When planning a carnival-themed celebration for children, be sure to have several activities to keep the kids busy throughout the event or party. From a prize pond to face painting, the activities, prizes and games are what makes a carnival. A few supplies from your local craft and retail stores and some energetic children are all you need to create a carnival-themed party.
Egg Prize Pond
To create an egg prize pond, you will need several plastic eggs that snap in the middle, a large plastic tub or swimming pool, and three buckets of prizes labelled "1," "2" or "3." Prizes can include clown noses, plush toys, inflatable toys or stickers. Open the eggs and write "1," "2" or "3" with permanent marker inside each. Seal the eggs back up and place them in the plastic tub or pool filled with water. Each child selects an egg from the pool and retrieves a prize from the bucket of the corresponding number labelled inside the egg.
Let each child make a carnival mask to take home as a party favour. Line a table with a tablecloth and craft foam, puff paint, markers, glitter, feathers, beads and elastic string. Cut out several different-coloured masks out of the craft foam and poke a hole on each side of the mask for an elastic string. Each child can design her own carnival mask from the supplies on the table. Tell the child to write her name on the mask and leave it there to dry while she participates in other activities. She can pick up the mask at the end of the party.
Animals and Clowns
Provide face paint and have someone paint each participant's face as he enters the circus event. Select four or five volunteers to have their faces painted like clowns. Every other child can have his face painted like his favourite circus animal, such as a lion, elephant or tiger. Give each one of the "clowns" a hula-hoop to hold about six inches off the ground. The "animals" will jump through the hula-hoops and can put on a show for any parents at the event. For added decoration, hang red and orange streamers on the hula-hoops to represent fire.
Set up about five plastic or metal buckets. Mark a line with tape about 10 feet away from the buckets. Let the children try to toss ping-pong balls into the buckets. If they get a ball in a bucket, give them a small prize such as candy or stickers.