Idea No.

8162

Carnival Party 6yr - Lion Photo Booth

Award

Date

Feb. 2004

From

Lori in Riverside, CA USA

Special Mention

Carnival Party

I decided to have a Carnival Party for my son's 6th birthday because I wanted something fun  that would include boys and girls of all ages.  It took lots of planning but I honestly spent  about $150 on everything! 

For the invitations I just made my own Admission Ticket to The "Our Last Name's Fairgrounds."   But I put at the bottom of the invitation if they brought it back to the party they would get extra tickets.

I started by getting a stove box from an appliance store.  My husband cut a window and a back  door in it.  My son and I painted stripes and big dots on it and made our Ticket Booth.  It was  very obvious a kid painted it, but I thought it looked great!  We put it out at the middle of the  driveway and my son greeted his guests and took their gifts and kept them in the box.  I  bought a roll of tickets from Wal Mart for about $3. And my son gave the kids tickets when  they came.  He then directed them to a table behind him with colored bags, markers, crayons,  glitter glue, etc to decorate a goodie bag to hold their prizes. 

Everything "cost" something.  I made signs for every game and each food item so the kids  would know how many tickets it cost.  Ahead of time we ate lots of Pringles and I saved the  cans and painted them to collect the tickets.  I cut holes in the tops and wrote "Tickets" on the  cans.  I also used a couple of coffee cans.  It is funny how 5 and 6 year olds understand the  value of money and were really thrifty with their spending.  One of them refused to buy his  mom a drink for 1 ticket!  Since my son's birthday is in February, I had to pick games that would be ok if we had to move  the party indoors in case of rain. 

For games we did:  a penny pitch table, (I covered a 6' table  with yellow wrapping paper, drew dots all over it)  I had a line on the ground the kids stood  behind.  If they hit a dot they won a prize.  If they hit a red dot they won 2 prizes. 

I borrowed  a basketball hoop and balls from a friend and had 3 throws for 3 tickets. 

We had a mystery  box where one of my friends sat behind a decorated box while a child stood at the other side  where  there were holes cut and sweatshirt sleeves (no peeking) inside where they stuck their  hands through.  I had a variety of items they had to feel and guess what it was.  I had  everything from a toy horse to a piece of chalk to a marble. 

I had a jar of Skittles and they  wrote their name on a list with their guess of how many candies were in the jar.  Whoever got  closest won the jar.  I had a friend do face painting for me.  I made a little sunglass stand  where they could buy sunglasses with their tickets. 

Lastly, I bought a balloon animal kit and  tried with all my might to get someone to do it for me.  No one would do it so it was up to me.   I mastered swords and dogs by the end of the party, but it was funny seeing some of the dads  get the little book and try to make critters themselves.   

The best part of the party was our Photo Booth.  I got the idea from Family Fun Magazine.   They had a lion with a circle cut for the mouth where the child's face goes.  It also had a little lion tamer's body on it.  The Family Fun one had a cartoon lion with pipe cleaner whiskers.  I  asked my dad if he could make it because my dad is a pretty good artist so I gave him the  magazine but he wanted a "real" lion.  All I could say was "WOW!"  It looked so good and the  kids loved it!  We used a tripod and our digital camera and used the photos as thank you cards  later.  

For food I originally bought a cotton candy maker from Target.  If you have a Smart and Final,  they sell fresh blue and pink cotton candy for $4.99 for 12!!!!  Such a great deal and without  the hassle of making it.  I also popped tons of popcorn mostly for the smell. 

But they were in  popcorn containers for the kids to "buy."  I also used a huge crockpot of cheese sauce with  chips and jalapenos for nachos.  (which the adults loved)    My husband downloaded lots of circus/carnival/calliope music which we played outside. 

The  cake had a clown on it.  The plates, forks, etc were just plain, solid primary colors.  They  looked great and are way less expensive than the decorative ones.  I also bought a big bag of  balloons and took them to our party store so we had colorful balloons everywhere.  

The prizes  were candies, bubbles, gum, army men, costume jewelry, etc.  All of my parent helpers wore  red aprons so the kids would know who to ask if they needed something. 

One funny touch my husbad did was to close our big Newfoundland pup in the dog run. He  covered the fence with a sheet and made a sign that said, "Beware, wild circus animal!"  I had toyed with the idea of renting a bounce house or a clown, but it wasn't needed.  The kids  had so much that kept them busy for the whole party. 

With lots of preparation and friends who know I am a lunatic and offered to help, the party was  a success.  All the parents said it was such a great party, but the biggest compliment was a  friend took all my stuff and is going to throw a carnival for her daughter's party in April!

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