I’m not sure if these were a carnival party or a circus party, so we’re calling it both! My sister hosted a party for her two daughters and then a week later I was in charge of our Preschool Graduation and so we both did a carnival/circus theme. Both events were planned for outside and were rained out so both got moved inside the church at the last minute. But, regardless of the weather drama, the parties were both a HUGE hit with all the kids! The games and activities were just as much a favorite as the treats. It really is the perfect party theme. A lot of these ideas can also be used for a school carnival, if you happen to be the lucky one who gets put in charge of that!
Circus Carnival Party Games
Tight Rope – 2×4 they had to walk forward, backward, sideways, holding hands, etc.
Plinko – (also called a Wooden Disk Drop Game) We had races to see who got to the bottom first
Can Toss – 6 spray painted food cans and 4 bean bags to toss
Lawn Bowling – 2-Liter bottles wrapped in patterned paper and a basketball to bowl with
Bean Bag Toss – 4 bean bags and a line drawn to stand behind to toss at the Bean Bag Toss Game
Ring Toss – empty root beer bottles and 3 rope circles for tossing
Fortune Teller – a kids tent with my niece inside. She had four questions you could ask her and then 4 corresponding cootie catchers for finding the answers to your future. I thought this was so dang cute!
Water Gun Relay – A 2×4 with holes drilled in it for golf tee’s to stand up in. Balance ping pong balls on each tee and let the kids use squirt water guns to knock them off the tee.
Fortune Teller Questions:
Carnival Food Ideas
For my nieces birthday parties, we opened up the treats just like the booths at a carnival and the kids loved going from booth to booth.
Fruit Kebabs – Bamboo skewers and different melons and pinneapple for the kids to custom create a fruit kebab
Cotton Candy – The kids loved having 4 flavors to choose from. I also got creative and did two flavors layered on top of each other. The banana cherry combo was AMAZING! I have loved my Cotton Candy Machine and can’t believe how much I use it!
Snow Cones – My niece has a Shaved Ice Maker and they made really awesome syrup flavors using Kool-Aid! The peach and mango were my favorite!
Popcorn – Nothing smells better than fresh popcorn! This little kettle Popcorn Machine is awesome. It uses the butter/salt packets and tastes just like you’re at a movie theater.
Circus Party Treats
I kept the decorations really simple. I just used blue plastic table covers for the base and added a free printable CIRCUS FUN banner (found here). I used the printables in that same free package for the popcorn bags and drink cups. I added a few balloons on the side.
For the table I just used some dollar store red buckets and put some tissue paper, floral foam and cute circus animal cut-outs that were a free printable (found here) on bamboo skewers.
Popcorn – Again, fresh popped popcorn is so yummy! You’ve got to get a real popcorn maker, you’ll really love it.
Water Cups – 3 and 4 year olds are best trusted with water (we had 3 spills within 5 minutes), but that doesn’t mean the cups and straws can’t be fun! I wrapped white cups with the free printables and then added a fun red and white striped paper straw.
Salt Water Taffy, Red Vines Licorice & Circus Cookies – each child was invited to fill a small brown paper bag (they’re the perfect size) with some yummy treats!
Cotton Candy Garland – I strung individual portions of cotton candy from a jute twine and used clothespins to secure them. The kids LOVED having cotton candy to take home!
I bought a lot of the supplies for the party on Amazon, so I’ve linked you to them in case you want to duplicate what you see. Have a fun party!!