So Snuggle Bug turned 7 in May and he wanted a carnival themed party.
Here is what we did:
This all was suppose to be outside at stations but of course we had gale force winds that day so we had to move it inside the garage last minute.
What you see is many plastic table cloths hung on a clothes line. They were 98 cents each at walmart. I did not originally want them all touching but we had to squeeze them all in(plus they had to hide the junk in our garage!). You could also hang the table cloths on a fence.
Then we stenciled signs(construction paper) for each of the games.
In the above picture you see Squirt 'em Down and Can U Hit 'Em.
Squirt them down we had foam blocks we stuck golf tees in and then put ping pong balls on the tees. The kids then had a squirt gun and they would try to shoot off the balls. Be sure to have a bucket near the guns to refill them.
The other game we simply wrapped cans of veggies with construction paper. The kids would get a tennis ball to try and knock them down. We started off having some foam board(we use it for a target for shooting a bow) behind the cans to stop the ball but that that didn't stay well so we had a toddler bed mattress behind the table cloths in our junk(see, junk CAN come in handy sometimes) that we just set up against the back of the hanging table cloth.
Here we have a face painting station and a Penny Pitch which proved to be the most challenging game! To make the penny pitch board we took a poster board and then dipped the bottom of a water bottle in some very light colored paint and stamped circle shapes evenly onto the poster. Then we took brighter colors and filled in the stamped areas. We put just one red circle in the middle that was worth 5 tickets(we'll talk about tickets more later) and then a few gold circles worth 3 and the rest were worth 1. They got like 5-6 pennies each and had to try to toss them onto the circles. I made a sign that told how many tickets for each color. The tricky part was the pennies bounced with the cement floor!
Then there was bowling(we had a set but can be done with filled water bottles too) and a ball toss game. I had foam balls( they usually come 6 to a pack) that they tried to pitch into the buckets.
We also had this one. You had to toss a stuffed lion through the 'flaming' hoop. It's just a hoola hoop with red and yellow streamers taped on. I wanted orange streamers too but they were all out. I hung it on a shepherds hook(one that you usually hang plants on).
We had an adult at each game manning the booth. Every game had a strip of painters tape(or duct tape) on the floor to stand behind. I also bought a roll of raffle tickets(told you we would come back to this) to hand out to the kids and here is what we did. For the ball toss game we said a ticket for whatever # that bucket was. So if they got a ball in bucket #1 and bucket #2 they would get 1 ticket for the first bucket PLUS 2 more for the second bucket. But you do whatever you want.
For the squirt em game they got a ticket for each ball they shot off. 1 ticket for getting the lion through the flaming hoop, a ticket for every pin you knocked down for bowling and same for the can game. 1 ticket for each can that was knocked down after 2 throws. And then we already discussed the penny pitch.
You could also give the kids a certain # of tickets that they have to had in to play the games. But we chose to to award them tickets which they loved. I also bought some little chinese containers that I wrote each of the guests names on and that is what they put their tickets in as they collected them.
Snuggle Bug is holding his here. I got them at Walmart for around 1.98.
There were 4 or 5 boxes to a pack.
So what did they do with their tickets you ask? Great question!
They turned them in for prizes of course:
I just got some fun dips, giant pixie sticks, suckers, sour punch straws and so forth at the dollar store( those are mostly 8 for $1 candies). The I bought a pinata pack at walmart of some toys. There were a lot of different packs to choose from but I tried to get a pack that seemed to go with the carnival theme. It had the funny glasses you saw Snuggle Bug wearing in the earlier picture( they were a HUGE hit BTW), little flutes, some flying disc shooters, kaleidoscopes, round ball mazes and such.
Then I gathered some clear containers, jars, bowls and vases and put the prizes in them. I also added some iridescent stones to the bottom of some of the containers. We just had the stones at the house already and I thought they added some flare to the containers.
Now you could put a value on each of the prizes. Like, flutes are 5 tickets and suckers are 7. But I had no idea how many tickets the kids would earn and I didn't want the first customer to wipe out the prize table if they had a ton of tickets. So I just improvised.
I would make a big deal out of counting their tickets and the say,"You can get 3 candies and 2 toys" or something like that. They then put their prizes back in their chinese boxes to take home. Smart huh?
The guests could turn in their tickets whenever they were done playing games.
We also had a photo op:
I found a picture of lion online then free handed this, painted it and cut the circle out so it looks like the person is inside the lion. They do have some like this online to buy too, but I was going for cheap. I taped the poster board lion onto a rolling clothes rack so that way the kids could get behind it.
A doorway(with the door OPEN) could work too or a clothesline.
Here is our sign for the party
I drew the swagged part on top and painted everything under it yellow(actually Bubba painted it). Then we colored every other swag red and just painted on the words. Stenciling would have looked better but our letters wouldn't have fit on there.
And you certainly can't have a carnival without food!
We let the kids grab food whenever they wanted to make it feel more carnival-ish.
We had hot dogs( the cute plastic holders I got a the dollar store the other year), doritos(ok they are generic), bags of popcorn, pizza slices, pop and cotton candy. Ok we were SUPPOSE to have cotton candy but we forgot. Sissy has a cotton candy machine and we had made up some extra paper cones to spin the cotton on but in the chaos of it all, it got forgotten somehow.
Here is the hot dog holder (=
Some more pictures of the day's events
The tables that some of the games are on are just random things like coolers stacked on one another, a plastic shelving unit, a side table. Whatever works and that you have handy! It will be covered up anyhow.
And that is a VERY pregnant me attempting to paint a helicopter on a guest. I didn't do too bad really.
I had wanted to do up a sheet with pictures they could choose from( pictures I could paint for sure) but I ran out of time. I am a decent artist so it wasn't a big deal. The kids just told me what they wanted. I did a butterfly and a snake too. Pretty easy.
We also did bingo for a little bit. I had a long table set up outside with a Bingo sign. We also used this table to open presents. The prize for Bingo was just something off the prize table( they picked). I really wanted some circus music playing too but that didn't happen. I also had red, yellow and white balloons and red and yellow streamers to decorate with but we ran out of time to stick them up! Oh well.
So how the party schedule went was something like this:
4:30pm Helpers arrive(for games). Explain game and what they will be doing.
5pm Guests arrive/Explain games, tickets, prize redemption and food
5:00-6:00 Play games/eat/prizes
6:30-7pm Presents/Cake/Ice Cream/GO HOME!
Everyone had a blast and the age span for guests was from 4 yrs old to 11 yrs old.
And boys and girls alike had fun.
But come on...who doesn't like a carnival??