Carnival 4yr - Root Beer & Hot Dogs
Toni in Pleasant Hill, MO, USA
INVITATIONS: I used several different venues for this. Email we used OTC's new Party Planner to send out email invites that I created in a Photo Editing Program with Digital Scrapbooking kits themed in Carnival/Circus pictures. We also used OTC's invitations that were microwave popcorn bags with the party details written on them. We also used handwritten hand crafted Circus themed invites to mail to far away friends and family. We sent reminders and save the dates as well about a month, and again a week in advance, for RSVP purposes.
Decorations: I scoured EBAY and ETSY for vintage accessories to add to the party. I came across an old set of battery powered Fisher Price Little People toys: an Octopus Ride, a Ferris Wheel, and Swing Carousel, that also came with 50 carnival little people, three ticket booths, welcome signs, trees and park benches. This set the theme for our party, and Food/Treat Table. I searched for discounts for the table theme, and scoured the net in search of pictures of tables for inspiration. We in the end set up six tables at the park, each with two games, and preteen attending volunteers, and tons of prizes, one table was the party table. All were under a canopy in the shape of a U" for easy access.
We kept the colors simple Blue Yellow and Red with Red and white banners and pleated skirting for the tables. Balloons were everywhere I could tie or string them up and even made an entryway arch. At the entryway I placed a big handmade banner that said "Welcome" and used an old diswhasher box dowel rods paint and construction paper for a Ticket booth. I bought plain white table cloths and decorated them with self adhesive stickers Carnival Themed from OTC. Centerpieces on each table of two games were wicker baskets with prizes and one to put your tickets in. At the Ticket booth we put your name on your goodie bag that held your tickets for the playground swings treat table raffle and refreshments AND an armband that said "LAST NAME CARNIVAL SERVICES INC" for unlimited games.
ACTIVITIES/GAMES: Since we were celebrating a collaboration of 4 birthdays ranging from 1year to 6yrs we had various places to play set up at the park for various age groups. The older kids had games the babies and moms had piknic blankets near the entrance under shade trees next to the refreshment drink pool with Carnival themed baby friendly toys to play with an inprompt to changing/nursing station set up as well.
GAMES for the older kids included: SKI BALL RING TOSS BOZO'S GRAND PRIZE GAME (TARGET.COM) A DUCK POND DUCKY MATCHING GAME WHEEL OF PRIZES(SPIN THE WHEEL WIN A PRIZE) FACE PAINTING BALLOON ANIMALS DECORATE YOUR GOODY BAG STATION TIGER DARTS and a RAFFLE. We hung the stuffed animals and light weight inflatables with clothes pins and fishing line at various game tables. FAVORS: We let the kids fill up their bags with treats and game prizes.
Prizes consisted of bubbles suckers puzzle balls inflatable animals and smiley faces(the kind you get at a midway) small med and large stuffed animals rubber duckies all dressed in carnival garb sidewalk chalk flashlights kids plastic jewelry plastic musical instruments(which made a pretty awesome band marching) prizes depended on how well you played the games. IF you did really well and got top marks on a game which were unlimited kids received a ticket with a star to be used in the raffle for BIGGER PRIZES. We also asked children to bring non gendered unwrapped inexpensive toys instead of Presents to use for prizes in the raffle. This way every child that brought a gift left with a new toy. Raffle prizes consisted of board games school supplies Crayola 3D sidewalk chalk outside games and toys (baseball bat and ball) toy makeup matchbox car sets leap frog handheld games ribbon dancers toy fishing poles silly string Silly Bandz Ice Cream Shooters ect. We also gave away the balloons to children as they left.
PARTY SNACKS/FOOD/CAKE: We had everyone RSVP for the occasion so we knew how much of everything to buy. We had for lunch Hamburgers and Hotdogs on the grill in take out carnival style trays and hotdog papers Dad grilled. We rented a popcorn machine and had another adult volunteer make popcorn. I searched online again and found a place who made personalized individual bags of roasted peanuts cotton candy and caramel apples. We gave them the date and they delivered via UPS the day before the party freshly made treats. The treat table held traditional County Fair Carnival treats as well such as: jumbo Pixi StiX Candy Necklaces Large Rope licorice jumbo carnival swirl suckers and dum dum pops in a sucker pyramid rock candy suckers lik-a-made candy pop rocks root beer barrels Bazooka bubble gum and various other traditional candies.
For the Cake I went with cupcakes as a cake designer cupcakes are easier for kids. I took a leaf out of Bakerella's blog(www.bakerella.com) and used her Father's Day Cupcakes. These were tiny cheeseburgers and fries made using yellow cupcakes cut in half with sprinkled sesame seeds for buns brownie rounds for hamburgers and frosting for cheese lettuce and mustard. The french fries were rolled sugar cookies cut and assembled sugar coated to look like french fries in french fry bags. All were displayed on a segregated tiered cake stand in small red and white checked takeout trays lined with tissue paper printed with "Last Name CARNIVAL Services INC".
I also made cupcakes with mini marshmellows on top and cupcake liners that were striped red and white and I tinted the marshmellows yellow to look like a bag of popcorn. We also littered the Snack Table with these mini popcorn bags and stacks of carnival themed cups for scooping out the real popcorn fromt the machine.
I also downloaded music to my phone online of all the Greatest Carnival Themed music rented IPOD speakers and added a bit of suround sound. For 80 people adults and children the entire party took about six months to pull together for 4 special birthday children. I think they loved it and will have digital pictures and memories to last a lifetime. "
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