Carnival Themed Birthday Party

We had so much fun putting together this fun birthday party for my little Sister in Law.

It was a carnival themed with lots of color and vintage vibes.

We had a lot of colorful triangle flags hanging across the room most of which were made with colored paper cut into a even isosceles triangles and folded over the yarn with a little glue.  The extra ends needed folded in.  Other string can be used but I recommend using only ribbon or yarn that does not fray easily.  To keep it from fraying, try putting a little piece of tape over the end.  These are a fairly versatile decoration that can be used for years to come.

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A lily pad pond (above).  I just cut out colored yellow and green foam into circles or lily pad shapes.  Then the children could attempt to throw coins to land on them.

Decorative Party hats. My sis in law Megan prepared this one.  We had the kids decorate their own hats to wear.  This is a great activity to do as you wait for everyone to arrive. puff balls, glitter glue, stickers, paint etc.

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This triangle flag banner has been used a lot.  As props for engagement photos, party decor etc.  But as you can see it is starting to fray which is why I recommend taping the ends and picking a ribbon that is sturdy, like cotton.  Then it can be used again and again.emma-birthday-2013_3

(Below) the Happy Birthday banner was printed out on card stock.  Get your FREE PRINTABLE for this Happy Birthday Banner here. (And please subscribe!)  Then we just hole punched them and attached them together.

We had access to some great little TV dinner tables that were the perfect size for stacking cups.  The little red and white checkered print went perfectly with our cute vintage theme. The cups were semi study plastic cups. Then you will also see here, is a bowling set that we found in the toys.

To make the booths feel a bit more like booths since this was all inside, we used colorful plastic table clothes (the cheap disposable kind) This really dressed up the room and was easy to tape up.

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The stairs made for a perfect Prize zone.  We could layer them up based on number of tokens required.  Each child received tickets upon arrival but was able to win tokens, which were just wooden chips about 2.5 inches big and painted.emma-birthday-2013_5

The sisters and mom put together this fun personalized poster.  We put it near the entrance where the bags for their prizes were. They basically could make their own goodie bags to take home based on the prizes them won.  Gumballs in a mason jar made for a fun centerpiece.  I loved the pinwheels sticking out.  But beware, if you are doing your party outside, be sure to consider sticky heat that could melt them!emma-birthday-2013_6

This is a chalk board that I have used for countless activities and carnival themed parties.  We just found a vintage design online to style after with chalk.  BTW, if you do not want your chalk to get smudged than chalk pens will help with that!  Or to create smooth chalk lines, try soaking your chalk for a few minutes in water.  (that was a trick we used when I use to work at a restaurant as a hostess) My sister in law drew up this cute board to welcome the guests.emma-birthday-2013_7

The ticket booth was fun fun! We again used a TV food table as it was the perfect size and then I had a piece of stretchy red and white striped fabric that I just clamped to the back.  The ticket sign was a tag board yellow piece painted and hung with yarn.  The red roll of tickets has lasted through about 6 carnival parties so far and was very worth the purchase.  I just found those as a Party City store.emma-birthday-2013_8

You can tell that some of my decorative pieces have already seen their share of parties!  I think when redoing this piece it will use red and white study cotton and take the time to sew it together for prolonged use.  This has lasted about 4 parties.  It is red and white tag board and cut and glued together with the bottom rounded.emma-birthday-2013_9emma-birthday-2013_10emma-birthday-2013_11emma-birthday-2013_12emma-birthday-2013_13

The birthday girl!  And her sisters love her to pieces to put together such a fun party:)emma-birthday-2013_14emma-birthday-2013_15

We did very “professional” face painting:)  For the props I used Femo clay for molding to the slick into fun shapes like lips and mustaches, then baked it and once cooled glued it to the stick.

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Megan with her awesome party hat!emma-birthday-2013_20

Our fishing pond was made with:

– Colorful draw fish, cut out and lamented. (I have found that lamenting something like this is well worth it!  I have used these for dozens of things, like lessons at church, preschool and parties with relevant themes)

– Tape to tape on the sign and fish

– I created a fish setting on a piece of tag board with paint.  In the future I might buy a cheap blue sheet and then get some fabric paints to decorate a background)

-A 1.5 inch rod

-About 3 feet of string taped at the end

-A clothes pin tied to the other end of the stick for clamping the prizes to

To operate the fishing booth, we folded up a ping pong table which needed to happen anyway to make space for the party, but you can tie a rope to two sturdy anchor points or use a long stick or light weight wood beam to rest over two semi high surfaces such as two ladders.emma-birthday-2013_23

Part of what makes a party fun was to make it feel just condensed enough that it feels lively and fun.  This same principle is used for city planning in effective city lay outs where the parking is put at the back to the store fronts can come right up to the street.  So anyway, we were condensed as is in our space, but you want to find that even ground of spreading out enough for the games but having everything close enough that there is a fun energy present that they can all share.

For the other side of the room I used my photo backdrop stand with clamps to hang backdrops and plastic tables clothes.  Back porch poles with ropes tied in between or two ladders with wood safely clamped across in place are another route.  Also in the picture, another game that was fun was cups for tossing little balls into.

You can’t full see it in this picture, so I will hunt for a better one, but behind all this we had a theater area, where while the kids ate pizza and cake they watched a movie that we had actually made.  They had to of course pay with a ‘ticket’ to get into the movie.

All in all this party was a huge success!emma-birthday-2013_25

carnival party ideas

What party themes have you tried?  Share your party adventures in a comment below! What worked or didn’t work for your little crew?

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