I gave my son a circus party for his 4th birthday.
INVITATIONS: I wrapped the invitations around animal cracker boxes and placed circus stickers on the invites and wrote, “Have you heard. The circus is in town where there’ll be lions, tigers and bears. But do not fear. (our son’s name) 4th birthday is near and we’re bringing the circus here!
DECORATIONS: I placed balloons in colors of red, blue and yellow outside my doorway. On our door, I placed a picture of a clown and taped the string from the balloons to the clown’s hand and made a word bubble from the clown saying “Welcome to the Big Top.” We had the party in the basement since we needed the space for all the activities. The largest decoration was a “Big Top” canopy that was hung from the center of the ceiling and extended to the walls and down to the floor. To create the canopy, my husband and I measured the length from the center of the ceiling to the walls and then the length of the walls from the top to the floor. I cut long, wide strips in lengths that I measured from red and white plastic rolls. We started by taping the strips, alternating red and white, to the center of the ceiling and extending them to the walls. Then we taped the strips to the top of the walls and let them hang down to the floor. We repeated this until the entire basement was covered with this canopy. The decoration was so grand, it made you feel like you were under the big top. Our guests were completely blown away by it! I used the red and white rolls for the tablecloths and placed blue and yellow plates and cups on the table and placed circus stickers on the cups. Then I sprinkled confetti on the tables. I brought out my handy popcorn machine for the party and made fresh popcorn right before the party so that the aroma would still be lingering when our guests arrived. People took one whiff of it and they were hooked! We had popcorn bags filled and ready to be munched on since we knew people would want some as soon as they smelled it! I downloaded circus music and played it all during the party.
My husband dressed up as a clown with a costume and wig, and clown makeup, and entertained the kids. We practiced his performance for several weeks before the party. He started by painting the kids faces when they arrived and a lot of the kids asked him to make them look like a clown like my husband. Later on, he put on a juggling act by juggling balls. His last act was doing a mime show and involving the kids by getting them to copy him. The guests loved him and they even asked him to perform at their kids’ parties!
ACTIVITIES: Before the party, I hot glued pom poms the bottom of party hats and one on top and handed out circus stickers to decorate the hats with. I cut out and painted a face of an elephant for a game of “ring toss”. Then I cut out a hole where the trunk would go and added a paper towel roll, painted that and securely attached it into the hole with packing tape. I gave out plastic rings to the kids and they each had three tries to get the rings around the trunk. We gave out prizes whether they won or not. We played “pin the nose on the clown” and I painted a clown face and put double-sided tape on pom poms. For “ring of fire”, I wrapped the hula hoop in orange and yellow tissue paper. and had three stuffed tigers that the kids could throw through it. I painted a lion’s face on cardboard and cut out a mouth for the beanbags could be thrown through for “feed the lion.” I created a “duck pond” using a large container and filled it with water and placed ducks with numbers on them. I had another container filled with prizes with numbers on them. The kids would pick a duck out of the container and would get a prize with a number that matched the number on their duck. The kids got to “walk the tightrope.” My husband took a 2x4 and cut it to size for the kids to walk on and then added footers to it and I painted it blue and added a line with black tape that they had to walk on.
FOOD: The food was basic circus-type food: hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, chips, ice cream and juice boxes.
CAKE: The cake was decorated like a clown face, frosted white with red shoestring licorice for the hair and mouth and gumdrops for eyes and nose. I frosted an ice cream cone white and decorated it with gumdrops for a hat.
GOODY BAGS: The goody bags had plastic circus animals, a box of cracker jacks, and a personalized candy bar with circus stickers with print out photos of the part with thank you notes that said “Thanks for clowning around with us!” The guests e-mailed and called us right after the party to thank us and to also remind us that they want my husband and I to help with the decorations and entertainment at their own kids’ parties! It was a fun party to give and my son has been talking about it almost every day now.