Sports Carnival 5yr - Football, Basketball, Hokey
Jennifer in Houston, TX USA
January 2001 Winner
Sports Carnival (did this for my son's 5th birthday)
Invitations: I created an "official sporting event" ticket on the computer complete with words like "Admit One", "Stadium" (instead of place), "Row" and "Seat", etc. I used some computer graphics of sports balls on the left side of the "ticket". I had them color printed on glossy cardstock at Kinkos, then cut them out. About 4 or 5 fit on a page. After they were cut I "perforated" the edge about 1 inch in (where it said void if detached). I asked one of those ticketmaster places for envelopes they give their tickets out in and they said yes. So I mailed these tickets in official ticket envelopes. Most of the kids brought the ticket with them and we ripped off the side and gave back the stub.
Party favors: As each child arrived we handed them an empty sports party bag and a strip of small tickets. I made these on the computer. There were 8 tickets total in each strip and they had different words on them. One for each game to play (hockey, basketball, football, baseball and soccer), one for popcorn, one for cotton candy and one for the photo booth. The tickets were copied on red cardstock and before I cut them, I perforated them using a sewing machine without thread. So each child had a strip of 8 tickets to use at the party.
Games: We had 5 carnival sports game set up with an adult at each game. When the child played the game, they game the corresponding ticket to the adult. The football game was a hoolahoop hanging from a tree. The child had to throw the football threw the hoop. When they did, they received football stickers. The basketball game was a little tikes basketball goal. When the child made a basket, they received a basketball yo yo. The soccer game was simply kicking a soccer ball into the soccer goal. The prize was an inflatable soccer ball. The hockey game was trying to score a hockey puck into the goal. The prize was a hockey ruler. And the last game was baseball. We made a bean bag baseball game. The kids threw baseball shaped bean bags into the 4 bases. The prize was a baseball keychain. All the prizes came from Oriental Trading. They have a huge selection of sports related party favors. The kids could also play the games more than once, but only received one prize (cause they would be out of tickets to play for a prize - that's how I knew who got a prize yet and who didn't). After they played all the games - their take home party bag was full. Food: I used the Wilton ball pan and made a soccer ball, baseball, and basketball cake. We used a small round pan to make a hockey puck and we used a loaf pan and cut into a football shape. We served ice cream as well.
Snacks: Each child had two additional tickets - cotton candy and popcorn. My husband made for me a PVC pipe stand. It was about 5 feet tall. I glued clothespin all around it. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased many bags of popcorn and cotton candy then divided them into smaller portions in clear bags. I then clipped them all around this PVC stand - so basically one was a tree of cotton candy and one was a tree of popcorn. Each child redeemed a ticket for each one. Drinks: I purchased many dozens of those water bottles with the sports tops. We poured out the water (saved for another use) and poured orange soda into each bottle (supposed to look like a sports drink). I put blank labels on each bottle so the child could put their name on it. So we had sports bottles to drink.
Decorations: A carnival is basically lots of balloons and loud music. So we put hundreds of helium balloons in all sorts of colors all around the backyard - on the tables, the swing set, each one of the games - everywhere. We also had a CD boombox playing loud circus music. The atmosphere was so much fun. Thank you cards: I am a big fan of thank you cards and taking pictures of each child at the party - so I always include a picture inside the thank you card. But for this party I combined the two. There was one ticket left for each child - the photo booth. I had a large laundry basket full of sports equipment - baseball bats, gloves, soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets, etc. You name it. Each child "dressed" up as an athlete and I took their picture. After the party I developed the film (double prints), wrote the thanks on the back of the pic and mailed to the child. The extra set went into the scrapbook.
My son had the time of his life. He dressed in his soccer uniform for the party - cleats, pads, shorts and jersey. We had about 24 kids (both boys and girls) in attendance plus their parents. I think the parents had more fun.
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