So I am the Head Organizer of a playgroup in my area. Each year we have an anniversary party and invite all the families and husbands. This year I hosted in my backyard and did a Carnival/Circus theme.
At the entrance we put up a tent and banner. Under the tent we had another organizer writing up nametags for the adults and kids. Then we had a "ticket" booth where each attendee received a ticket (or could purchase some more) for the raffle table we had.
All the paper products I had printed were designed from a lady on Etsy.com. I did not have time to design the banner, food tent cards, raffle cards, prize cards, ect. This was a huge short-cut for me!!!
This particular banner says "Welcome to our Carnival".
All the food was kept on the porch with gates up so the kids could not eat until they throw up! However, each child received a necklace/pouch when they arrived and inside each pouch was 5 coins they could use to "buy" drinks or desserts. They could also use the pouch to put their tickets in that they won from each booth.
So this was the dessert table. We had snow cones available, popcorn, cotton candy, cookies and cupcakes. There was suppose to be candy/caramel apples as well as rice krispie treats, but they never made it to the party...but we had plenty of sweets so it really didn't matter.
This was the food table. We basically just grilled hot dogs and put them in a chaffing dish. Then the other chaffing dishes had cold foods: potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, sourkraut (we put ice in the bottom of those to keep them cold). We had topping for the hot dogs, chips, fruit trays, veggie trays, corn on the cobb and watermelon.
Drinks were blue kool-aid, red kool-aid, water, lemonade (never made it), sweet tea, diet sodas, beers and wine!
Now the fun part! The games! We had 11 game booths set up. Basically I just stapled fabric to the outside of the porch. Then we made signs and game instructions for each booth.
The booths were: Football Toss, Tattoos, Face Painting, Clown Photo Booth, Craft Table, Rubber Ducky, Ring Toss, Potato Sack Race, Corn Hole, Softball Toss and Sponge Ball Toss.
Most of the products I used came from Oriental Trading. They have a huge selection of Carnival products!
Once the parents read the instructions for the booth and the child completed it, each child received a ticket which they could later use at the Prize Table!
I loved the Rubber Ducky game! The child would pick up the duck and read the bottom and had to act out what it said: "Walk on a tightrope", "Roar like a lion", "Act like a monkey", ect.
Now my 2nd favorite part....the Prize Table! Each child could receive 11 tickets so we had 11 containers of candy or toys.
We had the necessities: candy buttons, circus peanuts, large lollipops, cracker jacks, animal crackers, bubbles, lip whistles, hard candy, candy bracelets, bouncy balls and chinese yo-yo's.
Each child received a box to put their prizes in.
The final product!!!
I also loved the photo booth! We had a bowl of individual wrapped clown noses so the kids (and parents) could put them on and take them home. Lots of great pictures were had!
(these are my 2 year old twin boys)
Myself and my daughter Bella. We tried to rub noses but it kept falling off!
I also had a neighborhood girl come and do face painting for free. We made flyers for her to pass out to advertise for babysitting!
We also hired a professional Magician/Balloon artist! He was fantastic! He use to work on the Disney Cruise Line and he was VERY patient with our children!
If you email him, tell him I referred you!
My sister-in-law let us borrow her bouncy house! The kids LOVED it!
This was our raffle table. We had some of our sponsors or local business donate products to be raffled off. We also had their business cards laid out and promoted those products during the drawing of the tickets. Our favorite item was a $100 Walmart gift card!
There was a lot of preparation for the party, mostly due to planning the game booths, prize table, food and people who donated products to raffle off to the adults. But it was all worth it and I had lots of help from other playgroup members!
My four kids were sticky, wet, filthy and exhausted afterwards...all signs of a great party!
(BTW, I was too!)