Carnival Party 6yr - Lion Photo Booth
Lori in Riverside, CA USA
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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