Monday, June 4, 2012

Carnival Birthday Party

Our granddaughter Avery Grace turned seven on May 11th.

Here she is making a birthday wish (that's her daddy's hand on her head, which, I think, is priceless) ...

Her mommy and daddy gave her a trampoline (with a net!) for her birthday, and, after much deliberation, we decided on a "carnival theme" for her party.

I quickly learned that having a birthday party at home for a seven-year-old is not a simple thing, especially for a grandmother who tends to be a little, shall we say, "obsessive" at times.

I wanted the party to be special and knew that jumping on the trampoline and playing on Avery's swing set would occupy the children for about 10 minutes, if we were lucky. That meant that we had to come up with something for them to do to fill the other hour and 20 minutes of the party. Some of you may not be interested in reading about how we created our "carnival party," but for those of you with children and grandchildren, I hope my sharing our experience may help you in planning a similar party at your home.

So ... with the carnival theme in mind and my "obsessively-detailed" list in hand, Avery, her mommy, and I visited the Party City store in Jackson, and immediately became confused and overwhelmed by all the choices of party decorations. After wandering aimlessly down aisle after aisle stacked with hundreds of party decorations, we finally came across a collection that would be perfect for our "carnival" theme.

One of the best things we bought was this Outdoor Carnival Decorating Kit, which included colorful banners, bunting, and a large "Welcome" sign banner.

We also bought this Giant Personalized Banner Kit, which was very nice and easy to use.

Other purchases included: a Bean Bag Toss game, sacks for a Sack Races, a Limbo Set, Pin the Tail on the Donkey game, a cute little Unicorn Pinata, Plates, Napkins, Streamers, Favor Bags, Prize Trophies, and 120 helium-quality 12" Balloons.

I also rented a medium helium tank from Party City, which was well worth the $39.99 rental fee. The remainder of the decorating materials and prizes came from Dollar Tree stores.

And now ...

Come one, Come all ...
to Avery's Birthday Carnival!

Just follow the path to fun and games ...

The party was in their back yard, so we wanted the party guests to come around the outside of the house instead of going through the house. Our "path" was made out of colorful foam water noodles which I found at Dollar Tree.

They have a hole in the middle of them which fit perfectly over bamboo tomato stakes. Next came streamers and these pretty little "twirly pinwheel flowers" (from Dollar Tree) ...

And Voila! A colorful path leading from the driveway to the gate to the back yard!

There, the children quickly abandoned their "flip flops," and tried out Avery's new trampoline ...

And swing set ...

And Bean Bag Toss ...

After all of Avery's guests arrived, they had a good time at the Sack Races and doing the Limbo (I downloaded the "Limbo Song" from iTunes and played it while they were "limbo-ing"), and I also bought circus music and played it during most of the party, which added to the festivities.

They also played "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" and danced to a "freeze dance" song I found on iTunes.

My dad, Avery's great-grandfather, couldn't resist joining in the fun!

Then it was time for cake and ice cream. I found a picture of a cake online and "photoshopped" a pattern for the bakery at the local Krogers to copy.

We were pleased with their handiwork ...

After the refreshments, the children tried to guess the number of gumballs in the gumball machine, and whoever came the closest won it. We had a tie and had to guess again until we had a winner.

One of the highlights of the party for the children was trying to break the pinata.

My parents found a shady spot from which to watch the festivities ...

Everyone went home full of cake and ice cream and loaded down with candy, a bag full of party favors, and their very own trophy.

I think it would be safe to say that the party was a success and a good time was had by all. Especially the birthday girl, judging by the happy smile on her face ...

And that last picture made all our hard work worthwhile.

5 comments:

racheld said...

I SWANNEE, Girl!!

Wow. Just Wow. Were it in my power, I'd convey upon you the title of Best Party GrandMom on the planet. Or just BEST, period.

What a fun time, and believe ME, I KNOW how much work that was. Oh, Boy, oh, boy.

Terri ~the dressed up cottage said...

Oh my goodness, Avery is so big. And prettier by the day. I remember pictures of her sitting up on your kitchen counter helping you bake. Time flies.
What an adorable party, and you really came up with some genius ides ( like that colorful entryway). I'm sure she and her guests had a grand time. And you can take a bow for being such a "GRAND-ma" ha ha

Dorothy said...

Wow and double WOW! What a party!!! I think anyone could have had a fun time there!! "Someone" went to lots of trouble pulling this one off!!!

Carolyn said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet Avery!

This is one of the cutest party ideas ever. I am sharing it with my sweet friend who has 3 little ones. I think your deserve a trophy yourself!
Carolyn

Beth at Aunties said...

I LOVE your wonderful celebration and party ideas and so do my granddaughters! They were so creative and fun. What a lucky girl Avery is to have you for her grandma! The girls each look like they had the best time and I too love the big smile on Avery's face. This gave us ideas to create a little homecoming for a new granddaughter and mommy today:)