoon characters, a 3 ft cutout of a boy (from dollar store) and glittered foam paper for decorating the backdrop. The backdrop read "Ahren's 1st Birthday" This was in a wave form with boy cutout & cartoon characters to decorate and spruce the backdrop. We bought two 8 foot wooden poles from Home depot and stuck the back drop sides with the help of glue gun to each pole. We then tied the foot of the poles to two chairs.

This was enough to keep the backdrop standing.  Now I had to create the whole feel for the Carnival. We decorated the place with a lot of red blue and white balloons. Alternate table was covered with red and blue table cloth. For table centerpieces I put pebbles inside Ahren's gerber glass bottles and covered it with golden glitter paper. We then used the centerpieces to tie a cartoon character inflate and red blue and white balloons to it. We also ordered the cake with a Carnival theme. 

To get the acutal Carnival feel I bought red and white & blue and white color stripe cloth from walmart. The idea was to create booth banners for games. I wanted to keep 5 games so I needed 5 tables and 2 poles for each table. Each table was 5 feet long so I had to have a 6 ft long & 3 fit wide banner with the ends of the banner being pasted to the poles with glue gun. We then tied the poles to the table legs thus erecting the banner for each stall. On each stall we wrote the name of the game.  Each game had to have the Carnival feel to it. 

First game: Clown bean bag throw. Got the bean bag from the internet. We took an old mower cardboard box and cut out one side of it. My sister in law who is the artist in the family drew the outline of a clowns face. We then cut out the eyes and nose of the clown. She then painted the whole face and background.   

Second Game: Knock the Cans - We put shredded paper in empty boxes of all shapes and gift wrapped it and kept it as pedestals for 5 empty coke cans. From Walmart we bought a $8 gun with 6 balls and an extra pack of balls to be on the safe side. The game was to knock the cans off the pedestal with the help of the gun.  

Third Game: Target Shooting - We got a plexiboard from home depot and a round stickers book from dollar store. We then created a letter A(which is my sons initial) and made two circles around it with the help of stickers. We then got a gun with suction darts. The game was to shoot the suction darts at the board. If the dart lands on the circle sticker or inside the letter A the child won. For adults it had to be on the circle sticker.  

Game Four: Octopus Ring Toss - We ordered this from the internet. It came with an inflatable octopus and 4 rings. So each person had 4 chances to get their rings around the tentacles of the octopus.  

Game Five: Sporty Coin Toss: I covered a 4 feet by 2 feet cardboard box with flourescent color wrapping paper. I then stuck foam balls from all games (baseball soccer ball rugby baseketball etc.) I got light colorful coins from dollar store. Each person was given 6 chances to toss the coin on the green playground. If the coin landed on the foam ball they won.   We had tested all the games at home. We measured the distance from the table an adult player and/or a child player would play at. That distance was marked with a blue strip at the party and instructions were given by the game operator at each stall. That way a small child would be 2 or 3 foot away from the table and an adult would be 5 or 6 feet away.

All winners got party favors that was put in individual plastic bag which read "Ahren's first Birthday". The games were operated by our family members.  Besides that when one entered the hall we had created a ticket booth out of a refrigerator box. My friend was manning that booth to give tickets to the guest for the games. When one went to play at any booth they had to give the game operator a ticket for each game they played. 

Keeping in line with the theme we also had a Clown show up. He did a few magician tricks and made the entire crowd laugh. He then ended the show by doing face painting and creating balloon animals. The kids luved the live rabbit he had brought along.   In one corner of the banquet hall I had put up a western salon backdrop. We had kept a gun (flag said bang) a cowboy hat and jacket there. One could wear that and hold the gun and get their pictures taken.

This was a big hit. Everyone luved this idea.  Instead of a Pinata I got a styrofoam cooler from dollar store. Painted it with styrofoam glitter paint. Then turned it upside down and stuck lollipops in a pattern. We had kept that in the center of the banquet hall and all guest were welcome to have as many lollipops as they wanted.  We then ended the party with all kids dancing on flighty dance numbers I had handpicked with the help of my husbands DJ friend. During the whole party we had carnival numbers playing.

I got a lot of calls after the party telling me how much they all enjoyed it and how unique it was. Now everyone is eagerly waiting for Ahren's second birthday party..."

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