Idea No.

22150

Carnival Party 2&3yr - Big Top Carnival

Award

Date

November 2010

From

Allison in Rosemount, MN, USA

Honorable Mention

Carnival Party

I have a son and daughter who were born one year apart and their birthdays are just a month apart so we decided to combine their parties for their second and third birthdays. I came up with the Carnival theme right away and everything else just fell into place!

INVITATION: for the invitation, I found a flier online for an actual carnival.  I printed it and cut out the parts with words so that I could put in OUR information.  I copied a lot of the verbage from the flier.  At the top there was a banner where I put (our last name) BIG TOP".  Underneath I put the date time address.  Then I wrote "ADMISSION: free with RSVP to the Ring Master by (date) (phone number)" I put underneath "(admission includes: 8 game tickets per child and (food items we would have out and available))" Then I listed the games by saying "FEATURING:" and listing them then wrote "Come ONE Come ALL Celebrate (Child's Name) turning 3 and (Child's Name) turning 2!"

DECORATIONS: We got a lot of balloons and brightly colored flag banners (like those used in yard sales) to put around the edge of our back yard.  I used large poster board to make signs for each game and activity and made them very colorful and fun.

ACTIVITIES: We had many stations where different things were happening.  We had a large bounce house that looked like a carousel which was perfect! There was a table where I had two middle school aged girls doing face painting.  We have a chocolate lab dog who is a big lazy sweetheart.  We put him in a large enclosure with a ruffle neck piece (kind of like a clown would wear) and put a sign on the gate entrance to the enclosure that said "Petting Zoo".  People got a big kick out of that and it was a fun way to include him in the party without him walking around eating all the food that was around!

GAMES: When each family arrived we gave out a popcorn bag (I got them from a store that sells concession supplies) with tickets inside for the games.  I got "Admit One" tickets that were blank in the center and wrote out the names of the games on each one.  Each child got one ticket per game but were told that they could play as many times as they wanted.  The tickets were so that they only got ONE prize at each game station.  I borrowed booths from a local school that holds carnivals and had middle school and high school aged girls who babysit for us working each game. 

The games were titled: "Cake Walk"- Kids walked on numbered spaces on the ground and when the music stopped a number was drawn to win a cupcake. "Blast The Beast"- Kids used nerf guns (water guns can be used too) to shoot Action figures on display. "Carnivorous Clown"- This was a bean bag toss that looked like a clown with a big mouth.  We used beanie babies to "feed" the clown. "Throw Like a Pro!"- Kids threw tennis balls at soda bottles. "Ring Of Fire"- Kids threw stuffed animals through a hoola hoop that I hung under the deck and decorated to look like it was on fire using tissue paper. "Go Fish"- The kids used sticks with string and a clip on it to throw behind the booth and catch a "fish".  "Hoopla"- kids threw small hoops (I used lids from canning) to try to win a prize by landing the hoop on the object they wanted.

PARTY SNACKS: One of the signs I made said "Concessions".  I had two large banquet tables with all the food out so people could eat play and visit as they wanted.  We had hot dogs that I precooked put in buns and wrapped in foil.  We had bags of cotton candy caramel apples and peanuts in their shell.  I got a popcorn stand nacho cheese machine and sno-cone machine from a party supply store and had those items available too.

CAKE: We had tons of cupcakes with circus animal faces on them and some with fun colorful designs.  Anyone could have a cupcake even if they didn't want to play the Cake Walk game.

FAVORS: The favors were the prizes they were winning at each game.  I bought bubbles for the "Hoopla" game but for the others I ordered stuff from a party supply company. The best part about this party was that it was great for the whole family.  The kids were so busy with all the fun stuff to do that the adults were able to visit and enjoy themselves. 

We had people leave gifts they brought for our children in the house which saved everyone from having to sit and watch a gift opening. We had a cutout of a strong man holding a showgirl up in the air for people to put their faces through a get their picture taken which we then printed and wrote thank-you notes on the back and sent them! We have been told repeatedly that this party was the best one our friends and their children have attended and I couldn't agree more it was a blast!"

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