Idea No.

9078

JoJo's Circus -3yr- Circus Food & Games

Award

Date

March 2004

From

Melanie in Peoria, AZ   USA

Runner-Up

Jojos Circus Party

For my daughter's third birthday, she wanted a JoJo's Circus birthday party.  Since the show is relatively new, there was no "JoJo" party stuff on the market yet, so, we had to be creative!  

INVITATIONS: I made her invitations instead of buying them.  I went to my scrapbook store and found some primary colored striped paper and cut it into a Big Top tent.  Then, I cut a slit up the center for the doors.  I then took the "tent" and glued it on top of the actual invitation with the party information.  Then, I cut around it to be the shape of the big top tent.  When you opened the doors to the tent, the invitation read:  "JoJo's Circus is in town, so we hope you'll come see-  the AMAZING ACROBAT ASHLYN is turning a Big Top 3!  Appearing One Day Only:(date)  at the (family name)Family Circus (address)  Show Times: (time)  Don't Clown Around!  RSVP to the Ringmaster! (phone number).  I topped off the tent with a diecut of a pennant flag.  Since the invitations were an odd shape, they couldn't be mailed in a regular envelope.  Instead, I mailed them out in popcorn boxes and stuffed them with mailing popcorn. 

Also, my daughter loves clowns, but I know some kids do not.  We had a clown coming to her party and I wanted to "warn" kids who might be hesitant.  I couldn't fit that onto the tent invitation, so I made a separate insert to be included in the popcorn box which read:  "There's one more thing, you need to know-  Giggles the Clown is coming to my party, she's friends with JoJo!  If you don't like clowns, or if they frighten you-  Just let my mommy know and she'll have something fun for you to do!"  I made up circus address labels on my computer, stuck them to the popcorn box, and mailed them off.  I let my daughter hand deliver the ones we could to save on shipping cost.  The invites were a huge hit!  Kids loved to get a box of popcorn in the mail addressed to them! 

DECORATIONS:  From the minute the guests arrived, I wanted them to feel like they were at the circus.  On the front door, I made a circus poster with a cute picture of my daughter in her leotard that read:  Step right in and join the fun!  Ashlyn's 3rd Birthday is going to be a great one!  Come and see her do amazing feats such as:  Turning another year older!  Consuming heaping amounts of junk food!  And the death defying birthday candle blowout!  This party has been brought to you by the Barnum and "Sister" Bailee (that's her sister's name) Circus!

When they came in the door, I had a ticket booth set up.  I took an old refrigerator box and let my older daughter paint stripes all over it.  Then we cut out a window and a door for her to get into the box.  She was in the ticket booth handing out "tickets" for the circus.   Since JoJo themed party supplies was impossible to come by, we compromised by using generic clown partyware that I found on clearance at Party City. I bought a helium tank at Sam's Club that would blow up 48 balloons and we had balloons everywhere, just like the circus!   Set up in the backyard was an Eazy-Up Tent.  I put primary colored pennant flags around it and hung streamers on the inside to look like a big top.  Under the tent, I set up little tables and chairs for the kids to eat at.  The tent was the "center ring."  

GAMES:  Then on one side of the tent, I took a rope and made a huge circle in the grass to resemble another "ring."  Inside the ring, was a game we played called "Walk the Tightrope With Trina."  (she's a character on JoJo's Circus who does the tightrope)  I painted a 2x4 bright red and played musical tightrope to the tune of "Balance Balance!" on the JoJo CD.  The game was played like musical chairs, each kid took a turn walking across the "tightrope" and when the music stopped, whoever was on the tightrope was out.  The kids loved it! On the other side of the tent, was another ring made out of rope.  Inside it was the game "Hot Po-Tater!" (Tater is a character on JoJo, too!)  We played hot potato to the tune of "JoJo's Circus theme song." When we weren't playing games, there was circus calliope music playing constantly in the background.  We also had a big #3 Pinata for fun, too!

FOOD:  What would a circus party be without a ton of junk food, right?   Being a parent, I know how hectic a birthday party can be when you're trying to gather food up for more than one child.  So, I came up with a solution that worked great!  I got some "popcorn" bags from Oriental Trading Company that were the same size as lunch bags.  I put a corndog wrapped in foil, a ketchup and mustard packet, animal cookies, and a juice box in each bag and handed lunches out to the kids that way! 

So much less hectic!  And while the kids were busy with their lunches, the parents could enjoy theirs!   We grilled hot dogs for the adults and also provided homemade chili for chili dogs.  We had nachos, too!  Setting out on the food table was popcorn in cute little popcorn boxes I found at Target, churros, chips, a veggie tray and a fruit tray. The fruit tray was displayed in the shape of JoJo's face!  We had apples cut up for the face, strawberries for the red hair and nose, grapes for the eyes and smile and blueberries for her hat.  Kids and parents loved it! I had a clown table cloth on the serving table and spread peanuts around for the confetti!  For a centerpiece, I made a cute sign that read:  Please, Don't Feed the Animals!  And had a couple of inflatable animals around I bought from Oriental Trading Co.  

CAKE:  I made cupcakes for the children.  I frosted them white, then put a sugar cone on top for the clown hat.  I coated the sugar cone in chocolate and then coated it in candy sprinkles.  I topped the hat off with a red candy DOTS.  I used star shaped candy for the eyes, another red DOT for the nose and a banana shaped RUNT for the mouth.  For the clowns hair, I put cotton candy on each side of the cone.   I also provided a cake for the adults.  It was a big round cake made to look like, who else? 

JOJO!   ENTERTAINMENT:  I mentioned before we had a clown come to her party.  It was great!  She provided the bulk of the entertainment and we could sit back and enjoy the party, too!  There were a couple of kids who were frightened, so for them, I had a cute circus train craft set up inside they could do.  I also had the game, "Pin the Nose on the Clown" for them to play.  

PARTY FAVORS AND TREAT BAGS:  I bought plain yellow gift bags at Wal-Mart and cut out felt to make JoJo's face, hair and hat and glued it to the front of the bag.  (Very easy, JoJo is a very simple character to create!)  I put a red pom-pom on top of her hat, and used puffy paint to make her eyes, nose and smile.  On the backs of the bags I printed out on my computer the following saying with each child's name:  "Hey, (name)!  What do you say!  We all want to know Did you have fun today?"  (On the JoJo Circus show, at the end of each episode, they sing a song to JoJo with the same wording)   Inside the bags, I put circus coloring books I made myself.  I went online and found coloring pages I could print out and made copies. 

The cover was a JoJo coloring page (of course!) that I found on the Playhouse Disney website.   I also put in the bags foam clown noses (OTC), cotton candy Bubble Yum bubble gum, lip whistles, bouncy balls and.. Bags of popcorn and peanuts (orange candy circus peanuts, that is!)-  I found a great website-  www.dltk-kids.com  I went to their circus section and found a link for popcorn bag toppers and peanut toppers.  You print it out, cut on the lines, fold it over the top of a ziploc baggy, and you have a customized peanut and popcorn bag! I had a lot of siblings at the party, so I found a cute Circus book at the 99 cent store.  I bought one for each family and also had a bag of cotton candy for each family to share.  

GIFTS:  Just one more thing I wanted to mention because it worked out so great!  At every party, kids swarm the birthday child with their gift wanting them to open it first.  We played the birthday game instead.  If your birthday was in April like the birthday girl, you got to go first.  If there was more than one child with their birthday in the month, whoever's birthday came first, went first.  It was a great solution to the GIFT SWARM and kids loved to wait for their birthday to be called!

This party was lots of work but so much fun!  We can't wait to see what theme she chooses next year!

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