June 2, 2014 · Posted under Birthday Parties, circus / carnival, parties for boys
Today I’m just beyond thrilled to share this adorable and creative carnival party! My friend Karen, who’s been a faithful customer since the very earliest days of Chickabug, threw this party for her sons Benjamin and Jacob. This party is extra special to me personally because I helped with Benjamin’s first birthday, and here he’s turning 5, with his baby brother turning one!! My how time flies!
Benjamin and Jacob’s party was a fun- and game-filled day, with lots of prizes and sweets – and not to mention, a show-stopping birthday cake! It was photographed by Staples of Life Photography. Enjoy!!
Benjamin and Jacob’s amazing 3-tiered, domed cake was made by Cakes Plus in Tampa, Florida.
Karen sent out the most exciting invitations, complete with little packets of carnival tickets! (She knew how much the kids would love getting some tickets in advance!) The invitations and stickers are from Chickabug and the carnival stamps are from Zazzle. The glassine envelopes are from Paper Source, and the carnival tickets are from Target.
Benjamin and Jacob posted for pre-party photographs wearing handmade ringmaster shirts from Little Gray & Co. (whom Karen highly recommends).
Large pinwheels from Hobby Lobby make a cute centerpiece. The birthday invitation from Chickabug is on display in a frame from Hobby Lobby.
The boys’ custom party hats are from Dainty Couture.
Printable welcome signs (resized to 11×17 on request) welcomed guests to the “Birthday Carnival Spectacular”!
The boys’ photos were displayed on the gift table. The red and blue frames are from Ikea.
The wonderful “Welcome to the Carnival” directional sign is from Oriental Trading.
The sweets table was set up in the middle of the action, with lots of rainbow-colored candy! You can see Benjamin and Jacob’s printable birthday banner in the background, too.
Painted wooden letters from Michaels spell out each of the kids’ names on the dessert table. The tablecloths used throughout the party are from Party on 7th.
Polka dotted favor bags from Party City were decorated with printable circles from Chickabug.
It was a beautiful day for an outdoor party!
Printable 8×10 party signs marked each of the party game stations.
Karen says, “The ping pong fishing game was so easy, and it was loads of fun. I bought mini plastic fishbowls on Jillybeankids.com. I filled each one with a little bit of blue cellophane, and I put a little rubber fish (from Oriental Trading) in each bowl. Just like at a carnival, the kids got a bucket of ping pong balls and threw them into the fish bowls to win a fish! I briefly considered using live goldfish, but I decided against it because all the kids’ parents would hate me! ;)”
Since the party was outdoors… bring on the pie toss!! The (brave) target of the pie toss was partially concealed by a “World’s Strongest Man” cutout from Oriental Trading.
A “Pee Wee Play Area” was set up for the tiniest kiddos. The mini circus tent is from Ikea.
Other games included a disk drop game (like Plinko), a 3 in 1 game (like tic tac toe with balls), a carnival can bean bag toss, putt putt golf, ring toss, a baseball bean bag toss game, potato sack races, and batter up baseball.
Karen says, “The Duck Pond Game was really basic and easy! I filled a turquoise metal bucket with water and loads of plastic ducks. The ducks had numbers 1-10 on the bottoms and the kids picked ducks to find matches. As a variation, we also had the kids pick to find ducks with their ages. They loved it! All the plastic ducks came from Oriental Trading.”
The boys’ “five” and “one” shirts came from Old Navy.
Karen set up a wonderful “Let’s Clown Around” photo booth area with all sorts of props! The fabric pennant banner decorating the booth is from Pearl and Jane.
Karen says, “The photo booth wasn’t easy, but it was so worth the effort! The stand was a photographer’s backdrop stand that I borrowed from a professional photographer. It was perfect because it allowed me to control the width and height – you want it to be tall enough so that it’s higher than the adults when they stand in front of it. The white backdrop was actually a photography prop (also borrowed), but I had originally planned to just use plain white fabric, or a big white king-sized sheet. The red curtains on the sides were regular house curtains from IKEA with matching pull backs ($20). In terms of setup, the white fabric was hanging from the top rod of the backdrop stand. The red side curtains were just draped over the top of that same rod and secured with a clip on both sides from behind. Then, I added the pennant banner from Pearl and Jane.”
Karen says, “I gave out tickets to children throughout the party just for playing the games – not based on winning. I just wanted them to have fun playing. Benjamin absolutely loves collecting tickets and redeeming them at game centers and arcades, and I felt like that would add to the excitement at the party. At the end of the party, the children took their tickets to the prize table and each child got to choose 10 prizes (regardless of the number of tickets they had). It was a fun way to do party favors. They loved it!”
There’s a sweet story behind the party entertainer, Silly Sam the Music Man. Karen says, “He was awesome! Here’s the back story… One night earlier this year, Benjamin started crying for no apparent reason. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he was sad because he was not going to be able to see Silly Sam ever again. Silly Sam had come to his preschool every year he has been there (since he was 2), and Silly Sam had been at the school to perform that day. Apparently Silly Sam doesn’t go to the local kindergartens, so Benjamin was upset that since he is starting kindergarten next year, he won’t get to see Silly Sam again. The travesty! Well, I soothed him and wiped his tears and like any determined mother would do, I told him that I would look to see if I could find a way for him to see Silly Sam again. I googled the next morning, and the rest is history. Needless to say, Silly Sam was a hit at the party!”
Benjamin is so excited about his amazing birthday cake…
…and his baby brother can’t wait to dig into his first piece of cake!
Jacob’s custom bib is from Dainty Couture.
Thank you SO much for sharing, Karen! ♥ Happy birthday to Benjamin and Jacob!
Invitations, stickers, water labels & party printables – Chickabug
Glassine envelopes for invite inserts – Paper Source
Carnival stamps – Zazzle
Tickets – Target
Boys’ ringmaster shirts – Little Gray & Co.
Frames – Ikea (red and blue) and Hobby Lobby (yellow)
Tablecloths – Party on 7th
Cake – Cakes Plus in Tampa, FL
Painted wooden letters – Michaels
“Welcome to the Carnival” sign – Oriental Trading
“World’s Strongest Man” cutout – Oriental Trading
Rubber ducks – Oriental Trading
Large pinwheels – Hobby Lobby
Small pinwheels – Dollar Tree
Boys’ party hats and Jacob’s bib – Dainty Couture
Circus tent for Pee Wee Play area – Ikea
Boys’ age shirts – Old Navy
Peanut bags – Wink Events
Popcorn bags – Outside the Box Papers
Plastic popcorn containers – Amazon
Photo booth hand props – The Manic Moose
Photo booth pennant banner – Pearl and Jane
Photo booth accessories (clown shoes, ties, noses, hats, wig, and barbell, etc.) – Oriental Trading, Jillybeankids.com, Amazon, Party City
Prizes – Oriental Trading, Dollar Tree, Amazon
Polka Dot Favor Bags – Party City
Striped Favor Bags – Jillybeankids.com
Games – borrowed, or from Oriental Trading and Jillybeankids.com
Photo booth backdrop – stand and white backdrop were borrowed; red curtains from IKEA
Entertainer – Silly Sam the Music Man
Photography – Patricia Staples from Staples of Life Photography