Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Carnival Party

Sunday was our big birthday bash! The kids have been talking about nothing else, and were quite excited by the time Sunday finally rolled around. There was much hustling & bustling and plenty of colorful decorations too. Morgan adores color, the more the merrier so I picked up some cheap crepe paper and Mr Scarecrow helped me hang it up on the roof of the side deck. Mr S. criss-crossed it all over and I twisted it and had to boost him up a few times to reach the higher parts. When Morgan walked outside to see what we were doing his response was, "AWESOME!" We also purchased the chinese lanterns, which were in part for the party, and partly because we'd been after some for that area for a while. They work via batteries, weird, huh? They were only $2 each.

Next we put out the games, we had a total of eight carnival style games (not all pictures above or below) and we'd tested them all out the night before. Those pieces of silver tape on the deck mark where people had to stand depending on which game they played. Only one game required smaller ones to stand closer. These games were kept under wrap for a long time around here. I knew if i told the kids what we were playing I'd have them begging to try it them all out, to keep the playing field even I refused to let them know what I was up to until roughly Saturday night.

Milk bottle toss was a big hit. I took 1 litre milk bottles and wrapped them in colorful wrapping paper. Then we filled them (varying a bit) with sand. The bottles to the left were heavier then the ones on the right. We draped a Buzz & Woody sheet over the table and over part of the lattice work on the deck. For safety sake we slipped a bit of cardboard between the sheet and lattice work. I was worried if an adult threw HARD they'd bust the lattice work. It also gave me someplace to tack our sign up, which had the title of the game and the instructions on the bottom. Because we had the milk bottles and all I purchased was the wrapping paper this game cost .75 to make.

Toilet Paper Toss: This was made for the boys, 100%! We took an empty trash can and cut out a toilet seat to pop on top. We were going to use the old training seat (you know the one you stick on top of your potty, but we'd recently thrown it away!) We used 3 rolls of toilet paper that I duct tape to keep them from flying open. And yes, 1 roll is brown. We use recycled toilet paper, which sounds gross, but I promise ONLY the paper is recycled and non bleached so it has a brownish appearance. We picked up two cheap-o rolls to use in addition. Due to purchasing the extra paper this game cost us $2.

Ball Bonanza: This was suppose to be like the game at the fair where you throw a ball or penny into a goldfish pot. You know what I'm talking about, right? Anyway, we tested various cups, but due to the wonderful curve of that blue bench/box we had issues. So I grabbed our empty seedling trays and we found they worked perfectly for us. We gathered up all the ping-pong balls we could find and stuck them in that bucket on the ground. For the record, that big empty space had our last name on it in chalk, but I removed it for posting purposes.. We put an old table top (the one Morgan sat on and broke the legs off.. that's a very funny story you should ask me about it sometime!) behind that Banana in Pyjamas cloth to use as a backboard and to give us something to put the sheet on. The poster has the name of the game and the rules. This game cost us $0 to make.

Pony Races: These beloved stick-horses were Christmas presents in '06 from my dad to the boys. These little stick horses get used so much it's a wonder their little sticks haven't worn off to be honest! The boys were delighted to find them in use at the party. While the picture shows them outside, this game was played indoors as we had threatening rain and we needed a large space to play it in. We took colored paper (two colors) and cut the sheets in half making between 8-12 spaces. At one end the spaces said START the other end said FINISH. We had a large squashy dice (free from an event 2 years ago) that someone would roll while two people rode the horses. The players took turns moving, alternately, when the dice was rolled. First one to the finish was the winner. There were some very cute horse sounds happening during this game, not to mention some very realistic ones too! This game cost $0 to make.

Ring Toss: No carnival is complete without it, right? We used glow sticks which were also party prizes and glass lemonade bottles. Originally we had a piece of foam with straight glow sticks in it, but I felt it looked way too cheesy and considering how cheap the rest of the party was I splurged on these bottles at the last minute. We only had 10 bottles and Mr Scarecrow came up with a pattern that looked very symmetrical and worked quite well. Again, a posted with game name and instructions. Due to splurging on the bottles this game cost us about $8. After the games were played we allowed people to ring a bottle and keep it.

Clothes Pin Drop: This game seems to be quite standard at our parties and this old fahsioned milk jug is what we always use to play it. The idea is to stand above it and drop a clothes pin/peg in. It's not as simple as it seems. Instead of having people climb up on a chair we had them stand up at the top of the stairs and drop one in. To mark where the jug went I threw down the wild rainbow pillowcase. Can you guess who owns that? We used a bottle and pegs we all ready owned so this game cost us $0 to set up.

End Of The Rainbow: was the only game we played outside of cover. We drew the rainbow the night before and it was washed away by some mega fierce rain in the night. So on party day I let the birthday boy draw it. Mr Scarecrow drew the outline and Morgan colored it in for us. We put little pots at the end of the rainbow (I do mean little too) and put a bit of sand in them to weigh them down. People took turns chucking 5 cent coins in them (a 5 cent coin is equivalent to the size of an American dime, just to give you some perspective on size.) You can just barely see a smidge of a Thomas sheet, that was the backdrop for this game, as well as a sign that explained what to do. We all ready had the chalk on hand and the little buckets and coins so this game cost us $0.

Each game had a backdrop which was nothing more then a colorful kids sheet/doona cover from the house. Each station had a sign telling what the game was and how to play it. Each station also had a pad of tickets for the kids to take one if they achieved the goal. If not, they could move on if there was a waiting line and come back to it when they wanted. If there was no line they were welcome to keep trying. Not pictured was Carnival Tic-Tac-Toe (all though our silly sign said Bingo). We took a box and divided it up with cardboard into a tic-tac-toe board. Then we provided a bucket of balls, they had to try and toss the balls so they scored 3 in a row.

Prize Booth: We used our Party-mats that match our Party Cloth for the backdrop there. We'd used our party cloth on the food table and our party banners at various other places around the party zone. The prize booth had playdough, glow sticks, Bouncy Balls (left over from other parties), Bubbles, Gold Fish (see an upcoming post for more info), face paint (not labeled), Pinwheels (homemade), Just Clowning Around Game, Clown Kit, lollies (sugar-free), Homemade Animal Crackers. They cashed in their prizes for these, all though it wasn't necessary, all the "kids" got one of each prize, and the adults were able to collect prizes on what was left.

We had chocolate cupcakes with cooked honey frosting on them. We tinted coconut and sprinkled it on top. The cupcake toppers are homemade, and it was a 3 man team putting them together the night before. We had a circle cutter, a gluer, and a toothpick applier. I'd purchased the fun candle before his actual birthday knowing that I wouldn't have room on the cupcakes for candles. It just so happened that the candle we bought had 9 candles on it. We found it cute afterwards considering none of us counted them in the shop! This was one seriously fun party, and the boys are still raving about it.


Michele said...

Love all of your ideas, Kendra. I wanted to do this for Kaden when I saw your posts but Kaden would have none of it. He does not like clowns and neither do I. He does like cowboys so I think we are going to have a cowboy carnival! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You are one awesome mum! Love your blog :)

Karen who homeschools in NZ.

Tracey said...

Now that looks cool! Great job! Can you host my next birthday party?

Marcy said...

I love love love this idea. Tucking this idea away for next year!

kenziekylanmom said...

It looks like you had so much fun ideas to keep everyone busy! I bet that that was the talk of the town!