Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DIY backyard CARNIVAL Party {Emily's 8th Birthday}

I love birthdays. I believe they are very important and must be a BIG DEAL. Therefore, every year I try to throw my kids a huge party followed by a whole day of one-on-one time together. This year, Emily requested a Carnival. OH BOY. How am I going to pull THAT off? A combination of borrowed decorations, Oriental Trading Co. supplies, some print outs I made at home, a few volunteers, and a whole lotta prep! Here's the party and some tips to do this yourself!

Here is the setup, with the refreshments, prizes, and cupcakes under the pop up tent, and the 3 games (ring toss, ball toss, and duck hunt) to the left with face painting and the bounce house to the right. I had the party in the park behind my house because my yard is so small it would only fit 1/3 of the bounce house, let alone the party and the 19 children!

The morning of the party I popped 10 bags of popcorn and then divided them into about 20 smaller cute carnival popcorn bags. I bought 4 bags of $1 store cotton candy and divided them into 20 small plastic bags and tied them off with red twine. And I served capri suns.

The day before the party I made boxed cupcakes as directed, using $1 wrappers I found at the craft store. I made my own frosting using this recipe (which always comes out the perfect thickness for frosting with my tips), and divided it into 2, added yellow and red color, put into 2 bags and then carefully frosted the top of the cupcakes. I added yellow sprinkles on the red cupcakes as well. The whole process took me 2 hours because its only the 2nd time I have made my own frosting and I am still getting the hang of it without making a huge mess!

This bean bag toss was generously lent to me by a close friend (she made this herself!)

For the ring toss I bought a $1 store pack of glow sticks, and attached 2 sticks together making a circle (the rings). I also took wine bottles, filled them about 1/2 way with water, corked them, and wrapped them in duck tape. This took about 30 mins.

The duck hunt is made from a beverage bucket full of water, and several cheap ducks with either WIN or LOSE written on the bottom. These ducks sucked so we had the girls close their eyes and pluck the ducks standing backwards so they couldnt see what they were selecting!

I bought 100 cheap prizes, which gave the kids about 5 each. I decided the way to be fair was to limit each child to 5 no matter how many tickets they earned. I made the bounce house cost 1 ticket per ride for the first half of the carnival so that they kids had to continue to play the carnival games to ride it (they would not be able to stay just at the bounce house all day) and it gave them something to spend their excess tickets on after they bought their 5 prizes. Face painting was 1 ticket. Balloon animals and prizes were 2 tickets each. Each time a game was played a child won 1-3 tickets, so they had to play the game several times to have enough for all 5 prizes, a balloon animal, face painting and rides on the bounce house.

After 2 hours we did the cupcakes and presents. After that, the kids were allowed to bounce for FREE until they were picked up 2 hours later. I purposely had a 4 hour party so the last 2 hours would be free jump time (I might as well get my moneys worth, right?)

My friend is an AMAZING makeup artist. If your in the Seattle area I am happy to share her info for parties!

I also had to share this. Since the party was behind our backyard I had the idea to create a special entrance to the park. I like how it turned out!

The 100 foot banner around the park, the balloon animals, popcorn bags, prizes, and much more can be purchased here.

The overall cost of the party was $300. $200 of which was the bounce house. $100 was for supplies to do all the DIY stuff. You could potentially not rent a bounce house and add a fun game like twister or have a dance station. I hope this has inspired some of you to keep calm and PARTY ON!

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