Aladdin Carnival 5yr - Jasmine Games
Mina in Hillsborough, CA, U.S.A
Carnival party with a Jasmine and Aladdin theme for 5-yr old daughter
For the invitation, I xeroxed a coloring page of Jasmine and Aladdin strolling through a county fair (with Genie as the carnie). The caption read: "The carnival is coming to town! Help us celebrate Kay's 5th birthday! Face Painting, games, prizes, carnival treats, and more!" (The invitations doubled as a coloring activity). As the kids arrived, each child was handed a grocery shopping bag with his/her name on it (for the prizes), and a bunch of tickets with illustrations to go with each one (because some couldn't read yet). The tickets were for "photo booth," "ice cream clown," "fishing game," "magic lantern," "lollipop game," and "cotton candy," and "treasure hunt." The tickets were strung together with a piece of yarn so they could be worn around the neck.
The photo booth was manned by a friend of mine, who took polaroids of children who posed in front on our original "studio." I hung my daughter's sky-blue, cloud-patterned bedsheet in the background to simulate the sky. Underneath the sheet, I hid a a ledge for the children to sit on. I draped a small carpet (at an angle) over the ledge to make it look as if the carpet were suspended in mid-air. When the children sat on the carpet and were photographed, it looked as though they were really flying! I drew and painted a picture of the Genie on a huge piece of cardboard (this is where my art degree came in handy) and stuck the Genie on the background, so the kids didn't only look as if they were flying alone, but they also were being photographed with the Genie.
The children couldn't believe how cool their picture looked. (Many moms told me they've had that picture on their fridge ever since). Meanwhile, at the kitchen counter, the children could decorate their own ice cream clowns. (I enlarged a coloring page of Jasmine sharing an ice cream parfait with Aladdin and hung it in the kitchen). A friend of mine dispensed scoops of ice cream, and the children used sugar cones for hats, M&M's for eyes, etc. Overhead, I hung bags of colorful cotton candy (I ordered them on-line) on a string with clothes pins. The children got a bag of cotton candy each in exchange for their ticket (this part was also manned by the ice cream person).
For the fishing game, I made makeshift fishing poles out of branches gathered fromt the yard. The branches had strings on them and hooks made of paper clips. The children fished brown lunch bags closed over at the top, with rubber bands taped to it (the kids hooked the rubber band part). The brown lunch bags were scattered all over an inflatable pool (of course, no water). The person manning the fishing booth kept replenishing the supply of bags as more kids fished prizes.
For the lollipop game, I drilled holes into one side of a huge cardboard box (decorated at the top with the big, smiling face of Jasmine)and stuck lollipops into the holes. The stems of each lollipop were color coded, so the children received prizes that corresponded with the color of the stem.
For the "magic lantern game," I floated five flat styrofoam pieces decorated with Aladdin's magic lamp (I used waterproof black pen and a metallic gold pen) in a baby tub. Each "lamp" had a number written underneath, and again, the children collected their gifts according to their number.
For the treasure hunt, I filled our toy sandbox (not too large) with small trinkets for them to dig up (rings, play money, etc.) I had a sign up that said "Cave of Wonders." All of these games required little skill, and everyone was a winner. After everyone used up their tickets, I passed out a "magic carpet" for each child to sit on--that is, a thick, colorful cotton place mat which I found for a dollar each at Ross. The children sat on their carpets in a circle on the floor as they were handed their cupcakes (decorated with a little paper parasol).
The magic carpets were theirs to keep, and it eliminated the hassle of renting chairs for everyone. The children skidded around on their carpets all over our hardwood floors (on their knees) after they finished eating. At the end, each child took home a shopping bag full of things they'd won, a ballon, plus a candied apple.
The background music we played during the party were a mix of calliope music as well as upbeat Disney tunes--of course, the most important one: "There's a party here in Agrabah…" (all you Jasmine fans would know this!). The gifts were mostly from Oriental Trading: paper fans, seashells, chalk, Chinese yo-yo's, paper birds, etc.
For the thank you notes, I xeroxed a smiling face of Jasmine with my daughter's name as the header; she personally wrote something nice about each gift (again, like the invitation, this note doubled as a coloring activity also). This was certainly a work of love from all the friends who helped as carnies, but definitely worth it for the fun and memories!
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