Invitations: A big red ticket stub that reads "ADMIT ONE" to our "Big Top Birthday Party." To make the card use red (yellow) paper cut into a rectangle shape. The ticket should be sized to fit into a small envelope. Use a round 1" paper punch at each corner to give it the rounded detail. Practise a bit on scrap paper first! On the backside of the ticket write out the party details like time, place and date. Seal the Invitation with a circus themed sticker and deliver.
Decorations: Balloons, balloons & more balloons! You cannot have too many red, yellow and blue helium filled balloons. They are also a great take home gift for the guests. Decorate your ceiling with red & white streamers to give it that Big Top tent feel. Tape alternating red & white streamers from a center point of your room and drape all the way across the ceiling to the corner of the wall. You can use balloons to cover any tape marks that are showing. Make 2 carnival booths with a large refrigerator box cut in half. Use 3 sides of the box and cut out a service window. Paint your booth with brightly coloured stripes or circles and place upon sturdy table. If the party is outdoors, be sure to pitch a carnival tent for shade on a hot day. A regular dining tent will do - just decorate it as you would indoors. Hang dozens of feet of multi coloured plastic pennant banners all around party area. Get out the poster paint and make a huge "Welcome to the Carnival" poster. Cover all tables with red, yellow and blue tablecovers. Gather up all your child's (friends, families) stuffed animals and place around space for both play and decoration.
Activities: Face Painting - Kids love to have their faces painted! Enlist some extra hands to help out at the face painting table. You can paint simple things like big red clown noses, big curly mustaches like lion tamers, ruby red cheeks like female trapeze artists or whiskers like the ferocious lions & tigers. It wouldn't be a carnival without a clown walking around for entertainment! Get family and friends involved to help out - I'm sure someone owes you favor! A good investment for the party is to rent one of those big jumpy inflatables like a Moonwalk. The inflatables are always a huge hit with guests. A neat idea is to gather up a bunch of kooky clothes, big sunglasses, funny hats and colourful clown wigs into a big dress up box beside a photo booth. Have each child dress up in a crazy clown outfit and take their picture with a digital camera. The pictures are great in a thank you note! Lastly, you must have a Balloon Animal table. They are quite easy to master if you learn only 2 or 3 designs. Balloon animal kits and instructions can be purchased everywhere and are quite inexpensive. Sounds like a good job for Dad!
Loot Bags & Favors: Use all the prizes the kids won throughout the day as their party favors. When the kids arrive or start playing the games, make sure to give them a small gift bag so they may collect their prizes as they go. Having their names on the bags would be a good idea! Some ideas for prizes are noisemakers, blowouts, stickers, tattoos, bubbles, pinwheels, clown noses, lollipops, foam airplanes, rubber balls and any little trinkets that can be bought in bulk.