Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Hump day crafts: circus birthday and photo booth

November 16, 2011

We combined Thing 1 & 2’s birthdays this year — at least for our public party. We wanted to postpone T1’s until The Cat’s submarine got back, and by then it just seemed easier to throw one big party. Easier, ha! I always think these things are going to be simple, but they just have a way of snowballing out of control.

We started with a carnival/circus theme. This was all because we had one bean bag throw game with a clown on it. Such humble beginnings. It ended up being a mini-midway full of games, a photo booth (complete with clown wig), plus a park full of activities. Not to mention the food and decorations.

Our photo booth was popular, even though it was too windy to put up the photo background. People who didn’t care just sat in front of the presents and others moved in front of the trees. We just left a basket of props and Thing 1’s camera on the table, and it was a help yourself activity. The photos that came out of that are my favorite of the day.

carnival photo booth

Another surprise hit were the balloons. First we got out the rocket balloons. Those are too cool. I highly recommend them for outdoor parties, as long as you have a volunteer to keep pumping them up. We had a teenage boy who patiently pumped while all the younger kids ran like crazy to catch them on their way down. Lots of fun for the preschool through primary grades crowd. We also had balloon sculptures. Nothing fancy. I bought the supplies (balloons and a pump) and printed lots of instructions. I practiced making 1-2 things so I could do it or teach someone else. To my great surprise, one of the families was very skilled at making hats, flowers and what-nots with the balloons. And they were more than happy to help. Hooray! This was a big hit for the kids and the adults who wanted to learn simple balloon sculptures.

We also had face painting, thanks to my sister’s tireless help. Well, I guess she did get tired, but it was time to shut down that booth anyway. Each kid only has so many public cheeks you can paint.

carnival party fun

Besides those ongoing activities, we had a midway full of carnival games. For this, I am eternally grateful to my brother-in-law. While I was trying to set up everything, he asked what he could do to help. Silly boy. I assigned him the games. We had a ball toss, with a clown board with holes, a spin the wheel, and knock down the milk bottles (actually water bottles). He did great at organizing them. And the kids got to win the prizes that filled their goody bags.

Of course, being the busy birthday mom, I didn’t get all the pictures I wanted to of my creations. Like all the circus themed signs for the food and tables. And the cake pops — my first try. They were red, white and blue with red and blue sugar sprinkles. Actually, those probably didn’t actually look that great up close, but from afar they looked cool, and they tasted great!  These were my inspiration.

The cake pops, kettle corn, apple slices, chips, and cupcake cake from Safeway weren’t going to be enough (we had 60-70 people stop by!), so we also picked up cupcakes from Safeway — in our circus colors, of course. I had made these picks to add to the extra cupcakes, with a little help from SVGShop over at MyGrafico. (Hint: sign up for emails about sales.) And, yes, some joker did stick them in the ground when they were done with their cupcakes.

carnival cupcake toppers

This was an extremely fun party. And I had so-so-so-SO much help from friends and family once we got to the park that the day was easier than I dreamed. I hope they all enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

Happy crafting!

(note: although this was published in Oct 2012, I kept the original 2011 publish date, since I had just let it languish in drafts until I collaged some photos.)