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Carnival / Circus Party

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Circus Carnival Party
By shopgirlaudi

Come join us for some big top circus fun!

Invitations:
Make a clown's face or some balloons. Use a paper popcorn bag to write the party info on.

Decorations:
Decorate in primary colors. Lot and lots of balloons. Use stuffed animals to decorate around the party area. I used penant flag banners ( the kind you see at store grand openings ) and lined it up along the top of my fence. I made posters out of big sheets of colored constuction paper.I printed off carnival type signs off some computer software
and glued them onto the bigger sheets of construction paper. I made sign depicting the different activities and foods we had. I lined these along the fence on the side of our house. This was the way guests were traveling into our back yard. We made a ticket booth out of some scrap wood and painted and decorated it. We lined up tables along the back and side fence in an "L" shape to make our Game Boardwalk. I coverd the tables in primary colored plastic table cloths and made up signs for the different games and put these by their respective game. We put up lots of streamers and some door curtains with clowns on them that had colorful plastic streamers hanging off them.


For centerpieces I made some clown jack in the boxes from a small colored storage box, a clown head cut out, a wooden skewer, a piece of styrofoam, a strip of colored cardstock, some shreddy paper and some tape. Put a piece of styrofoam to fit the bottom of your box. Take the strip of paper and fold the entire length accordion style, then punch a hole with a hole punch so the hole goes through all the folds of the strip. Insert the skewer through the holes in the strip of paper. Attach the clown head to the top of the skewer with clear tape. Insert the other end of the skewer into the styrofoam at the bottom of the box. Fill the bottom of the box with shreddy paper to cover the styrofoam.

Cake:
The cake was just a sheet cake I made with a running circus train on it that I got at the dollar store. I put some plastic circus animals on it along with some clowns.

Food and Snacks:
We served hot dogs in these plastic red and white striped hot dog trays. The guests got to take these home as a favor. We had big red bowls of chips set out and serving baskets of bags of pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, and animal crackers. I found some labels for the popcorn and peanuts on a circus site. I filled ziplock bags with the contents and then stapled on the labels I had printed onto the snack. They looked store bought and cute. I made and printed out my own for the animal crackers. We had big tubs of juice bottles and sodas. We had cotton candy and candy apples and snow cones.

Goodie Bags and Prizes:
For the goodie bags, I found these plastic, red and white striped, popcorn bag containers at Target. I filled them with a small bag of animal crackers, a plastic clown nose, a clown blowout, a noisemaker, a plastic circus animal, a crazy straw and a goody bag of mini chocolate bars.

In additon, I printed out some circus coloring pages off a site and made my own circus coloring books by putting the sheets between two pieces of construction paper and stapling them together. I also bought small boxes of crayons to go along with the books as another favor.


For prizes we had all sorts of things; mini cans of playdoh, plastic circus animals, little rubber ducks, small plastic boats and water guns, activity pads, pencils and little bags of mini shaped erasers, twisty balloon kits, face painting crayons, some wooden circus puzzles, glow sticks, character snack containers, mini animal bean bags, small stuffed animals, and crazy straws.

Games and Activities:
We had a lot for this category. We made a duck pond game using a very large bowl from a dollar store and found those weighted plastic ducks at a party store to float in it. Kids took turns picking a duck and winning a corresponding prize.

Bean bag toss from a piece of scrap wood. Cut out holes then painted and decorated with some stencils of circus animals and some balloons. I made my own bean bags from some scrap fabric with stars on it and filled them with dry rice.

Velcro ball toss game. Again used a piece of scrap wood. I took some left over fabric we had and cover the front of the board and stapled it to the back. I bought two sets of those velcro paddle ball catch games and attached them to the board at different heights using additional velcro and a staple gun. I then used some clown cut outs to decorate around the board.

Ball toss game using small laundry baskets and some large plastic baseballs. We took a long board and stapled the baskets to it at an angle. Then the kids took turns tossing the balls into the baskets. I made a lollipop pull game using a square piece and two balls of styrofoam, a small colored dowel, some pipe cleaner, some googly eyes and some construction paper. I make a clowns head using the styrofoam ball. I used a toothpick to attach the smaller styrofoam ball to the bigger one for the clown's nose and painted it red. I attached some googly eyes and made him a cone hat out of construction paper. I made the clown hair using pipe cleaners I curled on around a pencil and then inserted them into the clown head. I then drew on a clown smile. I used the colored dowel to attach the head to the square piece of styrofoam and insterted all the lollipops into the square piece of styrofoam. The object of this game is to pick the marked pops. Mark the bottom of the stick before inserting into the styrofoam. Mark as many or as little as you like for difficulty of the game.

Pin the nose on the clown game by blowing up to poster size a clown face pic I got off a site. I made noses out of red construction paper.
I bought a ring toss game at the dollar store.

I also bought a small pool basketball game we used for our basketball throw.

We made a putt putt golf game using another piece of scrap wood cut into the shape of a circus tent. Cut a mouse hole out. Then paint and decorate to look like a real circus tent. The kids took turns trying to make the shot with a child sized golf club and ball.

We did another ball tossing game with some small sand pails and ping pong balls. Line up the pails and let the kids take turns trying to toss the balls into the different pails in order of distance.

For activities, we had face painting. We have a trampoline so that served as our acrobat's corner. We made twisty balloon animals. We had a build your own sundae bar. I found some ice cream cone shaped bowls with matching spoons at the dollar store. We set out vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. We put out bowls of crushed cookie bits, mini m&m's, mini colored marshmallows, chocolate and multicolored sprinkles, gummi worms and gummi bears, chocolate, strawberry and caramel
syrup and let them kids take over. This was probably the activity the kids liked the best. They got to take their bowls home as another favor.

This theme worked out very well. It does take some planning in advance, but is well worth it and can be used for a wide range of age groups.

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