|Our carnival staff aprons complete with squirting flower!|
Little did I know that my mom would take the ball and run with it to make this the BEST carnival that me and my 30 or so friends and neighbors got to attend! She got right to work and constructed six homemade, unbelievable carnival booths in her basement that spring. My mom was definitely the backbone of this event but Mrs. Party Planner did have a hand in the planning and hosting of the event. To read and see more of our carnival please check out her blog whathappensatgrandmas
Since this was a carnival, we needed prizes so we planned the guest list very early. It consisted of the friends and neighbors that our kids liked to played with, 17 total. We could have created some amazing invitations for this event. However, I chose to put the energy into the event itself so I invited everyone personally a couple months before the date. I followed up with emails until right before the event.
After many months of planning, drawing, constructing, and transporting, the day was finally here, it was time for the Carnival!!! The festivities began at 5pm and we welcomed everyone with a personalized bag to hold all their prizes, a welcome program that described the games, and a roll of tickets. Family and friends, including my mom and I were assigned a booth to run. Since we would all be "working," my boys and baby niece got to play all the games first and collect their prizes with mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and grandma and grandpa cheering them on and snapping pictures like paparazzi! My boys LOVED it! Then when their friends arrived they had a blast bouncing around socializing and playing the games again.
|Our family playing Goldfish Splash|
These are some of the booths that my mom made....
|Monkey Smackdown! Throw the plastic bananas and knock the cans down.|
|Hungry? Grab a bag of popcorn at the popcorn booth!|
|Boys Only! Pick a number and if there is a little green alien under the cup you win! (and for these little ones there was an alien under every cup so they all won!)|
|I may be biased, but these are just too cute!|
|Take your tickets to the prize booth and redeem them for a prize!|
There was also a Duck Pond, Goldfish Splash, Tattoo Booth, You're So Pretty- for girls only!, Go Fishing, and Guess How Many Jar! We had a bounce house set up for the kids too.
|Friends playing Monkey Smackdown!|
|My sister running the Duck Pond|
|View from the street|
At each booth, you turned in a yellow ticket, played the game, and then were given a blue ticket which you needed to redeem at the prize booth. We had designated prizes for each game and some extra prizes the kids could pick out too. We didn't want any unhappy customers at our carnival! For instance, the boys who played Alien Invasion won a light up space gun (yes, I did check with all the moms first if they were okay with the space guns since the oldest at the time was about 5 years old). When you played ring the ducks at the Duck Pond you won a little rubber ducky and if you threw the goldfish into the fishbowl at Goldfish Splash you won a bubble wand. All very cute prizes, but also prizes that didn't break the budget either. The Dollar Store and Oriental Trading are great places for carnival prizes. Some of the games like Go Fishing, you took your wooden fishing pole with fake worm and had to fish for your prize, an inflatable fish.
|Go Fishing booth and orange inflatable fish for the prize|
|My little guy helping me run the prize booth|
|He even had his own homemade apron!|
For dessert, you had to spin it to win it! Family members and I each made a dozen of a couple desserts that we used for this.
|Homemade baklava, dirt cups, brownies, and cupcake ice cream cones were just a few of the selections|
After everyone ate and relaxed for a bit it was time for our last couple games. The cookie walk was first. I drew numbers on the driveway in chalk and had everyone start out on a number. When the music started you walked from number to number until the music stopped. Once the music stopped I drew a number from the basket and whose ever number was called won a giant homemade chocolate chip cookie! We did ten rounds of this.
|The confetti was such a hit we had some repeat players!|
This carnival was almost six months in the making, and worth all the time, energy, and money in my opinion. The kids (and quite frankly the adults) faces were priceless and this picture below sums it all up!
While a lot of work did go into this event, it can be recreated in a range of budgets. You can make your own booths and games if you have enough time to plan or rent some of the games and a dunk tank from your local party rental company. As I previously mentioned, the dollar store and Oriental Trading are great sources for prizes and decorations. Lastly, just make sure to add lots of colorful balloons, banners, lollipops, and cute little party guests!!