Carnival Party

Country Fair 7yr - What's Your Guess




Mariann in Marikina City, Philippines


Jan. 2004


Honorable Mention

Here in the Philippines when you talk of 1st or 7th birthday party expect at least 70-100 grown ups (parents and nannies)and 50-70 children (friends and siblings of the celebrant plus friend of the sibling of the celebrant).  So thinking up of a party for my 1 year old for such a big crowd was quite a task.  Wanting to veer away from hiring a clown to take care of entertaining the children I took the challenge of taking care of the meat of the affair.  I first chose the theme - Country Fair. 

That meant outdoor so I rented park in a nearby subdivision that was ideal as it had a Little Tikes playground where the children can go to every now and then.  As country fair to me meant booths I then decided to set up 5 booths (set up low and near enough to be reach by the 2-7 yr old kids I was expecting. 

I had familiar games such as the soda cans knockdown, toss coin (in used bottles), basketball hoop (low enough to reach), waterball throw (I had a dartlike board with nails sticking out), fishing (an aluminum wide mouth basin and 2 small directors seats for the kids). 

Aside from the booth I had WHAT'S YOUR GUESS? Game - I place a jar with M&Ms for all to see and for them to find out how many where inside.  And finally I had the I Spy game - the children where to pick from a basket 1 question (out of 3 questions) (eg.  I Spy the Silvana's (bday girl) Grandpa.  And just for some clue, I'm the handsome man wearing blue.)  They had to go to that person and ask "Are you Silvana's grandpa?" if the answer was yes, they win a prize. 

By the way, I also had a face painter that the kids loved.  The thinking of the games was one thing but the actual implementation was another.  I first did all the props before the day itself.  For the booths I color coded them using neon pink, purple, green, orange and yellow flags, felt paper, japanese paper, little flags of the same color. 

Then I set up a redemption booth.  To make it attractive I hang a net on 2 trees and tied all the prizes there.  2 Things that made it turn out to be a success. Firstly, upon arrival of the children usually accompanied by an adult, they were given an envelope.  In it were the instructions: 1) color coded stubs to be given tohandler of each booth for the kids to play in each game.  2) 4:00pm I Spy game will begin so kids have to be back in the play area with their red stub by then 3) check out the jar with an M&M and fill up the coupon provided in the envelope with your gues and name. Deadline of submission is at 5:30pm.  Knowing what was to happen made it easier for the children to move aroundat their own time and speed.  No need to keep up with anyone. Secondly, competent people to man the booth.  I pulled sisters, in laws, househld to help out.  The object of the game as long as the child played he/she wins a prize. 

As for the prize, kids where given by the booth hanlder a prize stub after completing each game.  For the I Spy the Grandpa or whoever they should have gone to give them the prize stub.  When they get to the redemption booth their prize stub (color coded according to the color of the booththe came from) was taken by the prize handler and they were made to pick from the box of the same color (eg. Neon pink)to get their prize.  This means the color of the game stub, prize stub, and the box where they would choose from should be identical.  It sound complicated to do but very efficient on the day itself.  The reason I did this was to make sure identical prizes where avoided. 

I had all sorts of outdoor and indoor toys, hampers, fishes, candies ...  As for the food it was spaghetti, tacos, burger, drinks, on the side cotton candy, ice cream, native drink called taho and vary famous in the Phillipines a best seller in all parties) fishballs...for final touches I places mums  on used food bootles on the table and some popcorn and finaly all throughout carnival music playing as the night drew near...it took me 1 week of very intense preparation, late nights in fact sleep was at 4am or so but after seeing it all happen it was worth it...in fact I'm already looking forward to my eldest daughter's 7th birthday...this time though have to prapare earlier -- maybe fear factor... hope my ideas help some parents out there as the ideas I read in this site sure helped me a lot too!!! Congrats on a very good site!

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