Space Carnival Party 4yr - Space Stations
KIRSTEN in RAMSEY, NJ, USA
For most of the past year, my son's #1 interest has been outer space. Another thing he loves to do is set up pretend carnivals in our living room. Therefore, the SPACE CARNIVAL party was a no-brainer for celebrating his fourth birthday! I planned it in my head for about six months, and worked for about six weeks to actually execute the event. I knew that if it was well enough planned, the party would run itself. And it totally did!
INVITATION: I used lots of colorful clip-art and printed the invitations myself on white 8.5 x 11 paper. It read: You are invited to join the fun! PJ's 4th Birthday Space Carnival Place - PJ's Backyard ~ [our address] Date - Sunday, June 14, 2009 Time - 2:00 3:30 pm RSVP - by June 5th to Kirsten [phone #] or [e-mail] (rain date Saturday 6/20, same time) DECORATIONS: Decorations were minimal. At each station, there was a colorful sign with the name of the planet and the name of the activity, plus two balloons. There was so much going on, resulting in a very festive atmosphere without me having to spend a lot of time or money on decorations.
ACTIVITIES & GAMES: The activities and games really were the meat of this party. I must say, I was really pleased that we were able to keep twenty-three 2-7 year olds completely engaged for 90+ minutes. When each child arrived, they were directed to the ticket booth. Here they were given a white paper bag (with handles), labeled with their name of course, and a strip of nine tickets (actual carnival tickets). Tickets were unlimited, but we gave them out in nines in keeping with the planet theme. Each station was run by a high school kid. I hired ten students from my mom's classes. This cost me $200. Another way to do it would be to ask the attendees parents to help out, but I did not want to do that.
Anyway, we had one ticket booth and nine carnival stations, as follows:
Mercury - Comet Throw: I made this game myself. We hung a hoola-hoop from our swingset, and the object was to throw the comets through the hoop. The comets were wiffle balls, covered with tin foil, with ribbon tails attached.
Venus Black Hole Bean Bag Toss: Another homemade game. I cut a hole in a cardboard box and spray painted the whole thing black. We used four beanbags that we had from something else.
Earth Refreshments: At this station the kids could buy pretzels, Goldfish crackers, apple juice, and water.
Mars Alien Knock-Down: This game was our own twist on a carnival classic. The kids used a red rubber ball to knock down aliens which were attached to three coffee cans.
Jupiter Giant Bowling: (I think this was the most popular game.) This game was a typical bowling game, except our pins were empty juice bottles, and the ball was huge (like Jupiter!)
Saturn Ring Toss (of course!): This was a boxed game that I bought at Target for $10.
Uranus Space Crafts: There were three activities for the kids to make. (1) space magnets a coloring craft from the Oriental Trading Company; (2) space sticker scenes also from the OTC; (3) good ol coloring pages which were surprisingly very popular! I put out two pie pans full of crayons, and the kids really enjoyed taking the time to sit and color.
Neptune Fishing Fun: This was a magnetic fishing game that we already had. The prize depended on which fish was caught (blue fish = sticker, yellow fish = fruit snacks, etc).
Pluto Space Tattoos: Also from the OTC and a real kid-pleaser!! Of course, every kid was a winner every time they played a game. We gave out prizes at all of the stations except the craft table, the tattoo booth, and the refreshment stand. The prizes were all from OTC I ordered an assortment of 250 pieces for about $35.
PARTY SNACKS: Served at the Earth station (see above). CAKE: Cupcakes and watermelon, served picnic-style (we spread out a bunch of beach towels for the kids to sit on). After everyone stopped playing to sing Happy Birthday to PJ, the games went on.
FAVORS: The kids bags were already stuffed with lots of prizes from the carnival games, but as they were leaving we gave each attendee a book with a note attached thanking them for coming to the party. We gave out about 5 or 6 different age-appropriate titles, all with space themes.
I was thrilled with how well this party went. I got to relax" (haha) take a lot of pictures and talk to the other parents. I loved having the high school kids running the games and they did a fantastic job. The little kids all had a blast there was never any awkward "down time" and the other parents had a ton of very nice compliments about the event. And most importantly my son loved it and says he wants to do it again when he turns five!! "
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