Summer means state fairs, carnivals, amusement parks and water parks, and it also means that your child has a number of places to choose from for a birthday party outing. If the thought of keeping track of a large group of rambunctious children at an amusement park makes you break out in hives, why not keep the entertainment at home this year?
At first glance it may look like a recipe for disaster, bringing the same group of rambunctious kids into your home. However, with a little creativity and planning, you can make a carnival-themed party at home just as fun as, and maybe more memorable than, a daylong outing. If they’re expecting a carnival, it can be just as easy – and maybe even more fun – to create a carnival in your own backyard.
Start planning that carnival!
Planning for an at-home birthday should start at least a month in advance. This allows plenty of time for shopping, both online and in regular stores, and delivery of any items you have to order, like a popcorn machine or decorations. Plus, you’ll have time to determine the guest list and send invitations, so you know exactly how many kids to expect, and time to plan the activities for the day.
Getting the activities together
Are you getting stuck trying to think of things to do at the party? Just think of the carnivals and fairs you’ve been to. Activities can include a ring toss, bean bag throw, a fishing booth and face painting, among others. If you really want to add to the carnival atmosphere, you can even order a popcorn or cotton candy machine to have fresh carnival food on hand, and maybe have adults dress up as clowns to hand out the popcorn and cotton candy. Popcorn machines add a lot of flair, and can be re-used at other parties and family events.
You would be surprised how easily and inexpensively carnival games can be assembled. A ring toss just needs a few empty soda bottles and some wooden rings. For a bean bag throw, you can make your own bean bags with multicolored socks and dry beans or rice and a background with a sturdy piece of cardboard and some paint. For a fishing booth, drape a blanket over some string and decorate it with fish.
Set up stations in the backyard for each booth. Older kids in the neighborhood, or other attending parents, can help you man activity stations like the fishing booth and popcorn machine.
Have fun with your summer party!
Don’t dismiss yourself as not being “crafty” or “organized” enough to throw a carnival-themed party this summer. A few carnival games, some fun decorations, and a popcorn or cotton candy machine will make a stellar backyard carnival. A little planning will go a long way to making your child’s birthday unique and memorable.
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