Circus Party -4yr- Clown Supply Favor Bag
Lisa in Dallas, Texas USA
Circus Party - 4 year old
Invitations and Thank you Notes: Clowns and balloons fill in the blank kind found at the party store.
Decorations: We had planned to do the party outside, but because of rain it was moved into the house. We had red, blue and yellow balloons. Also red, blue and yellow streamers going from the corners of our family room to the center to create a "big top" effect. Also streamers hanging down from the tops of the doorways (like 60's beads). I purchased a clown poster from the party store and saved a couple of copies of Ringling Bros. posters that came in the newspaper advertising the circus when it came to town. Napkins and plates were a mixture of blue, yellow and red.
Food: I filled a cooler with water bottles and soft drinks for the parents to help themselves, and set out a plate of "elephant" sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which are made into an elephant shape with a cookie cutter) for the parents. Before we served the kids cake and ice-cream I had their places set with a plate of an "elephant" sandwich and a few cheetos and a juice pouch. We did this because our party was from 10:30 to noon and I wanted them to have a little something in their tummies for lunch other than cake!
Cake was a rectangular cake in white with red, blue and yellow piping, also plastic clowns, circus animals on drums, etc. purchased at the cake supply store. We had 11 guests plus the birthday girl, and since I didn't have a place to accommodate them all in one spot I put down a long plastic tablecloth that extended the length of my kitchen and lined them up on it 6 on one side and 6 on the other side facing each other.
Favors: I cut out of construction paper balloon shapes in blue and yellow, wrote the children's names on them and put them on red shiny gift bags. I put inside each a clown nose, giant sunglasses, a zoo animal finger puppet and a zoo animal stamp (all purchased from Oriental Trading). I made up some extra gift bags without names on them in yellow bags that contained just sunglasses and a clown nose for siblings of our guests who showed up at the party too.
Activities: The party was a success because we had 4 other adults helping me behind the scenes to pull it off. When the guests arrived at 10:30 a.m. they could have their face painted by one of my helpers, or they could do a craft (zoo animal refrigerator magnets from Oriental Trading - I had partially assembled them already so the kids didn't have much to do.) At 10:50 a.m. we started the games.
We did Pin the Nose on the Clown (purchased at party store), tightrope walk (put a strip of masking tape on the floor and we did follow the leader across it about 4 times),
Feed the Tiger (we made a poster of a tiger, cut out the mouth part and attached it to a large box for support, then the kids tried to throw bean bags into his mouth. This was a big hit and the kids all wanted a second go round. If you don't want to make one Oriental Trading has a zoo animal board with cutouts for a bean bag toss),
Peanut Hunt (I individually wrapped peanuts in cellophane bags and had them hid around the room. I had each child find 3 and bring them to me),
Seal Trick (another adult and I each held up a hula hoop a few feet apart and the kids lined up and jumped through one and then through the other - each time the hoops were raised a little bit - kids could jump through however they wanted).
Games went great because while we were playing one game like the Tiger Bean Bag Toss in one room, the peanut hunt was being set up in the adjoining room, so we just went back and forth between our family room and the sunroom and the kids always had something new to go to.
At 11:15 we had our sandwiches and then cake. At 11:35 we opened presents. At 11:50 we hung up and did a pull string piñata. Always buy a pull-string piñata in case your party is moved indoors! Don't want kids swinging a bat around inside your house, do you?? I kept out candy for those kids who weren't able to gather up much when the piñata was opened. The kids collected candy in a red and white striped popcorn bag just like the ones you get at the baseball games (again, from Oriental Trading).
Presents: To tried to make gift opening as orderly as possible, I put all the guest's names into a hat. The birthday girl pulled out a name and that is whose present she would open next. As soon as she opened the gift I took the present and handed it to one of my helpers so the birthday girl could then draw out another name. This saved the gifts from being opened completely (with the help of the guests) and all the little parts and pieces getting out of the boxes and potentially getting lost.
Our party was a big hit. Several moms called me afterward to tell me how impressed they were and I was told by a couple of people that this was the best party their child had ever been to!