Monday, October 13, 2008

{carnival birthday party}

How embarassing that it has almost been a month since I've posted.  I promise I'm back from my unplanned, unannounced blogging break.  Well - this post should fix your cravings for creativity and fun. 

My daughter's birthday party was this past Saturday, and she chose a carnival party.  I did a ton of Internet research and came up with some really fun ideas.


When the guests first arrived, they were greeted by me at the ticket table.  They received their goody bags with tickets in them.  They were directed to the "decorate your goody bag" tables.  There were stickers, foam shapes, glitter, glue, buttons, and markers there.  This is my Zach decorating his bag.


After everyone decorated their bag, they enjoyed a magic show by my magician hubby dressed for the occasion.  I found his lovely necktie and facial embellishments at the lovely Dollar Tree.  We used the clothesline, sheets, and balloons to create a festive backdrop for the show.

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There were 7 activity booths.  The kids rotated so they had a chance to do each one.  We were kind of short on grown ups, so there was a grown up for every 2-3 booths.  It was ok, though, as there were only 9 kids.

First we have "Lucky Pitch."  The kids pitched ping-pong type balls (found packaged  with a ball shooter-type gun thingie at the Dollar Tree (DT)).  I purchased a piece of foam core from and a package of Styrofoam cups from the DT.  We glued the cups down to the foam core with school glue and lightly spray painted the insides of some of the cups.  This game was played on the flat driveway.  We drew a line with sidewalk chalk where the kids had to stand and they tossed the balls into the cups.  The color of cup it landed in determined the prize they received.

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Next up there's "Bowl-a-Rama."  We had a squishy foam bowling set that Zach got for Christmas last year.  We drew lines on the driveway and little stars so the kids knew where to reset the pins after knocking them down.  Very simple.


Then we've got the good 'ol "Ring Toss" game.  We recruited our family to save plastic bottles for a couple of weeks and refilled them to use for the game.  For rings, I cut out the middle from a sturdy paper plate and used the outside for the rings.  Talk about easy.

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"Gumball Guess" was cute.  I used an old glass salsa jar and filled it with 2 ($1) bags of gum balls.  Of course I had to count the gum balls and make the table cute.  My mom helped with the making it cute thing.

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We had a "Tattoo Booth" as well.  I had a hard time finding tatoos to purchase locally, but I did find some really small Sponge Bob ones at Party City.


I liked the "Sucker Pull" too.  I used a 99 cent Styrofoam cone-type thing from Wal-mart to stick the suckers in.  I colored the ends of the sticks with markers.  The color they pulled determined their prize.

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The final game was the "Football Toss."  We used a shepherd's hook plant hanger and a hula hoop for the goal.  A DT nerf football completed the setup.  I don't know why I didn't get a picture of that one.


Lunchtime was fun with a trip down the "Food Fairway."  We enjoyed corn dogs, pickles, kettle corn, & nachos.


Instead of a cake, Taylor & I made cupcakes and made them to look like a bunch of balloons tied together.  I used half a piece of DT foam core with scrapbook paper to put the cupcakes on.

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Here are some general overall pictures.

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Overall the party was really fun and things went pretty smoothly.  I am glad it is over, though.  For anyone who is interested, I used the Cricut cutting machine to make all the signs.  I think they looked pretty good.  We used streamers and garden stakes to section off the booths that were located in the grass.  For the booths on the driveway, we just drew lines with sidewalk chalk to separate them.  I find that for themed parties, music really sets the mood, so I researched carnival and circus music and made a cd.  I was surprised to find that most polkas are circus-friendly music.

Let me know if you have any questions about the party that I didn't already answer.  I got a lot of my ideas from this site.


8 love notes to me!:

Natalie said...

that looks like a great party!!!

Misty said...

It definitely looks like you are the COOLEST mom on the block. Can you be my mom too and throw a party like this for me?!!! I love the Cricut machines and really want one, but I bought a Sizzix before the Cricuts came out. It serves the same purpose, but the Cricuts are that much cooler.

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

WOW!!!! You went all out, girlfriend. No wonder you haven't posted in 3 weeks, you've been busy planning that fantastic party!!! I bet Taylor LOVED it. :)

April said...

Too cute! You went all out! Good job!

Chambers Family said...

Triple WOW! Go Jen. That sounds like a blast. How did Taylor like her scripture bag? I've been wondering:) Love the cupcake idea. I don't blame you for not blogging in awhile, now that your cast is off, you were probably so busy right? Glad you're back though!

Jen said...

I figured I'd come back with a bang! :) I'm glad there are a few of you who haven't forgotten I'm here! :) Thanks for coming by & leaving comments.

The Settle Family said...

Hey! What an awesome birthday party!Taylor must have been so excited-loved the signs and the fun games!

LaurelPlum said...

I SO want you to be my Mom for my next Birthday! But since that is not possible I guess, you have to give us all permission to steal your idea for our kids so we can look good without feeling guilty!

(-sorry I do not have a Blogger id even though Google thinks I do. Laurel Plum