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Boardman's Birthday Party Ideas
Free party ideas with many party themes for your child's next party!
Creative ways for you to give your child the best birthday party ever.

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CIRCUS CARNIVAL

Invitations
Make on computer with any card/graphic program. Graphics of clowns, balloons etc.
Decorations
Crepe paper to form a big top over table. If outside, consider under a tree and use a sheet tied to branches to cover like a big top, or you could always use a canopy.  Lots of balloons (tape them on the ceiling if indoors). Crepe paper streamers. Banner that says "Welcome to the Big Top"

LOTS of Balloons-12 dozen.
Primary color table cloths
Table Decorations: 
  (Need to purchase small old-fashioned red and white popcorn boxes)  Fill heavy duty ziploc type bags with couple ounces of water and insert these into a a popcorn box.   Sit the box upright on the table and attach a bouquet of balloons to each box.  
Room Decorations: 
  Drape streamers across the room and use balloon bouquets to hold up the streamers in the middle so they won't sag--separate the bouquet and let them go.
  Make Trapezes out of paper towel holders and streamers.  You can hang toy monkeys from them.  Be careful, the kids may try to pull them down.
  Make Circus Posters-Bearded Lady, Strong Man
  Print *tickets* on your computer using a picture of the birthday child's face in the center.  Then use a sewing wheel marker to perforate the ticket sheets so they can be torn off in rows.   Each child has to give a certain amount of tickets to play in each section... like a real carnival.  Also a refrigerator box works great as a ticket booth all decorated.
Food
Popcorn mix with animal cookies, punch, cake and ice cream.
Additional Ideas:  Popcorn served in popcorn bags or boxes
Peanut Butter & Jelly-phant sandwiches (pb&j) cut out with an elephant cookie cutter, iced with cream cheese and strawberry jam mixture. (You can make and freeze the cut out sandwiches ahead of time.  Thaw before use, then ice after they are thawed).
Celery & Carrot sticks with raisins in small cups (elephant food)
Cake
Three-ring circus cake. Use four round cake pan cakes (two singles and 1 double). For base to set them on use cardboard box (those Variety Pack boxes of 27+ bags of chips works great). Decorate the box with paper. Place cakes on top. Decorate to look like a circus. Lollipops make great balloons. Use animal cookies and make other animals out of snack cakes and decorate.

Goodie Bags
       
Use popcorn boxes.   Prizes from the games will be their
          Goodies.

GAMES and ACTIVITIES

(I had a point system for the games.  1 pt, 2 pts & 3 pts.  Each child received a prize for each game.  The prize received depended on the points)

  1. Mouse Holes:
    Need: Cardboard box and three balls (small plastic golf balls work well). Cut off flaps on box and on one side cut three holes at the cut edge to resemble "mouse holes". Make the holes three different sizes, make sure the ball goes through the smallest. To play: Roll the balls, one at a time, and try to get it through the mouse holes.
  2. Hungry Elephant:
    Need: Stiff paper or cardboard, cut in the shape of elephant ears (one piece with both ears). Paper rolled into a cone shape. 10 peanuts. String or wire. Attach the cone mid way down the ears with glue or other. Draw eyes and decorate the elephant. Attach string to top. Hang on a chair, fence or wall. To Play: Toss one peanut at a time into the elephants trunk.
  3. Bucket toss:
    Need: 4 buckets, 4 balls. Set up buckets in a straight line with the spacing of 1/2 foot between. To Play: Toss one ball at a time into each bucket. Begin with the closest and try to end with the farthest.
  4. Lollipop Game:
    Need: Small Styrofoam circle and one lollipop per child. Place a mark on the end of one lollipop. Or, if you wish more winners, others may be marked. You could even have different colored marks for different prizes. To Play: A child picks one lollipop and checks to see if there is a mark, if so, they win that prize.
  5. Lion Tamer:
    Need: This is somewhat similar to musical chairs. So, you need a chair for each child minus one. To Play: The "Lion Tamer" walks around the group and names different circus animal. Each child should be given the name of one animal. After all the "animals are walking" the "Lion Tamer" call out "The Circus is Over" and all try to sit down. The one left standing is the new Lion Tamer.
    Additional Games/activities:
  6. Walk the High Wire:  Use a wide board suspended about 4" from the ground.
  7. Pin the tail on the Tiger
  8. Face Painting Tent

More Games:

Set up backyard to look like a carnival. Coming into your driveway, have a balloon archway. The whole backyard has booths set up for the games. For approximately 2-3 months prior to the party,  gather up all your kids McDonald, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc toys from kids meals. Friends may also offer their "throw away – trash" toys. Each booth has a box full of toys to choose from. Nicer toys got put into a different box for winners. So, each booth actually has 2 different boxes of toys.  Also gather up all those old stuffed animals, washed them in the washing machine, and hang them on string or clothesline.

Balloon Archway - blow balloons with helium. Take a piece of string and tie the balloons to the piece of string, about every 12 inches. Once you start tying the balloons, they will float up. Secure the piece of string with a tent stake, or any piece of thick wire that will hold the string in place. Insert the object into the ground with the string secured to it. After putting balloons every 12 inches on string, you can decide on the size of the arch. Once you have enough balloons, you will then secure the opposite end of the string the same way. Your visitors can either drive through the balloon archway or walk through to come into your carnival.

Even More Games:

  • Bowling Alley - used a scrap piece of plywood, the plastic pins and balls (purchased from Wal-Mart ). Each player gets 3 chances to knock all the pins down. ALL children get to choose a prize. Children that knock all pins down, get to choose from box with nicer toys in it.
  • Basketball Throw - Have a contest for free throws. All children get 3 shots to make the basket. Again, ALL children get prizes.
  • Dart Throw - Use a piece of wood or thick cardboard for the balloons, unless you have a side of an old building. Blow up little balloons and attach to wood with a push pin ( or nail, or thumbtack would also work ). Each child gets 3 darts to pop balloons.  Make sure you have enough balloons to continue adding to board as they pop them.
  • Water Balloon Throw - Filled up water balloons the night before the party and put them in ice chests or clean garbage cans. Then have a water balloon throw. Kids choose partners, and make 2 lines across from each other. They start close to each other, throw the balloon, and all the teams that catch the balloon, take a giant step back, getting farther away from each other. And it continues in that same manner, until you have only one team left.

Once the games begin, and you had a feeling of how many children are in attendance, start giving the stuffed animals as a winner prize. Provided all children with plastic bags ( from grocery stores, Wal-Mart, etc ),so they are able to keep track of all their prizes.

 In addition to the games:

  • Bubble Center - Take a small baby pool and fill it with 1 bottle Karo Syrup ( light – white in color ), 1 bottle of 42.7 oz Dawn dishwashing liquid ( Dawn works best ), and 2- 5-gallon buckets of water.   Mix it well. Use fly swatters, round grease catchers, small rings from a ring toss game. Anything that will produce bubbles.
  • Face Painting Center - Have someone dressed as a clown, painting all the children’s faces.
  • Pick a Duck - this was more for the younger siblings of the children that attend. Used rubber ducks, ducks from games and under each duck we taped a number 1 or 2, and that was the box they chose from …. Box 1 or 2.
  • Pony Ride - If your lucky enough to have someone be able to bring them.
  • Piñata

MORE IDEAS:
 Rope off areas for different activities like an arcade section.

If you have a 7 in one game table (pool, hockey...etc...  also a basketball hoop with a net under it works well in the arcade area.   Most any arcade style game will do well in this area.

Another area can be for tossing rings on bottles.

Blow up balloons and tape them to a corkboard for darts.

Several boxes taped together to create a tunnel or maze.

Some brave parents can even buy goldfish for a ring toss in a goldfish bowl.  Have about a dozen small fish bowls setup with water but only a few will have a real goldfish in it.  If a child's ring goes in one with a fish... he wins the fish!! *their moms will love you*  Have Ziploc bags to put the fish in with water for the winning child.

Its always fun to have a clown present walking around making balloon figures as well!

Saving tin pie plates and a few cans of whipped topping with an unsuspecting volunteer....Kids will love throwing cream pies in the face of an adult! Make sure the *victim* has a large plastic bag covering him!!!!! *and a few plastic bags under his chair and behind him wouldn't hurt either!!* 

Have popped popcorn handy with small popcorn bags they can spend tickets on to buy.  Another refrigerator box works well as a popcorn stand.

Have lots of adult volunteers for the party

 

 

   

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